Articles, People, Stories

A Bathroom Encounter

NyKaren J Mossman

This is another old one I came across on the blogger website I used to have.

There I was 9.15 am on a Sunday morning coming out of my bedroom at exactly the same time as my 23-year-old son. We were both heading for the same place.

I’m only going to wash my face and clean my teeth, I said.

I’m only going for a wee, he replied.

For half a second we looked at one another. Who was going to be the quickest? Our thoughts exactly the same.

He clenched his fist and said: on the count of 3.

I touched my fist to my palm three times and did ‘scissors’, which beat his ‘rock’.

No, no, no, he said, on the count of three.

So I did it again, one, two, three, scissors.

Can’t you count? he said. And for a second, I was confused. I did go on three. So we did it again before I realised, he meant – one, two and on three say your weapon.

He won. I was left scratching my head on the landing.

Paper, scissors, rock. Make a fist, slap the palm of your hand, then show:

scissors – two fingers

rock – fist

clawed hand – paper

scissors cut paper, so wins.

paper wraps rock, so wins.

rock blunts scissors, so wins.

 It originally originated in China and was first written in a book called Wuzazu, by the Chinese Ming-dynasty writer Xie Zhaozhi at the time of the Chinese Han dynasty 206 BC – 220 AD.

In 1924 the game was described in The Times as a hand game called Zhot. In 1932, The New York Times had an article that describes the rules for the benefit of the American readers.

Children still play it today, and it evokes a smile from the grownups as they remember it fondly. Can you beat playing it to go to the bathroom?

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