Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Jasfoup wasn’t known as a sporting man, though he generally kept his views on the subject to himself. He could never be persuaded to bet on horses, for example, citing the need to collect the souls of so many that did as reason enough for abstinence, but wasn’t averse to the idea for other, more interested people.
Every fourth Saturday would see him donning his best suit and travelling to the cellars and tunnels beneath Laverstone Town Hall for the monthly racing. Men from all over the county bred rats to race in the Laverstone Pit Tracks and there was money and prestige to be had.
Jasfoup rarely lost and betted mostly upon his sidekick’s racer. One of the faults of rodent racing was the tendency of the mounts to wander off course and look for food. Devious, as rat trainer extraordinaire, had begun training mice to act as jockeys – a simple enough affair you would think but the little souls* had difficulty holding the reins without thumbs.
There were no rules specifically against it, but when the Waterhouse Stables won all seven races in one night, as inquiry was only to be expected.
Thus were the Disqualification Wars begun. Jasfoup refused to concede that Devious’ creations were against the spirit of the RatRace. He maintained that not a single one of the seventy-six 1840 rules disqualified cybernetics.
*An expression only, since mice (or rats) didn’t have souls.