"I can't relate anymore. It's like I don't even know any of you."
On Thursday, our Canadian counterparts blogged about a meme that tore them apart. Basically, it asks you to pick a pair of fighters from a three-by-three grid and imagine them as your allies in a hypothetical doomsday scenario. The choices are made with the understanding that whatever goes unpicked would become an enemy dead-set on killing you.
When the post went live, the team at VICE US first agreed that the Canadians made absolutely terrible decisions. Then everyone went on to make their own picks in a wide-ranging argument that may have actually damaged personal relationships. After I typed EAGLE AND GATOR over and over in all caps into our group chat, I sort of got what it's like to really, really care about the Super Bowl.
Anyway, the people who felt passionate about their choices were asked to contribute their rationales below. Here they are:
50 Eagles, 10 Gators
I'm operating under the assumption that you don't have mind control over your allies, and both they and your enemies in this scenario would be like Terminators or the zombies from 28 Days Later in the sense that they'd be all kill, all the time. That said, I'm not going to pick the rats, because under my logic they wouldn't be able to do shit like play defense. I also don't see any way that they would be able to take down a gator. That's why you gotta pick 'em. They're basically tanks!
Honestly, there's nothing in this grid that can take down a gator besides the guy with the gun. Some of my co-workers seem to think the trick would be getting the birds to go for their eyes, but like, they could just shut them? That's not a very vulnerable weak spot, IMO. Anyway, that wouldn't even be an option here, because I'm picking the birds, who's only possible threat would be the guy with the gun. That said, 50 eagles is an insane number, and there's no rifle on the planet that has that many rounds in it, nor is there any marksman alive who could pick off dozens of apex predator birds before they descended upon him. Best he could do would be pick off one or two.
With the human quickly disposed of, my indestructible dinosaur team would absolutely wipe the floor with their remaining foes. It might take a long time, but they'd definitely be able to pick off the rats one by one. I feel extremely strongly that this is the objectively correct answer and would be willing to fight anyone to the death who believes otherwise. At the very least, the concept of sports rioting makes a lot more sense to me now.
Go, Eagles! Gonna go find a greased pole to try to climb up and maybe light a car on fire now. See ya!
10,000 Rats, 50 Eagles
First of all, you need land AND air in this situation. Eagles are the only air option, so you'd have to be a moron not to pick them. Also, have you ever seen an eagle? They're bigger than they look, and they'll fuck you up easy. Who can come against the eagles? The hunter? He'll pick like maybe two of them off before they pick his eyes out. Not even going to discuss the eagles matchup vs the other animals because it's not worth my time, and you're just a contrarian if you think they could beat them. Also, there's only 47 of the other creatures. 50>47. So there's that.
In regards to the rats, I'm just going to leave this here:
One rat almost chewed through that dude by itself. Now imagine having 10,000 creatures like that on your side. That's more than 200 rats for each of you opponents, chewing on them and shit. The gorillas are shook just thinking about it. Also they're more agile than anything else on that table and harder to fight due to their size.
So, yeah, that's why I'm right and anyone who disagrees is wrong.
P.S. anyone who picks the hunter for any reason is a cop.
50 Eagles, 1 Hunter
There is literally only one correct answer to this meme: eagles and hunter. Let's start with the eagles, which are by far the most valuable asset in this game. There is a reason why air superiority is the first objective a modern military seeks to achieve during war. If you own the air, you will almost certainly win the conflict. In this case, simply picking the eagles achieves total air superiority. The eagles will kill everything, and nothing will be able to kill the eagles.
If you think 10,000 rats are a problem, realize that they represent only 200 sorties by the eagles. At one sortie per minute, those rats are dead in an afternoon. Many of you will undoubtedly say that an eagle cannot take down something as robust as a gorilla or crocodile. But YouTube is replete with examples to the contrary. And even if the eagles struggle to pierce the armor of a crocodile with their razor-sharp talons, they can easily just take out the eyes of all comers and slowly pick at their prey as they die from infection.
