I'm aware that Rock, Paper, Scissors is hardly more than a game of chance. I know this. I'm not under the impression that a person benefits from experience in this or that it's possible to be particularly skilled at the game.

Rock, Paper, Scissors is basically as complex and random as a coin toss.

Maybe a super genius has figured out a way to read an opponent's mind. But I doubt it.

It's a game of chance.

I know this.

The only way to effectively use strategy to win the game is to cheat, by adding new rules. Like Jared Dimick did to me in the second grade when he introduced "bomb," which looked like the rock, but with the thumb extended, and which "beats everything."

And I accepted this. And lost Rock, Paper, Scissors against Jared Dimick every time we played. For a year.

Yeah, I could have used bomb against him, but I was a RPS purist, enough so that I was willing to lose for my beliefs.

So yeah. I'm aware, that apart from adding new rules or otherwise cheating, it truly is just a game of chance.

And yet, the moment I found out that Skylar and I were going to be in a Rock, Paper, Scissors competition with 80 people, I instinctively said under my breath, "he's going to win."

I said it, because Skylar always wins this stupid game of chance.


You would think that, considering his track record, I would have stopped proposing that we use the game to decide who has to take Duncan out or do the dishes or call a service provider. Skylar always wins. And I always have to do the terrible thing.


Sometimes I insist that we go "two out of three" to try to give myself some extra opportunities for vengance. Every time he goes 2-0 and we don't bother trying for a third.

I have had hundreds of experiences with him like this. I have the data to back up my irrational feeling that Skylar is good at this game of freaking chance.

So that's why, when at my work retreat over the weekend, I muttered that Skylar was going to win right after someone from my firm said we were going to play this silly game to win some prizes.

The prizes were good, by the way. There were some speakers on each table and the winner from each table got to keep those.

Then there were some grand prizes. An iPad. A Nintendo Switch. And a very nice, 4k, large. smart TV.

Obviously the last one on that list is the best prize. Right? We all understand that? Just in terms of sheer monetary value, that was the best prize.

The game started. It was meant to be a quick and mindless activity used as a slightly more creative way than a raffle to give these prizes away at a party.

I'm sure that the administrators at my firm thought this was akin to a raffle, anyway. Mostly because they have no idea that Skylar has a track record.

It surprised me, not at all, when Skylar quickly eliminated every opponent from our large table.

He advanced on to the finals with the 8 or so winners from the other tables.

I nodded as he walked to the front of the room, well aware that he was going to win the whole thing.

He sent several adversaries back to their seats.

I nodded at the confirmation of what I already knew would happen.

And then the president of my firm waved his hand at the prizes from which Skylar could choose, and he told him to pick one.

Remember how we are all completely aware that the TV was the most valuable prize? Remember how that was totally obvious?

I literally screamed "NO" as Skylar quickly picked up the Nintendo Switch, a smile on his face, like he was a ten-year-old boy at Disneyland.

People gasped.

He walked back to the table, with a bounce in his step.

Hyper RPS proficiency is wasted on that man.

On some mountain at my work retreat. 

~It Just Gets Stranger