Friday, January 19, 2007

Defunct Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Jules and I were about to leave for the zoo. I was getting ready in the bedroom.

From the living room she asked, "Who's driving?"

"I don't know," I answered, hoping that she would volunteer.

"I'll rock-paper-scissors you for it," she queried.

"Okay," I said, and then immediately began predicting what she would choose. My instinct told me she would select rock. I then started to traverse all of the scenarios and worried that I was like Vizzini in The Princess Bride. Confronted by two chalices of potential poison, he went through an elaborate verbal process of anticipating every possible permutation. But I didn't want to over-think. As first thought was usually right, I stuck with the counter-attack of paper, and went out to the living room.


As I sat in the passenger seat on the way to the zoo, I thought about rock-paper-scissors (it appears that the zoo sparks inquisitive asides).

"What are the origins of rock-paper-scissors?" I rhetorically asked Jules. "Has anyone stopped to think that it makes no sense and isn't even clever. Two of the objects aren't even related and don't trump each other. I can understand scissors cutting paper, but how does paper covering rock make sense? I mean -- has anyone ever heard of a paperweight? Oh -- it's just a rock that sits on top of paper and holds it down. And don't even get me started on rock-dynamite-scissors."

Because of the inaneness of rock-paper-scissors, I felt it imperative to develop my own system. One that actually made sense.

It begins with the Exterminator. The two downward fingers form legs, and the thumb represents the exterminator's wand of death (a.k.a. the hose and nozzle connected to the tank of poison).

If you want to use a female exterminator -- because I'm nothing if not equal opportunity -- bend your knuckles slightly to form boobs.

After seeing my female exterminator, Jules thought of her own representation for the male exterminator.

So what does the Exterminator beat? The Termite.

For full fun effect, feel free to wiggle your fingers, especially after a victory. What constitutes a victory? Termite eats Dilapidated House.

And how does this come full circle? The Exterminator lives in the Dilapidated House. Sadly, this house will tragically collapse on the Exterminator, killing him in the process.

It is beautiful and related and complete and circular.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're saying, "Bryan, of course your new system is brilliant, but it doesn't roll off the tongue. Rock-paper-scissors may be heavily flawed, but it's easy to say. How am I supposed to whip-out Dilapidated House-Exterminator-Termite in a decent amount of time?"

The answer is simple. I've removed all of the leg-work, because we're going the acronym route. You won't say Dilapidated House-Exterminator-Termite. Instead you'll simply refer to it as DHET, conveniently pronounced like debt. Do you see the poetic nature of the name? Because when you play this game, the person who loses will be in debt to you for something. It truly is a remarkable creation.

Please think of your own circular relationship, although I'm sure it will be inferior to the magic known as DHET.

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