There is only one thing that stands in the way of the eagles dominating this scenario, and that thing is the gun. The only creature that can easily kill something that flies is the hunter. Therefore, it is necessary to pick the hunter in order to ensure that the only gun in the game does not take out our precious eagles. If the hunter were to be killed in the first minute of the game, it would be just fine. It's all about the eagles. If along the way the hunter takes out some gorillas or bears, probably the only other creatures to pose even a small risk to the eagles, all the better. In conclusion:
10,000 Rats, 50 Eagles
I would choose the 50 eagles and 10,000 rats. If the animals are, as the meme says, defending me, I presume that they are ignoring their biological instincts and making decisions that will result in me being protected. That makes this a cut-and-dry numbers game.
Any animal with skin will be exhausted if they manage to get through my vermin family's countless bites and scrapes. Think about how many rats 10,000 is. The average rat can grow up to a pound in body mass. That's 10,000 pounds of grimy whoop-ass coming down on you. The eagles will finish off anyone who gets close enough to threaten me.
With this combination, I rule the land and the sky. Also the sea, because rats can swim for a mile without getting tired. All I have to do is find some high ground or a narrow area where the larger animals have to approach one on one, and I can handle myself until their soft, exposed body parts are open to an attack from my gnaw squad.
The biggest challenge to my strategy is the hunter with the gun. With a long-range weapon, he could ignore the horde and shoot me from afar. My only chance would be to sic a fleet of eagles on him. With their ability to spot small prey from hundreds of feet in the air, I think they would find him before he found me.
It's not pretty, and I would definitely need to shower afterward, but this is clearly the most likely strategy to result in my survival.
50 Eagles, 15 Wolves
Look, eagles are obvious. If you have 50 eagles coming after you, you are going to be bloody and eyeless and screaming faster than you can say, "Oh, hey, is that an eagle?" Eagles can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour when they're diving—a coordinated attack by eagles is going to be able to take down most of these animal groups, and unless the hunter is Hawkeye he's not going to be able to shoot and move quickly enough to do much about those birds.
I understand the arguments for rats. A swarm of rodents can do a lot of damage. But can they stop charging bulls and bears and lions? In that scenario, you're probably dead, and the last thing you'll see is a bunch of animals being engulfed by biting rats while they're simultaneously trampling on the rats. Think about the blood. Think about the sounds. So, no thanks. The gators are tempting—why not retreat to a swamp and surround yourself with gators? Then you're in the swamp, idiot, and what are you going to do, stay there for the rest of your life?
No, the correct answer is to bundle yourself up in high-grade snow gear and head to some mountains, preferably wooded ones, with the wolves. None of these animals, except the bears, will do well in the cold climate, and the eagles/wolves combination can overcome those guys easily. Some creatures, like the gators, will probably freeze to death before they can even get to you. A lot of those dangerous rats will die in the snow, and the rest of them can have their little skulls crushed easily by the eagles. You're welcome.
10,000 Rats, 50 Eagles
I can't think of anything more terrifying than the concept of 10,000 rats. Rats can chew through metal (which is, dare I say, metal as hell), which means they can chew through flesh. So I definitely want the rats on my side; there may be some chance of a rat king occurring and taking some out of commission, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.
Since they are land-based, I would want command of another element, so I pick eagles as my second choice. With the eagles and rats fighting alongside each other, there won't be any issue of the eagles swooping/eating the rats, yet they'll swoop in and knock out the other animals trying to kill me.
15 Wolves, 1 Hunter
You people have this all wrong. It's not about winning, it's about the experience. In all likelihood no one is coming out of this scenario alive, so you might as well just enjoy the ride. With that in mind, I'm going with the dude with the gun so I have someone human to chat with for a bit before the animal onslaught, and then I'll go with the wolves so I could hear some pleasant howling as the eagles or whatever clawed my eyes out.