5/20: Attended the 2009 Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championships
5/21: Slept through my last class of the semester
5/21: Received confirmation on my summer internship! 40 hours/week, $10/hour, NYC, woo!
5/22: Perth is battered by cyclone-force winds, and it rains for the first time in two months
Once a year, Australians all over Australia put aside their differences to compete in the most epic challenge of wit, mental fortitude, and wrist strength that the civilized world has seen since the savage Incan-style basketball where the losing team was sacrificed to some kind of jaguar/spaceship god. I'm speaking, of course, of the Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championship. Imagine my delight when I heard that several rounds of semifinal heats were to be held right here in Perth! I was ecstatic for the opportunity to spectate, but was almost overwhelmed with excitement when I discovered that I would actually have a chance to participate. Upon our arrival, we learned that the arena was housed in the upstairs room of a rather nice bar, where two referees were begging people to sign up for the 32 slot bracket of competition. We obliged, giddy with anticipation for the brutal gameplay soon to come. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a lone figure casting an ominous shadow on the dark wooden panels of the bar area. The fire in his eyes reflected the grim red top of his stained shirt. I saw greatness in those eyes, and an eternal sorrow. I later came to know this man as "The Machine."
Unfortunately, my hopes were crushed, like a tender grape beneath a calloused brontosaurus foot, in the first round of competition. My aspirations of fame as the lethal "Paperkut Kev" were short-lived. Oh, what could have been.
One by one, my friends were eliminated from the competition, until only one remained. Charlotte, aka "Spitfire," rose through the bracket, laying waste to unsuspecting competitors with her small but formidable hands. In similar fashion, "The Machine" ruthlessly flattened his opponents, like a triceratops tromping on plums, leaving dreams and wrists ruined for years to come. In what can only be described as "apocalypse/crash of rhinos/epic," these two titans found themselves facing each other in the final round.
Spitfire vs. The Machine. Could the earth survive such a clash? Or would the collision of two such forces cause a cataclysm unlike the world has ever seen? As it turns out, it would. As they approached the stage, the crowd watched in wordless, unspeakably tense anticipation. The Machine throws a rock. Spitfire counters, cool, with paper. Visibly shaken at this bold opening move from the rookie, The Machine weighs his options. He doesn't have enough time. The referee signals. Spitfire's rock crushes his hastily produced scissors like a stegosaurus would pound an avocado. In the pandemonium that followed, rule #2 was brought out, stating that all contestants must be Australian citizens, which didn't really bother Charlotte because she was going to be in New Zealand during the next round of the competition. She went home with a gift pack, and The Machine would represent Western Australia in the finals.
And so The Machine, with that unquenchable thirst for victory in his burning eyes, rubbed his balding head and disappeared back into the mists of legend from whence he came, now sporting an official "Rock Paper Scissors Australia and NZ Championships" wristband. One day he will have his revenge.
Afterwards, we celebrated. Hard. How often do you compete in the National Australian Rock Paper Scissors Championship, and how often do you get to wear matching Rock Paper Scissors wristbands into the clubs? Not often, my friends. Not often.