Volume 94, Issue 39

Wednesday, November 8, 2000


Letters to the Editor

The gentleman's game of chance: A caveat

The gentleman's game of chance: A caveat

Wes Brown
News Editor

Paper. Rock. Scissors.

A game for the ages, a contest with origins of an unknown status, the pinnacle of decision making for a generation whose initiative has slowly been stolen by a steady diet of music television, Homer Simpson and Street Fighter.

How many life decisions have been made following the chanting of either "One, two – three' or 'One, two, three – go!?!" Who's going to take the garbage out? Paper, rock, scissors. Who gets first game on NHL '94? Paper, rock, scissors. Who gets next shower and/or bath? Paper, rock, scissors.

For those that doubt the power of this time-tested game of chance just look back into history to see its relevance – Watergate, 1973, someone has to take the fall for this Republican blunder. Richard Nixon is impeached and people begin to wonder whether or not his political trademark was in fact 'peace signs' or 'scissors?'

Germany, 1945, the Nazi party crumbles under the power of the Allied Forces. People begin to investigate whether or not their 'salute' was actually giving away their entire war time and paper, rock, scissors strategy?

It's everywhere – John Lennon – scissors, Malcolm X – rock, Bruce Lee – paper, Winston Churchill – scissors, Hercules – rock, Chief Running Bear – paper.

History aside, I'd say the average university student's life is composed of 25 per cent of semi-important initiatives which can be resolved like this, while closer to 75 per cent of the meaningless initiatives are answered the very same way.

To many of you this means little to nothing in terms of your daily lives. However for those of you like myself who depend on this 'game' on a regular basis, the psychology and strategy involved are something of invalued importance.

"Good old rock, nothing beats that." How many of us have taken Bart Simpson's word on this strategy only to lose out in the end to the likes of paper? Remember paper beats rock, although I don't know how that works either. That's just the way it goes.

Stay away from the freak signs like 'dynamite' or 'water' or even using the middle finger as a joke. It just makes for bad paper, rock, scissors etiquette and delays the excitement and true challenge of the game.

Establish before hand whether or not it's 'One, two, three – then your play' or 'One, two – and show your symbol on three' – this will stop any cheating in the form of throwing a false rock down and losing to a timely paper play.

Rock. Paper. Scissors.

In a world where important decisions like where to go to university, what you're going to be, who you're going to marry and where you're going to live, it's nice to know the simpler issues in life can be solved by three simple shapes.

Best two out of three?

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