Rock, Paper, Scissors
Writing about the London Olympics, Dave Barry tells us about a sideshow:
My favorite experience here was participating in the International Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship in a pub. Now, this was a funny event, but the humor could easily have been ruined, in two ways:
1. Somebody pointing out that it was funny. Nothing drains the wackiness from a wacky situation as quickly as somebody going, “This is so ridiculous! Because it’s rock, paper, scissors! Ha ha!”
2. Somebody taking it too seriously – that is, actually wanting be world champion of rock, paper, scissors.
In most places, if you hold a rock, paper, scissors tournament, you will quickly see both of these humor-killing behaviors. In the United States, lawsuits would be filed. But not here. Here, the people in the pub – and there were hundreds – executed a perfect parody of spectators and competitors at an important sporting event. They never broke character; they displayed great passion and intensity throughout, without a single ounce of sincerity. It was brilliantly funny, and nobody ever said so.
Reminds me of why I gave up league tennis.