Do you play chess?

This is a question one might hear on a first date. Or maybe when sitting in a library style cafe. In fact there many occasions that I can come up with when I think of it a little longer.

A first driving lesson isn’t one of them. Yet, this is exactly what my driving instructor asked me years ago. What a weird question, I thought. But since we had just met, there was no reason to be rude and so I answered: “I do know how to move the pieces but I am not very good. In fact I have been beaten without realising I was check mate.” At least that added a little bit of humour. Or so I thought.

The instructors face turned just a tiny bit paler. “Oh dear”, he said. Then:
“Good chess players make good drivers”.

Great! Seems I was a lost case before we even circled the parking lot!

“In chess one has to anticipate the opponents move, the more moves you can anticipate in advance the better a player you are. It’s the same on the road. Just better means safer”.

I wrote the guy off as a weirdo back then (forgive me, but I WAS a Teen) but it was one of those if not THE thing that has stuck with me over the years. And today as I was almost run over by a car that almost had an accident with another car in an intersection while I am standing on the sidewalk waiting for my green crossing light, I remembered it again.

One driver was on her cell phone trying to make a right turn while the other obviously had to pee urgently as she sped through a very dark orange light. I still don’t know how they didn’t collide, for I already heard the crash in my mind.

Seems that nowadays we not only don’t play chess, but we just can’t stick to doing just one thing anymore. And even if we did, driving would definitely not be one of those things!

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~ by spasmicallyperfect on November 14, 2007.

2 Responses to “Do you play chess?”

  1. There is a lot of justifiable road rage on the roads today. I recently read about the case in Irving, TX where a man was charged for watching porn on his DVD in his vehicle. At least he had eventually pulled over to finish watching it. I am sure that the conclusion of his movie viewing would not have been a safe thing while driving down the freeway.

    No, I agree, that’s riding down a slippery slope…… 😉

  2. Hi Spaz, that’s a very interesting story. Kind of a metaphor in some ways. I’m glad nothing happen to you… f** drivers. I was just watching “Bend it like Beckham” and while watching it, all I could do was think of you all along. That blonde chick reminded me of you and how much I missed you. Hope to see you soon and stay away from crazy drivers. Big hug

    P.

    Gawd, it’s the Keira Knightley thing again, I have been getting that one a lot. And unfortunately I can’t even blame it on the accent 😉 . Hm, I have a friend who always reminded me of Gwyneth Paltrow. Kind of funny that I too remind people of a movie star….. And yes, I am safe. See you soon. S.

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