This post is brought to you by Portland Airport wireless access. Thanks Portland.
John’s off topic link to a large set of additions to rock, scissors, paper reminded me of my high school and college years where most things were decided using this fantastically psychological game. And when I say everything, I mean everything. From the bar tab, to the dishes, to the front seat, to who had to go initiate a conversation with a group of girls, rock, scissors, paper formed the basis for all decision making. It was an amazingly decisive and seemingly fair way to make decisions. Frankly I think tool has been overlooked by the corporate world as well as government bodies. It warmed my heart to use RSP with Kevin to decide who had to do the final shot of tequila at Josh’s bachelor party (good old rock, sorry Kevin). It just seemed so fair.
Nearing the end of college some of the die hard RSP innovators added an interesting twist to the game by adding fire (hand cupped, wiggling fingers up) and water (hand cupped, wiggling fingers down). Fire beats rock, scissors, and paper. Water beats nothing except fire. Because of fire’s power, you can only use it once in your life . Water can be used endlessly.
This adds an interesting twist because you have to make a quick assessment whether the situation dictates the use of fire, or ever better, if the situation would dictate your opponent to use fire and therefore you should use water thus squashing his only lifetime use of fire. So if you were a revolutionary war general and the battle came down to a final game of RSP, probably a good time to use fire. The British were far to formal to break from the basic rules of the game with something like water and there is the future of a great country at stake. A very reasonable use of fire. If RSP is used for front seat position you need a more complex assessment. How long is the trip? What does the backseat look like? Who will be with you in the backseat? Non-stop cross country trip in a beat up Volkswagen with five broad shouldered water polo players in the backseat — fire might be something to consider. I believe the last known use of fire was in a RSP game for which the loser would need to run a lap around Brown’s campus wearing only women’s thong underwear and tennis shoes. I think everybody would agree that was a good use of fire. How the two ended up in this pickle at the surface may seem a mystery but anybody who has spent anytime in college (with males) understands how these things happen.
To be perfectly honest, I’m saving my fire for when I’m marooned on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Hopefully not with anybody who read this blog post. Stupid water.
 I often get questions when explaining the fire and water additions along the lines of “who makes sure you only use fire once in your life?” You are in fact probably thinking that right now. I’ll be the first one to say I’m shocked at your utter lack of respect for the game. If you can’t rely on an honest game of RSP with another human being, how can we even claim we have evolved beyond the apes?