Get Rocked, Papered and Scissored 

Whistler to host regional championship tournament

Crack your knuckles and hone your reflexes.

The World Rock Paper Scissors Society is holding a tournament in Whistler on Sunday, Sept. 26 at the Wild Wood Pacific Bistro.

I for one welcome this elite organization to Whistler as I have always been a strong believer in Rock, Paper, Scissors, or "Roshambo" as some prefer to colloquialize it.

Currently, the game is the foundation of my relationship. There is no fairer way to determine who gets out of bed on a cold morning to make coffee or let the cat in. No arguments. No hard feelings.

My affinity for RPS, however, dates back farther than my man.

In my university days I used to run with a group of dedicated players – among them Edward P. Wright, who is often in town due to his work with Rocky Mountain bikes.

One snowy evening, on the floor of a house that had insufficient furniture, when a little too much beer had been consumed, Wright wagered and lost his car to a giant of a man whose pudgy rock proved too heavy for Wright’s dull scissors counter-attack.

Watching his face drain of colour when the reality of the situation sunk in, like Wonder Woman I whipped into action and confronted the gloating Philistine with a wager of my own vehicle for the prize of both.

Perhaps it was his overconfidence – the old guys on the front porch of the general store in rural towns always say that pride comes before a fall. Nevertheless, in a hard-fought match that drew several stays, I triumphed! The Goliath’s meaty palm was no match for my nimble child labour-sized digits. The glory and drunken admiration of a posse of U of A dirtbag skateboarders was mine! We didn’t have a large tub of Gatorade to dump so I think I did a congratulatory shot of Jägermeister or something.

In the end I proudly returned Wright’s carbon-monoxide trap to him and reclaimed my ’82 Volvo station wagon. That was a close one.

Sure I’ve played a bit since then. A little Roshambo here and there to determine who takes back the movie, that sort of thing. But never again have I wagered so large.

Sometimes, when the moon is bright, and I find myself unable to sleep, I’ll wander outside and play against imaginary opponents – ninja-like beings with fingers as thin as paper and nails as sharp as scissors that form fists as solid as granite.

Because I know that the day will come when another gloating Philistine must fall. As Spiderman’s uncle once said: "with great power comes great responsibility."

When that day comes, I will be ready.

As per the format followed at last year’s world championships in Toronto, headquarters of the World RPS Society, the Wild Wood tournament will proceed as refereed ring matches with the winner taking all. Registration costs $20 per player. The event’s head referee will be none other than the man voted Whistler’s Most Popular Bartender, Scott Musgrave and emceeing duties will go to Eric Blouin, representative for beverage sponsor BASE Energy Drink. The event is endorsed by the World RPS Society.

According to the Society’s Web site, last year’s world championships drew more than 1,000 competitors and spectators from as far away as Sydney, Australia.

The nail-biter of a final came down to an afro-wigged Rob Krueger versus the infamous Fist Full ’O Sneer, both of Toronto, with Krueger eventually prevailing. Both players have since been named honorary World RPS all-stars.

Potential players in the Whistler event would do best to go to the society’s Web site, www.worldrps.com, and familiarize themselves in advance with the standardized rules and restrictions for competitive play.

There are also a host of tips and different strategies to try such as "chaos play", "exclusions" and "gambits", a mastery over which will go a long way toward ensuring you will never again have to leave the warmth of your bed on a Sunday morning to make coffee.

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