fatman Find the clues!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Chess Games That Lead To Knife Fights

train to Irkutsk

You know your days may be numbered when your silent cabin mate suddenly decides to pull out a knife and stares at it intently. Chris, Nik and I glance at each other nervously. The blade would have been about 7-inches long. This was not the kind of tool you'd use to cut out coupons from magazines. It was the sort of weapon you'd use to gut elk with. He inspected his blade slowly, wordlessly for hours on end. No one made a sound all night.

The next day our Russian cabin mate came down and barked something at us in his native tongue. We threw our wallets on the table. 'Just take the money pal,' I say as calmly as possible, 'And if anyone comes after you we'll remember nothing about this little exchange.'
He pulls out a plastic bag from his belongings.
'It's probably the heads of his victims,' I explain to my companions.
'I'm too pretty to die!' yells Nik.
The Russian guy looks puzzled at our reactions. He reaches into the bag and....

...pulls out some tomatoes and cucumbers. Ah. It seems he was just trying to be friendly. Offering us breakfast out of the goodness of his...
'He's pulled out his knife!'
The stranger looks at us blankly and cuts some bread.
'?' replies the Stranger.
'Knife bad. Scares the shit out of foreigners,' I try to say.
He smiles. 'Is good knife yes? Belong to father.'

The Knife Man turns out to be a guy named Sasha. After a few more hours of silence he gets off at a station and comes back with a newly bought chess set. 'Play yes?' he asks in a friendly manner. Just for the record, although I have the dazed expression of someone who has been run over by a truck, I can play chess fairly well. I point to Nik. 'He play you. He good.' No need to risk having a 7-inch blade jabbed into MY gut.


Blogger Yawn said...

I had a comment but my wife is buzzing around my goddam ear like a gnat and I can't think.

7:13 am  
Anonymous Rello de la Sage said...

You're all too pretty to die, so watch out for those Alliance agents... um, I mean maniacal knife-wielding thugs. I doubt Reavers can play chess though. You may be at more risk of getting scurvy- I hope you're all eating your tomatoes and cucumbers!

I've been enjoying reading your updates, Fatman. Chris made me do it! Well, not really. Tell him I said :P

8:15 am  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Heard anything about Karl Bushby while you were there? Walking might well be the safest method of travel in Russia

7:53 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Yawn- It's the thought that counts. I never read what people post in the Comments bit anyway.

Rello de La Sage- You'd be surprised at the chess playing abilities of some of dem Reavers. To most they are a murderous sub-species of homo sapiens who spend most of their time killing, raping, pillaging, etc. but some have taken up chess as a hobby. For instance take "Rampaging" Rrargrghh Reaver who sent the chess world abuzz with his 'Grnfarfgl gambit' in which the chess player halts his opponent's attack of the Queen by strangling them with their own (the opponent in question's) intestines. Another famous chess player was Skragrrl Reaver who not only managed to beat Kasparov in seven (7!) moves, he force fed Kasparov two Knights, eight pawns and the eyeballs of one spectator.

Gorilla Bananas- Don't even joke about Karl Bushby GB. Money is getting pretty tight and my travelling companions and I may have to walk to Latvia unless we win the lottery in the next three days.

11:05 pm  

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