Boredom: We've all been there. From "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" to "The License Plate Game," people have sought out ways to pass the monotony when life slows down. Little did we realize that these pointless time wasters were, for some, the subject of a years-long pursuit of excellence. Which is why people started organizing things like ...
5Rock Paper Scissors World Championships
Rock Paper Scissors was something we all did as kids to decide everything from who got the last cookie to who had to sit next to the creepy old person when there were no more seats at the movies. Who knew that if you practiced enough, you could make it to the big leagues? Or that there even was such a thing?
Thank God that guy has a helmet.
Sure, you can't quit your day job to do this, but you can make 10 grand. That's thanks to the World RPS Society (which, to everyone's surprise, actually exists) and a sponsorship from Yahoo!, who turned this timeless and pointless alternative to coin-flipping into a major world competition with a $10,000 prize for the winner.
Well, this totally explains how Yahoo! stays relevant.
That picture is of 2008 winner Monica Martinez, who outlasted over 700 other competitors over the course of nearly 24 straight hours. Even as the competition kept stiffening and people began losing stamina (and, presumably, their sanity), Monica kept winning. By the end, she'd built up a following in the (surprisingly enthusiastic for 2 a.m.) crowd like Rocky at the end of Rocky IV, the crowd embracing the madness and cheering her on as she went into her final match. Which, despite her opponent's goofy hat, was pretty intense. Watch the clip of her final showdown, and you tell us how serious things were:
While Martinez claims she entered mostly for the hell of it, there is very much a science to the whole thing -- there are people who do legitimate studies on Rock Paper Scissors, and the World RPS Society has actually published a book on how to beat anyone at the game. And out of the kindness of the authors' hearts, they have published some free sample techniques on their website on how to psychologically read your opponent, such as "Rock is for rookies" and "When all else fails, go with paper." Both of which only work if your opponent hasn't also read those tips, in which case you'll both wind up endlessly throwing out paper for round after round, for days, until one of you collapses from exhaustion or suddenly grasps the inherent meaninglessness of human life.
That guy on the right just got it.