Angle-Shot at Roshambo
After a long day's work a big gang headed to a local pub for beers. We were also there to celebrate a friend's birthday, and to see the latest affirmation of Sidney Crosby's genius. I was beat. Just wanted to hang, have a few, relax.
In the middle of my third Yuengling a trio of pretty girls started circulating through the crowd. "Is anyone interested in playing in a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament?" My antennae twitched. Roshambo? As a poker player and blogger I like to think of myself as having an edge on the unwashed at Roshambo. There's no reason for this, of course--I tried playing Perry Friedman's RPS simulator a few times and it kicked my ass. But, as I said, I was in the middle of my third Yuengling. I threw my name in the hat, as did several of my friends.
First of all, a few of the contestants were WAAAAAAY too into it. There was a guy with a hairdo out of Eraserhead
who was doing squat-jumps and exchanging psyche-up high-fives with his buddies. Right up to the point where my friend Matt wiped him out in two throws.
Rick and Amy also won their heats, and finally my number was called. My opponent was one of the overenthusiasts. He was your typical wild man--an enormous head of insane curly hair, full beard, crazed look in his eye. He unbuttoned all but the top button of his shirt and draped it over his shoulders like a cape. This was my opponent..
My tactics were straight out of the Rafe Furst playbook. "I'm throwing rock," I announced to my friends in the crowd. I made a fist and shook it at them. "Rock, here it comes." We faced off and the girl running the show told us that she'd count to three and that's when we'd shoot. Standard operating procedure.
Thing is, long before she started counting he started shaking his fist up and down. As if he had a palsy, or was warming up for a marathon masturbation session. We took our spots and she counted, "One, two, three, shoot."
But when she said "three" his fist was in downstroke and he presented his scissors . I stuck out my fist a beat later, when she actually said "shoot." "Awww!" he said, "Come on, he waited until I threw." Before I could say anything she said, "OK, we'll do that one over."
"Wait a second!" I said, but she was already counting again. Total bullshit! It's not my fault he can't count to three...and one after. Total. Bullshit.
My plan had been to announce rock, and throw rock, and then announce paper and throw...rock. Now my plans were for shit, because we were already in mid-throw. I threw rock again and he threw paper. One-nil. She counted again and we both threw rock.
Here I outsmarted myself, or, to be more accurate, I overestimated my opponent. I'd thrown rock the first three throws, and I hadn't won once. It was obvious I wouldn't throw rock again. Therefore, in response to my paper/scissors he would have to throw scissors/rock. Instead of being 1/3 to lose, it was 50/50 I'd win or tie.
I threw rock...and he inexplicably threw paper. What a frickin' donkey. If I'd followed expectations his paper couldn't have won. The best he could hope for was a tie. And he threw paper. Pathetic.
If you think that maybe this guy was in fact a Roshambo savant, uh, no. He got wiped the next round. A bit later he came out wearing a pair of tighty-whiteys on the outside of his jeans. And it's not that kind of a bar. Not at all.
My gang did very well, and we might've dominated the event had they not forced my friends to square off against each other. Matt knocked out Rick, Amy knocked out Matt, and Amy got knocked out by the eventual champion. Here's the bizarre thing--the matches were staged around a pool table, and there was a crowd three-deep watching. And they were INTO it. Yelling, screaming, bitching about how they got gypped (that was mostly me). As our waitress said at one point, "People are taking this a BIT too seriously".
Matt and Amy got T-shirts. Everyone got Mardi-Gras beads. I declined the offer. Like the 1972 Olympic men's basketball team who refused their silver medals after getting cheated by the refs, I wanted no cheap token as consolation for the shafting I received. I'm too mature and well-adjusted to sink to that level.