Follow by Email

Inspirational Reads

Something Seldom Seen

August 9, 2008

I had one of those "writing nights" tonight (more on that later). My wife gave me the evening off and, after hanging out in Target to get my daily fix, I headed over to a bookstore with an ampersand in the name. This is one of my three usual haunts--in case you're stalking me--when I escape the house and decide to do a little dextral lucubrations.

The nice thing about writing stuff in a bookstore is there's a lot of reference materials available. Being that it's in a bookstore, you can thumb through the info you want while jotting down notes, set it on a table when you're finished, and then wander off whistling innocently and pretending you were never near those books, and someone else will sweep in, pick up the books, and put them away. Tidy. The other nice thing is that other people move in and out of the store and cafe, and there's a lot of booby people watching to be done. If there's something I enjoy doing while pretending to write, it's watching boobies people.

Well, I was scribing a paragraph. When I finished penning that passage of perfect prose, I looked up and there I saw it: two men playing chess at one of the tables in the store.Wow. I was fascinated and amazed and jealous, all at the same time. I was fascinated because, if you watch enough tv and movies, you usually come across the archetype couple of men conversing over a chessboard. I was amazed because it wasn't two old men, it was an old man and a young man--maybe a grandfather and grandson duo. I was jealous because, well, I don't know anyone who plays chess. More, I don't know anyone who would be willing to sit around and play me. Not that I'm terribly good or anything--quite the opposite, to be scathingly honest--but more that I'm terribly annoying. I like to talk, and some people don't like that during a game of chess. Plus, I don't like to lose, which is something I--unfortunately--do a lot in chess. Also, I fart. A lot.

I watched them for a while. The old guy--who was wearing a spectacular teal and aquamarine Hawaiian shirt, I might add--caught my eye once. I nodded to him, and he nodded back. The younger chap turned to look over his shoulder, and I nodded to him, too. After a return nod, the two men returned to their game and I returned to my writing.

Still, I thought it was refreshing that someone--anyone, really--sat down for a bit and played chess. I caught snippets of conversation and they were talking strategy over the game. Awesome. I commend you both, and wish you many happy games into the future.


Chemgeek said...

hee hee hee... boobies

Rider said...

If one of the chess players had said to you, "Out for some dextral lucubrations?" would you have smacked his head the way I want to smack you for using that phrase?

Frank said...

I learned chess once, just long enough to beat my brother in 3 games. Then I never played again. That was almost 10 years ago. True story.

Alaina said...

Just thought I'd pop over and say I'm putting a blog link to you. Feel honored. I would. I don't link just anyone.

Pfangirl said...

A little while ago, for a short period, my boss brought his chess set to work and some of us would sit playing during our lunch break.

Apart from the chance to look all cerebral-like, it was actually a pretty cool thing to do (even if I never won a game).

Your blog post reminds me that I should really play again some time... maybe a challenging of the bf is in order :)

Lisa-tastrophies said...

This would be so much better if Morgan Freedman was reading it.....

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ chemgeek: heh heh...I know.

@ rider: Don't hate me because I'm verbose.

@ frank: I love the game, but I've always had an issue of not being able to see it when someone says "Oh, you have checkmate in six moves". I'm always like "Yeah, but see, he has five moves to counter that."

@ Alaina: I'm highly honored! Thank you!

@ Pfangirl: Some folks around here play games during lunch. I don't think anyone plays chess. Maybe I should just take a chess board down there and set it up, see what happens.

@ Lisa's chest: EVERYTHING would sound better being read by Morgan Freeman. The contents on a can of Campbell's chicken and stars would sound better. No one can roll "sodium benzoate" off their tongues like Morgan Freeman.

Hap said...

Young people played chess at the coffee shop I hung out at, but they were a poor argument for chess - they acted like dorks, and one of them made trying to give massages to sixteen-year-old girls a hobby while another kept tongue-kissing his twelve-year-old daughter (oh, and he looked like the bastard child of Geddy Lee and Mastermind). I have to figure that most chess people aren't like that though.

We played bridge there, and we had younger people (like me and my wife) who learned to play. (We didn't help the face of American bridge much, either.) At work, though, I'm the youngest player - there are two or three others below sixty, but that's it. Some of the older people are good, but some are sort of clueless. We have more people in the bridge club than for cribbage, though.

There's a funny scene in Another Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (David Foster Wallace) where he gets beaten down by a seven-year-old on a cruise ship playing chess.

P.S. Oh, I hate my father's keyboard.

Will said...

Good picture, but you should have creepily taken a cell phone picture of them when they weren't looking instead.