I can’t convince him that I really, truly do not want to learn. I just don’t possess the sort of thinking required for what, in my opinion, is not a game so much as an exercise in strategy. I can’t think ahead that far; I can’t hold images in my head and imagine what might come next. I’m sure this says wonderfully horrible things about my ability to plan for the future, but we’re not going to discuss that right now.
I tell my husband that I make a fabulous assistant,
and am not cut out for leadership, which is great because this balances us out. Every great leaderneeds a strong V.P. to execute directives, and I am that person. Give me some direction, and I can totally make it happen, delegating as needed and engaging help along the way. I carry a clipboard and Make. Shit. Happen. As long as somebody else thinks it up first.
I tell him, I like games that offer a 40-60% chance that I might actually win some of the time. Why go into a fray knowing ahead of time that I will 100% lose? Monopoly is more my speed. Or any game of chance that I have equal odds of winning or losing. It’s not that I want to take down my opponents ceaselessly. I just like a fair game. What’s so wrong with that? As my seven-year-old is learning, life is totally unfair. Why should I want my entertainment to emulate what I already live daily?
My husband says he could teach me and I’d get better.
I respond, “Is there ever, in this lifetime, any chance that I will beat you?” “Well no.” He says that definitively. Without pause for thought. I tell him he’s right, and that this is why I don’t have plans to pursue it. Although he would deny being a master of chess, he is definitely really good, and beats most of the people he plays on a regular basis.
I say all this, playing to his man-pride.
…It works. He boasts, “Well you know, I am descended from a long line of Germans whose name translates to ‘Defender of the Home Land’. So it only makes sense that I love chess. You know, we fought the Romans back in the early A.D.”
I ask, “Weren’t there like barbarians up that ways?”
“That was us!” He grins. “But that was a long time ago. We’re not barbarians anymore.”
“Says you, hairy ass.”
and points out that we live in a very big German area — our tiny six-street village shares a school district with the neighboring Germantown. No, for realz. So it’s not like he doesn’t fit right in with the surrounding crowd.
Another game they play
here in the cornfields of America is Euchre. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but I hadn’t until I moved to Ohio. It’s a German thing. There are a lot of other local oddities you won’t see much elsewhere:
sweepers (how Ohio-ans refer to vacuum cleaners)
Beggar’s Night (Ohio’s trick-or-treat night, which may or may not fall on Halloween)
Drive-Throughs (not the fast-food joints; these are liquor stops you can literally… drive through to get your drink on. No, for realz. I love Ohio.)
Corn Hole (Ohio version of beanbag toss)
Buggies (Ohio shopping carts)
But it’s not just the vocabulary;
the speech patterns here are different, too. They’ve adopted their own pronunciations and sentence structures that truly boggle the mind:
“I seen you at the gas station yesterday!” (I saw you at the gas station yesterday.)
The town of Bellefontaine (pronounced BELL-Fountain, instead of how you might imagine it with a French twist, Bell-Fonn-TANE)
And the list goes on.
It’s a strange country in which I live… and I don’t just mean the larger land of America. I refer to the tiny plot of land on which my house resides. Ohio is a very pleasant, but different, part of the world. At the very least, they did a good number on the English language, slaughtering innocent words willy-nilly, leaving phrases headless and without their mothers to protect them, raping and pillaging… Barbarians, indeed.
So no, I do not play chess, and do not have plans to do so.
I have a grasp on which way the pieces move, and I know just enough about the rule-breaking plots that I can say definitively right now, this game is not for me. What kind of nonsense rule would state that the pawn moves forward at all times… oh, except when it’s able to attack someone and then suddenly it can go diagonally and place itself in an entirely different column!? That, fwends, is rubbish. We’ve got enough of that exception-to-the-rule junk in real life; I don’t need that in the spare moments when I’m seeking entertainment. What’s fun about games that won’t sit still and behave?
My husband thinks I just hate losing in general, and to him in particular. To him I say, “Yield, Ohio savage!”
***DISCLAIMER: This post is “from the vault”. My Bloggy-Blog recently crashed. This was an item we were able to save thanks to the Black Box we recovered from the wreckage. There will be more items along this line as we salvage more survivors. ***