I was buying groceries Friday night, as per usual. I like this time, as usually no one is there and I’m in and out. Today was much busier, and they had very few staff. In fact, there were only two checkout registers open, and one of them was the express lane. I had a small cart, maybe 15 items, just over the 12 limit. I waited patiently in the regular line, behind three very full carts, when the lady at the express counter waived me over. Cool, thanks lady.
Literally the second I begin unpacking my cart, a very large man appears behind me … with three items. He didn’t look impressed.
The cashier told me to come here! Honest!
As it turned out, the guy simply had a permanent scowl. He was actually really nice and wished me a good weekend. For a moment, I thought I’d have a repeat of an experience several years ago, where I nearly got into a fight for this exact same reason. Continue reading →
If you are a non-chess player, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. People spend hours staring at a board, intermittently moving around small wooden pieces. There’s little talking, little movement, just a lot of staring and thinking … and smoking. For some reason, a lot of chess players smoke their brains out. My grandfather, the man who taught me chess, seemingly could not play without a cigarette between his fingers. It also made him look rather formidable, what with the constant stream of smoke blowing from his nose.
The legendary Mikhail Tal also smoked non-stop.
If you’ve never played chess, everything I’m about to say will seem strange. Nonetheless, I will try to illustrate the magic of chess, of how it ensnares an unfortunately few and refuses to let them go. Many people play chess, often just as a fun pasttime, but a select few become well and truly obsessed. Continue reading →