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  • Paul Davidson

The Tragic Problems with Rock, Paper, Scissors

Let me just lay it all on the table here for all to see… There is no way in hell that PAPER can beat ROCK.

I couldn’t tell you the origins of Rock, Paper, Scissors; nor will I look up the background on what I consider to be the most unfair and unrealistic game to ever come out of anyone’s mind. Don’t even get me started on the physics behind the game… I mean, really – can a rock crush a scissor? Not the way they’re made these days, they can’t.

I’d like to examine all the different possibilities of the game and show you how instead of playing this game anymore to settle bets or win drinks, it’s about damn time you got back to the only no-prop, hand-only game around: thumb-wars. But that’s another post for another time, and I’ll probably make a trilogy of posts that will also include the subject of sniffing scented markers. But until then, let’s begin:

1. Rock crushes scissors. No matter what pair of scissors you get, may they be plastic or high-grade metal scissors…a rock the size of your hand would never in a million years crush those scissors. Never, at least, enough to end your life as a paper cutter. You my friend, as a scissor, are impervious to all hand-size rocks. Let this be a lesson to all rock fans out there.

2. Scissors cut paper. Any paper the width of your hand cannot be cut by any pair of scissors. They can be cut by one of those huge Kinko’s paper cutters or a paper shredder that can handle more than 5 pages at a time (most can’t), but there’s no way a normal everyday scissor is cutting a stack of paper that thick. I think you scissor people out there know how true this is.

3. Paper covers rock. Sure, paper can cover rock. You can wrap up that rock like a little gift-bag present. But by covering a rock and blocking out all the light, have we really beaten rock? Was mega-superstar singer Stevie Wonder beaten when the light forever disappeared from his eyes? I think not. Was blues/piano extraordinaire Ray Charles beaten when his world became dark? Nuh uh. Was Oedipus totally destroyed when he poked out his own eyes after sleeping with his mother? Not destroyed, no way. Embarassed that he slept with his mom, sure. But destroyed, no. So, all you paper-superior people should realize…you can cover our eyes but you can never beat us down.

Are you still with me?

Have you realized the utter stupidity of the game we are speaking about? Have you finally looked down at your rock, paper, scissors mechanism (your fist) and realized the futile nature of the game? As you looked down at your useless little palm and extended your thumb up in an erect position did you suddenly feel a burst of life return to your body as the thought of Thumb Wars entered your head?

If you did, you know what to do next. If you didn’t, may your rock be blind, your scissors be too weak to withstand a fist-sized stone and your paper be so deli-thin that it could be cut by the wind.

Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day.

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