Wednesday, August 1, 2007

No Coin to Toss

Back when we needed to decide who-gets-what, we didn't need a judge. We didn't have to rush back into the house to get a coin. There was no need to draw lots. We just settled it on the spot with hand signals (again). I mean, symbols.

Open hand = Water -- wins over stone because stone sinks, loses to cup because cup can scoop the water

Cupped hand = Cup (porcelain) --wins over water but loses to stone because the stone can break it

Fist = Stone -- wins over cup but loses to water.

We kept our hands behind our backs and say in unison, "one - two, som!" We probably had some English influence there. Kids down south said, "or - pek, som!" ('or - pek' = black - white). The idea is to show your hands at the same time. It was a one to one battle. The winner took on the next kid, the loser dropped out.

It was our version of 'paper - scissors - stone'.

Simple times, simple solutions.

And the days seemed longer.

Now that we have reduced the size of the world, dreamed up complicated formulae and invented problem-solving methods and data-processing systems, but we're having trouble finding solutions to some of the simplest problems.

And we find that each day seems to slip by us without our realizing it's gone.

And we wonder


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