A couple of weeks ago I participated in an event. It was an event of great magnitude. An event that consisted of many rocks, paper, and scissors. Yes, you guessed it. The Rock, Paper, Scissors Western Regional Tournament.
Allow me to back track.
I arrived into Berkeley on Friday evening after rampaging the city of San Francisco with Matt Harris looking for the ultimate costume for the tournament. After Matt shelled out 36 bucks for a vintage jumpsuit from Saks Fifth Avenue, we continued looking for an outfit for me that would intimidate my opponents. After trying on many jumpsuits and lowering my ego to negative 4, I decided to save some money and go with Matt’s Scooby Doo costume he had packed away at home. (IMPORTANT INFO FOR ALL WOMEN: jumpsuits with large palazzo pant legs should never be worn or tried on at any point in your life for the sake of your sanity and self esteem).
That night, after making t-shirts and performing some finger exercises in preparation for Saturday’s event, we went to sleep with rocks, paper, and scissors on the mind. When the alarm went off at 6:45am the next morning I jumped out of the bed and went into the next room to wake up Matt. As soon as I walked into the room he sat up in the bed and smiled. He said he felt like it was Christmas morning. I know, we are sick.
Matt and I packed the Scooby Doo outfit, wigs, headbands, homemade t-shirts, Sax 5th Jumpsuit, and some tiny white shorts into a big laundry bag. These pieces (our flair) were all perfect ingredients to add to the recipe for a little wine tasting in Sonoma. It was going to be a great day. We hopped in the SAAB and were on the road by 7:15am in pursuit of the $1700 purse at the RPS Western Regional Championships at the Roshambo Winery.
We arrived at Tom’s house in the woods as Nick was making some breakfast and the Siamese Twins, Maggie and Trevor, were lying in the blow up bed on the ground. Nerves were high as we started strategizing what we’d throw first. Rock…Paper…or would it be Scissors? Would we throw the Bureaucrat – Paper, Paper, Paper? Or go all out and throw the Avalanche: Rock, Rock, Rock? Ahhh – the possibilities. The more we thought about it, the more nervous we got so we decided to get the costumes out and start getting ready.
The clock was approaching high noon, so we filed into the cars and headed to the Roshambo Winery. As we swerved through the woods of Sonoma, Tom studied up on the game of RPS. This picture taken of Tom is the quintessential secret life moment. Here is a 59-year-old, owner of a Biotech Company in San Francisco, in a car with Scooby Doo, studying the RPS Strategy Guide on the way to participate in the RPS Western Regional Tournament. An unbelievable example of why I love life.
As we pulled into the winery our palms started getting clammy. (And it wasn’t from the full on fur costume I had on in 100-degree heat). As we waited in line for our tickets we eyed the competition. Who were all of these people? What was their story? Were they any good at RPS? Were any of them Pros?
About an hour later the festivities began. So much happened it’s hard to really explain so I have decided to just highlight some key moments.
Moment #1: When a little 5 year old girl named Savannah beat a 250 pound tattooed muscle man to kick him out of the first round.
He threw rock.
She threw Paper.
She kicked the shit out of him.
Moment #2: After much studying, Tom’s big debut.
Scissors cuts paper!
Tom ended up not making it into Round 2, which was tough on all of us, but he was a good sport. Here he is with Nick, Trevor and Maggie after the upset. (See, he’s still smiling).
Moment #3: “The Interview.”
NBC 7 San Francisco was there and conducted an interview with Matt in his Sax 5th Avenue jumpsuit and me in the Scooby Costume for about 20 minutes. We talked about Ardy the good luck charm (“Rubba duck for luck”) and talked about Douglas and Graham Walker’s strategy book like it was a gift from God. A classic moment. Looking right into the camera and saying, “This book changed our lives.”
Gavin had no idea what he had gotten himself into by asking to interview us. After coming to grips with our comments on how RPS changed our lives, Gavin turned to Matt and asked him why he thought the game of RPS is such a widely recognized game. A simple question right? Followed by a simple answer? NOPE! Matt took a deep breath (like they do on Larry King) and looked Gavin in the eye and said, “Gavin, the game of RPS transcends racial and socioeconomic lines, gender, ages…(He went on and on here). With the microphone pushed into Matt’s face, Gavin stared at him in awe. As Matt finally wrapped up his soliloquy, Gavin was at a complete loss for words. I think Gavin expected an answer more like, “Cause RPS is awesome!” But no…that was not the case whatsoever.
Below are some classic shots of the competition and some of the people who made it all that more intense.
We were all lucky that Tom Cruise took the chains off Katie Holmes for the day and allowed her to come observe the craziness. She called the event, “Intense, but nothing like the moment her “had me at hello” lover jumped on the couch on Oprah.”
Todd, with one healthy foot, competes against 9-year-old Michaela, Savannah’s sister. It was a big debate who was going to “take the kid in the ring” but Todd was quick to challenge Michaela. His quote: “I wanna play that little girl.” As he prepared for the match he took a deep breath, sized up Michaela who was getting a pep talk from her dad, and muttered, “I’ll beat that bitch.” As he predicted, Todd ended up beating Michaela. Her father’s reaction as he walked off with his 9 year-old daughter, “I can’t believe you were beat by a cripple!”
(Sidenote: Savannah and Michaela’s parents have been waking them up at 4am every morning before school to go down to the local warehouse to practice. You know how parents are starting to get with their kids sports…scary).
And another child vs. adult moment. Here is Scooby Doo beating Spiderman. The sad thing about this photo is that I had Scissors until the last second the shot was taken. I looked down at his Rock and quickly changed it to Paper so I would win. Needless to say the photographer lost respect for me after that picture. A 25-year-old intentionally beating a little 6-year-old child. Plain wrong.
So..The question on everyone’s mind. Who won the purse?
The guy on the left, sans Saks 5th Avenue jumpsuit, Ladd Lougee (aka: “READS MINDS”). He threw a hard core Paper and Rock to score the purse which he can now add to his collection of Prada’s and Louis Vuitton’s.
Congratulations, Ladd and best of luck in Toronto this October at the World RPS Finals.