Friday, September 16, 2005

Have You Seen My Caligula Chess Set?

Okay, I don't actually have a Caligula chess set. But as sponsor of the Chess Club at the Catholic School where I am employed as Librarian Overlord, I've noticed an increase in the number of chess sets that eschew the traditional pieces in favor of some homage to popular culture. A Lord of the Rings chess set, a Scooby Do chess set, a Harry Potter chess set (of course!), and a Star Wars chess set (is there anything George Lucas won't market?) are among these bastard chess sets.

At one level this is to be expected; it hardly ranks as the most egregious intrusion of pop culture into the educational environment. But here's my complaint: I can't figure out which piece is which!

Trolls, wizards, and light-sabre wielding bishops make my head hurt. I told them: no freakish chess sets during a tournament. "But Mr. Pennyfeather, it gives me an advantage." So would spiking your opponent's water bottle, but we're not going down that road.

This morning I was watching two students battle on the Lord of the Rings chess set. At one point one student said to the other: "I forget, which one of these pieces can go back in time?"

I don't even want to know what that's about.


At 12:40 PM, Blogger Akaky said...

Could be worse...New York Yankees and New York Mets chess sets. How do you decide who is black and white, and does it count if it's an away game?


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