Mano Y Mano

Participate in the noble tradition of Rock, Paper, Scissors -- and remember, there's beer on the line

There are men whose passion is for playing the ponies. There are men who devote themselves to their families, to the word of God or even to the upcoming fall television schedule. But few indeed are the men who devote themselves to the ancient art of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Old even when Atlantis was beachfront property, the childhood game wherein one makes the sign of the Rock (a fist), Paper (flattened hand) or Scissors (um, you know what this looks like) has taken root in the collective psyche of mankind in a way that few games have. Heraclitus' famous aphorism, "You can't step twice in the same river," is believed by some to be a point of strategy for R/P/S. One must be adaptable to play the game well, Heraclitus is saying; read your opponent to learn his patterns, but keep no patterns of your own. Be the river, ever-changing, and you shall be triumphant. But there are those players who maintain that a pattern, well-played and bluffed, is the key to victory. These men quote Bart Simpson ("Good old Rock. Nothing beats Rock.") and cleave to the same path no matter the string of defeats, hoping to pull out a surprise/no surprise Rock at the end of the game to stun their overconfident foes (George W. Bush is a Rock man, right down the middle).

And now you have the chance to pit your skills against everyone in the city -- well, everyone in the Central West End, at least, in the Schlafly Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship Series. Teams of judges (unbribable, we're told) from the RFT and Schlafly prowl the bars of the CWE from 10 p.m. to midnight on Thursday, August 4, adjudicating impromptu games in search of the best of the best (see for the list of venues). You could be the best. Try your hand against worthy adversaries free of charge; if you survive the challenge to emerge victorious, you get to be Brewer for a Day at Schlafly and make your own beer. Honestly. Screw the Olympics -- this is the greatest sporting challenge of all time, and it's right here at home. Excelsior!

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