The babelfish evolved to eat thoughts. That as a side effect it was able to serve as a translator was a happy coincidence. History is silent on who was foolish enough to allow the first babelfish to crawl inside their ear. But the fish certainly was not silent.
Imagine the commotion.
The fish takes hold, and we can know it has a good grip because it will announce when it is happy. Once attached, little will dislodge it.
Bring it near an interesting language, and it will nudge the user’s brain towards comprehension.
The remaining question is its accuracy. No one has caught a babelfish in a lie. But that is hardly evidence that it is true. After all, it works by reading thoughts. It could, in principle, tell if it is being tested and be more truthful. A blind test would need to guard against the fish getting any hint at all.
The three foot square slab of stainless steel was hot, and stayed hot from opening at dawn until we decided to close sometime after lunch. It was hot and heavy, and was always the perfect temperature for a pancake or fried egg. It was decided not a good place to sit.
Unless you weren’t quite mortal, I suppose.
The kitchen was in a brief lull when she appeared, sitting on the flattop and looking like she belonged there. I just stood there for a moment, staring. I suppose I was waiting for the inevitable scream. It never came.
I gestured with my spatula, but she declined to be turned.
I looked around. My prep cook was in the other room, chasing after something in the walk-in. The wait staff were all out on the floor. In short, I was the only witness to her impossible comfort in the very spot that a full stack of cakes had occupied just moments before her arrival.
This was going to be a very interesting conversation.