Chess Games That Lead To Knife Fights
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.
'WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?"
'?' 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.