monday:  rock, paper, scissors

I learned early on that when trying to see who gets to be in line first, gets the first bite, gets the first turn, etc., it was best not to arm wrestle my older brothers.  I never was first.

Enter:  Rock, Paper, Scissors!  Now I have a fighting chance at being first.

By way of review-rock is represented by a clenched fist-scissors by two fingers extended and separated, sometimes coming together in a snipping manner-paper by open hand with fingers extended and touching.

As every 10 year old boy knows:  rock defeats scissors, scissors defeat paper, paper defeats rock.

China’s ancient history has offered us so much culturally, musically, artistically-now you know that Rock, Paper, Scissors can be added to the long list of achievements coming from China-then Japan-then Europe.  It was well into the 20th century before the US caught up to the game that had been all the rage since 200 B.C. around the world.

Leave it to us clever Americans to find historic uses for this ancient game.  In 2005, a federal judge had grown weary of the legal antics employed by opposing parties in a complicated and lengthy court matter.  Filings were flying back and forth over a disagreement on where depositions should be taken on one of the thornier issues.  The judge ruled that each lawyer would appear at a certain time and location and engage in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  The winner of the game would then be entitled to select the location for the depositions.  Wonder if the judge considered arm wrestling?


Did you grow up using this game of chance – rock, paper, scissors – to resolve conflict?  Or did you draw straws or roll dice?  I’m guessing, if you had a brother, you had to try to arm wrestle your way to the head of the line.