“Jenn, could you be a dear and clean up the living room now? I have some company coming over in a bit.”
“I did it last week – it’s your turn, Cass.”
“I’m pretty sure I did it last week.”
“Uh, no Cass, I did it last week.”
“Huh – I guess there’s only one way to settle this...”
Oh great, Jenn thought bitterly, she’s going to pull out he rock, paper and scissors again. As predicted, Cass came into the living room where Jenn sat watching the television carrying two rocks, two pieces of paper and two scissors and placed them on the small glass knee high coffee table in front of Jenn. Jenn scowled.
She and Cass had been room-mates for just over six months. Jenn had been looking for room and board closer to her job when she spotted the ad that Cass had placed on-line for her three bedroom bungalow. Jenn had fallen for the bungalow from the moment she stepped into it for the viewing, and Cass’s spiel of everything being included, save for food, was what Jenn had been looking for. Cass mentioned that she had one stipulation: that the room-mate had to be willing to share in the house keeping chores. Jenn, who by nature was quite strict about cleanliness of body and abode, readily agreed and the deal was sealed.
The first month went by smoothly; both women taking their weekly turns at the chores but after than, Cass’s participation in the house cleaning seemed to lessen. Jenn felt that she was carrying far more of the cleaning load than what was fair and on the third month, decided to talk to Cass about her remissness on those chores.
The two women talked, Cass dismissing Jenn’s concerns, stating that she did do her fair share. Jenn suggested that to easy the miscommunication that they should put up a chart with all the chores on it. When one did a particular chore, it would be struck out, leaving no doubt whether or not it had been done. Cass told Jenn that she did not feel comfortable with that, stating that they were both grown women and did not a childish reminder for what needed to be done. Cass suggested that in the future when the two of them were at odds on whose turn it was for chores, they should solve it like ladies – with rock, paper, scissors.
The first couple of times the new system of settling disputes was employed, Jenn took it with good humour though she lost every time in hopes that by appeasing Cass it would lead to a more mature settlement system. Cass, on the other hand, saw the rock paper scissors as a successful problem resolution system and took to evolving it from its simple hand symbol form. Cass’s first improvement came with the introduction of the five second timer, followed by flash cards (a set for both so there could be no ‘tells’ by the movement of the arm) to what she had now. Two smooth oval stones with a painted “J” on one, a “C” on the other, two sets of sewing scissors with the accompanying initials and two pieces of glossy paper, each with a picture of the players face on it, and two blindfolds.
Cass sat crosslegged across from Jenn with the coffee table between the two room-mates. She smiled and asked Jenn if she was ready. Cass was a little miffed when she thought she had Jenn sigh before nodding, but she quickly discounted it as anticipation of the roomies 67th straight loss. She handed Jenn her black and purple blindfold as she unfolded her pink blindfold with her other hand.
“Ready?” Cass asked giddily as she put the blindfold on and adjusted it with one hand while the other rested atop the timer. She was excited – this was the premiere of the evolution of rock paper scissors – she would hit the timer which at the end of five seconds would go off and the women would put their hands on their choice, pulling it up as they removed their blindfolds.
Jenn said yes and when she heard the timer start she felt for her chosen object, the rock. The timer went off. Jenn picked up the rock quickly and pulled off the blindfold shouting, “Ro....oops”
Jenn’s grip on the rock had not been as firm as she thought – the rock flew from her fingertips and into directly into the a second ago blindfolded left eye of Cass.
“OWWWW,” Cass screamed, her hand automatically reaching to cover her wound. The only slight bump in Cass’s intent was that she had forgotten that in that particular hand was her choice: the pair of scissors. Cass screamed louder as the scissor blades skewered her eye ball between the scissor’s hilt and the back of her eye socket.
“Ohmygodohmygodohmygod,” Jenn screamed, reaching over to help her thrashing room-mate, accidentally knocking the glass top of the coffee table off the wooden legs and directly into Cass’s abdomen. Cass’s elbows moved violently, shattering the glass and sending its razor edges deep into Cass’s calves, stomach, breasts and one long piece through the soft bottom of Cass’s mouth while the little timer embedded itself in the back of Cass’s throat, cutting off her air passage.
Blood erupted from the various gashes in Cass’s body, turning the shaggy tan carpet around her to crimson. Jenn, still attempting to help her room-mate, quickly became saturated with the red bodily fluid which hampered her attempts to get a grip – which was not helped by Cass’s insistence on fidgeting about instead of sitting still. Jenn tapped her fingers impatiently on her folded forearms until Cass concluded her violent convulsing and collapsed onto the carpet. Jenn looked at the still body of her room-mate.
“She chose scissors,” Jenn said quietly, “I would have beat her with my rock. I would have won.”
Jenn reached down, pulling the scissors from Cass’s eye socket and carried it to the kitchen sink with one hand cupped underneath so that there droplets of blood would not blot the carpet any further. Jenn looked at Cass’s still body and frowned.
“I just can’t get a lucky break, can I? Gawd, I’m such a loser,” she said to herself as she walked over to the pantry and began pulling out the cleaning supplies....