Monday, August 17, 2015

The Unworthy Opponent

Let's admit that there's just not that much to do during lazy summer weekends on this side of the Big Puddle. Though the proud little town lays claims to the exalted title of a city, there's really not much on offer when it comes to family fun and social recreation - which is how we all fell into the board gaming hobby by default. Ever since that fateful moment when our gaming fellowship came together, it has been a wild non-stop board game adventure one after the next.

Which is how I like it. For me, playing games is more about the friendly camaraderie than it is about cut-throat victories - hence my long avowed love for convivial cooperative games rather than the cruel, conniving double-crossing bloodbaths much beloved by the likes of Diffident Dan and Mad Madison.

Since he has returned, Charming Calvin has yet to make up his mind on this curious new hobby of ours. Apparently our seemingly antisocial fellow isn't much into cards and board games but we all managed to talk him into trying out a game or two.

Paul : So what did you think?
Calvin : It's an okay game. 
Paul : You like it then?
Calvin : I'm not a natural player. 
Paul : Natural player? 
Calvin : Yeah, I need time to absorb the intricacies of the game, to appreciate the strategies needed to win, to analyze the entire concept. 
Paul : It's a simple card game. It's not all about the winning.
Calvin : But I have to know all that. If not, I would be an unworthy opponent.
Paul : Unworthy?
Calvin : Yes, I might not be worthy of your time and skill as a player. 
Paul : WTF.

Talk about a mind-blowing epiphany since that particularly sage comment certainly explains much about Charming Calvin! And Diffident Dan! Could this be another peculiarly inexplicable foible to differentiate us from our more serious-minded Chinese-educated comrades?

Master : All these unworthy opponents dare to even show their face on the same street?!

Truly. Despite his whimpering claims otherwise, Diffident Dan also takes games quite intensely - almost as if his life might depend on the precarious outcome. At least now we know the real reason behind his befuddling stratagems. Not from a crazed single-minded desire to win but a desperate need to thoroughly redeem themselves in the eyes of their disgruntled companions!

Paul : You mean if you lose, we will all yell  Dishonour on You! Dishonour on Your Family! Dishonour on Your Cow!
Calvin : Yes. Much dishonour. 
Paul : No one does that. Well maybe Sober Sam. But it's just a game. 
Calvin : It's not just a game.  

They simply cannot be seen as an unworthy opponent! The shame! The humiliation! The dishonour!

Master : You were utterly useless during that game. Unworthy of my time and skill, almost an insult to me. Go home before I cut you. 

Like really. Does anyone talk like that in real life? 

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