Playing Checkers

checkers

When we were teenagers, we played checkers when the weather was bad. Since our winters were usually quite brutal, we played all the time. Slowly I improved my play, especially when I started to study books on the subject. I even attempted to play blindfolded but found it much too difficult.

My friend George, who was the only one who could beat me, announced to the rest of the guys that I was taking on all challengers for the sum of $5. I would be blindfolded and my opponent would have the advantage of being blindfold free. George would call out the numbers on the board as each player moved. There would be a two minute time limit to make a move. The young owner of the candy store eagerly accepted the challenge and put up his $5. I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen until George whispered that he’d kick me under the table according to the number of the move. If the move was 3 to 9 he’d kick me three times, hesitate and then kick me 9 times. If I miscounted I had to kick him back and then he’d repeat it. Simple enough but I thought George was outrageous.

After a few minutes of playing I lost track of what was happening. I knew I was doing well though because a large crowd had formed and were applauding after every move I made. This was all taking place in a candy store which was our local hangout.

Although George could win easily if he wanted to, he was prolonging the game to make it look good. He announced that I was winning, three kings to my opponents two kings.

George was jockeying for position and going for the kill. My shin was black and blue as the action was taking place on the other end of the board where the numbers were high.

George must have kicked me a thousand times already and I was getting very tired of it. Suddenly the game stops. I hear a clunk and George falls to the floor. I’m waiting for the next kick and it’s not coming. George is writhing on the floor with a severe cramp in his leg and I’m sitting there pretending that I’m pondering my next move. No one is paying any attention to George, as all eyes are riveted on me because my two minutes are almost up.

George crawls closer and continues the count with his fist banging on my shoe; his leg is out of commission. Between moans, George starts laughing and this affects me and I begin laughing. Pretty soon the entire assemblage is roaring with laughter. I think my opponent was the last one in the room to see the light. I rip off the blindfold to see George get to his feet and start to run with my opponent in hot pursuit. As far as I know George made a clean escape. Anyway, we gave the store owner back his $5 and all was peaceful again on the corner of 13th and Karlov.

(photo courtesy of Mikhail Kokhanchikov/Freedigitalphotos.net)

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, “What do I need that for?” But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, “Jerry’s Corner.”

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written … enjoy!

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, “What do I need that for?” But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, “Jerry’s Corner.”

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written … enjoy!

Smiles For All