Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Finding Common Ground

When friends get together, they often have the most idiotic discussions imaginable. In instances of male-bonding, the stupidity often reaches thermonuclear levels. Earlier today, perhaps working through the trauma it left on my mind, I recalled the amazing debate that occurred in the basement of a friend as we studied a war game's map (it spanned an entire ping pong table and a hex-grid superimposed on the map allowed us to plan our attacks using tiny cardboard squares called "chits".............I'm sorry, I'll get back to the story).

"What do you mean you don't believe in right and wrong?" asked Bob, his voice deepened with frustration.

Survivalist Brian, who also had the nickname "He-Who-Disturbs-the-Cosmic-Winds-While-Sailing-On-A-Sea-of-Minutia", shrugged. "I don't believe in right and wrong. It's all relative."

I should point out we all had nicknames in the basement. Brian's was based on his anal retentive nature as well as his tendency toward flatulence. Bob's nickname was "He-Who-Is-Cognizant-Of-All-Points-In-Space-and-Time-and-Yet-is-Master-of-None."

"What if I killed your family," said Bob.

"That would be your right."

"That's stupid."

"But then I would have the right to come back and kill you in return. You can't expect to do something and not have a consequence."

"And who gives us these rights?"

I could admit that this is the point where three people turned to me and screamed obscenities, but if I did you wouldn't have the true flavor of the basement. I was not usually allowed to move my own "chits". As they were very tiny and I am fairly clumsy, I usually ended up dropping them and scattering things about.

"No one gives us these rights," said Brian, returning to the discussion.

"Then how are they determined to be rights?"

"They just are."

"So they're an absolute?"

"There are no absolutes. Everything is relativistic."

He-Whose-Sexuality-Is-Often-Questioned-and-Yet-To-Be-Established-Beyond-a-Reasonable-Doubt spoke up. "If everything is relativistic, then there's no God."

"Oh there's God," Brian said. He was Irish Catholic.

"You can't have God in a relativistic worldview."

"You can if God Himself is relative."

Bob made a strangled sound and lunged across the table, upsetting the chits and scattering several mechanized divisions across Europe.

People turned and screamed obscenities at me out of force of habit.


Sullivan McPig said...

From the sound of it War Gamers everywhere are much the same.
Just out of curiosity: WWII or something more fantastical?
I myself have played Warhamer 40k in the past and still own many miniatures.

willow said...

That's a great last line.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know how I get an invitation! I could be Destroyer-Of-Worlds-With-Either-Her-Cunning-Strategy-Or-Spilled-Beverage.

Or do I have to be male to get an invite? Oh well.

stu said...

How is it that nicknames always end up being more trouble than real ones?

Kate S said...

Thanks for sharing. :) Great characterization, by the way.

Steve Buchheit said...

he he he he. Chits and miniatures everywhere.

And, you know, if God is everywhere, knows everything, sees everything, then he must be relativistic. It's a big universe after all.

Swampwitch said...

This will totally blow my cover as being "cultured," but what the heck ?
For some reason, I visualized that scene from "Two and a Half Men," when Charlie had his 'support group' over that was exclusive to burnt out tough guys that included Sean Penn, Elvis Costello, Dean Staton, et al...
smoking cigars and drinking scotch...
Oh well, so much for conquering the World !That's all I got !

Anne Spollen said...

I recently heard that women can multitask more easily than men because the female brain is more evolved than the male brain.

I didn't think it was true, but thank to this blog, I've just changed my mind.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Sully, It was WWII. Probably one of the Avalon Hill games. Ah, memories.

Willow..thanks. I wish I made this up.

Christine, during the summer I am going to run some kind of game, you will be invited. Be prepared for dysfunctional behavior.

Stu--some nicknames are worse than others. At least these weren't obscene.

Kate...really not characterization. Just a recounting of real life. Hard to imagine.

Steve..I've talked to God. It's not always a pleasant experience.

Swampwitch, you have a good picture of the group.

Anne, you give us too much credit.