23 August 2007

Cows and Chess

What’s a road trip without counting cows? A heck of a lot more fun. Even though I enjoy the inconsequential banter over herd estimates, it’s nice to take a nap without missing anything more than a Colorado license plate.

But it’s not like we didn’t see any cows. The first herd we saw had formed a line. A cow queue! And then there was one that was black on the front and back thirds, and had a big white stripe around the middle. And then, when I was waking up from a nap and didn’t have my glasses on, according to my dad, there was a llama.

We were planning on going to a minor league baseball game in South Bend, IL. The South Bend Silverhawks vs. the (I’m not joking) Lansing Lugnuts. Due to a ridiculous amount of rain and the fact that we tooled around Madison for half an hour looking for a grocery store, we got behind schedule and ate dinner at Cracker Barrel instead.

Of the many interesting conversations of the day, perhaps the best was about chess. We got to the subject of chess from me talking about working at the Dome (one of the women I met teaches chess) and the Civil War came into the picture when my brother was listing off Ken Burns films. My dad remembered this Civil War chess set that used to show up in magazine ads all the time. This comedian, Tim Cavanagh, used to do a bit about how to win at Civil War chess. Step one: Be the North. This got me thinking.

So, I would guess population wise, the North was whiter than the South, so the black must be the South. Technically, what with Fort Sumter and all, black (not white) moves first. It’d be a little out of order, but the South should get sick of the North and try to quit the game at some point. And then, the North should threaten to free the South’s pawns, which they do, and some of them start helping out the white pieces. When the game's over and black has lost, some of the black bishops and rooks act like they've won and fly their little flags over their elementary schools. The white pieces look on these individuals with great disdain.

I feel like this could be fleshed out. If I was better at chess, I would be really cool and make up an annotated game log.

Oh, and we stopped at a few rest stops, which brought some awesome graffiti to my attention. Thanks to this guy for the photo.


Anonymous said...

Deelightful blog. You captured the essence of being in the car for a long time with...well, your dad.
Did you run across any of those hand dryers that are so strong that they make your skin ripple and cling to your bones? You'll know one when you experience it. Everyone who uses one of these super-sonic G force blowers comes out of the restroom looking at their hands...

bdraeger said...

Wow. I have never had such intense hand-drying experiences as you describe. Of course, maybe those machines actually dry people's hands. That would be cool.