The Choice of Master Samwise by Lbilover

A bit of Frodo/Sam silliness based on a study. To wit:

"In one experiment, led by Baba Shiv at Stanford University, several dozen undergraduates were divided into two groups. One group was given a two-digit number to remember, while the second group was given a seven-digit number. Then they were told to walk down the hall, where they were presented with two different snack options: a slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit salad.


Here's where the results get weird. The students with seven digits to remember were nearly twice as likely to choose the cake as students given two digits. The reason, according to Prof. Shiv, is that those extra numbers took up valuable space in the brain—they were a "cognitive load"—making it that much harder to resist a decadent dessert. In other words, willpower is so weak, and the prefrontal cortex is so overtaxed, that all it takes is five extra bits of information before the brain starts to give in to temptation."



"All right, Samwise, your time is up," said Gandalf. "Do you have the numbers memorized?"


"Aye, Mr. Gandalf, sir. 3, 6, 22, 25, 111, 144, 1482," Sam dutifully recited.


"Good. Now count to twenty, and then I want you to walk to the end of that hallway there. When you get to the end, you will be presented with two choices. I want you to go with your first impulse. No pausing to think, mind, just choose."


"What if I don't like neither choice?" Sam asked, reasonably.


"Oh, I don't think that will be an issue, my dear hobbit."


Gandalf hurried to join Elrond behind the two-way mithril-mirror. "Here he comes," Elrond said. They watched as Sam walked toward them with sure, steady strides. As he neared the end of the hall, his steps faltered, but only for a moment. Smiling happily, he veered to the left, and straight into the arms of a waiting hobbit.


"You owe me 100 silver pennies, Elrond," Gandalf said with a smirk as they watched the two hobbits passionately embrace.


"Well, I never," Elrond said in disbelief. "I was so certain Samwise would choose Rosie Cotton."


Gandalf chuckled. "With his prefrontal cortex overtaxed by memorizing those numbers, Sam is in a state of cognitive overload. He simply followed his heart and chose Frodo, as he should have been allowed to do all along."


"Hmm." Elrond tapped a long forefinger against his lips. "You know, Gandalf, I believe we will suspend the experiment now. I've seen enough. Tell Aragorn he can stop memorizing his set of numbers, and I'll tell Arwen and Legolas that they are free to go."


"Chicken," Gandalf muttered under his breath as he left the room.