Challenge #01326-C231: Seek Understanding

if you didn’t know stuff about humans you would think they get mad at the weirdest stuff

like one human raises their thumb to another human that’s good, humans like that

one human raises their middle finger to another human

humans do NOT LIKE THAT

humans think that is a BAD FINGER

don’t you DARE raise that specific finger at me

any other finger is ok just not that one


Anthropology will be the hard elective in alien school.


“Is the middle finger weaponized? Does it spray a venom perhaps”

“No, student Xeepzorp, it is frail and harmless like the others”

“Fascinating” -- Gallifreya

Ever since humans joined the Galactic Alliance, the Ask An Expert Anthropologist app had been rising in popularity. Humans could be relied upon to be confusing.

Humans from Britania lived on tannin solutions, and never said one word where ten could be found to dance around it. Conversely, humans from N'oz had the planet-wide tradition of 'bullshitting' anyone who wasn't from N'oz.

Other cogniscents in the alliance had to understand that the Britanians weren't hiding anything, and the N'ozzies were not malevolently lying. Or that the Amitans thought it was polite to talk to another cogniscent in that cogniscent's language.

There were entire threads dedicated to common human gestures, and which ones were rude[1]. And sometimes, there would be explanations as to why those gestures were rude.

Most of those discussions devolved into puzzlement concerning the species-wide apparent fear of their own genitals and the act of reproduction. There was even a treatise on why pictures of genetalia were the worst of ice-breaking stratagems amongst many humans.

Excepting, of course, the humans who came from the very permissive colony of Friluv.

No origin planet was a monolith, but most cogniscents agreed that things would be much easier if the humans just made up their collective minds.

[1] Spoilers: it's most of them.

(Muse food remaining: 21. Submit a Prompt! Ask a question! Buy my stories! Or comment below!)