By Emily Oliver
It was the highest stakes game of rock-paper-scissors ever played. People asked for years to come why Wallace would ever bet so much on random chance, but the truth was, he really thought he was going to win. Besides, that was how he and his brother settled everything.
“I win, you take out the trash” or “You lose you have to let me borrow your car.”
So when the time came to settle a real conflict, Wallace defaulted to what he had always known. And Jeremy always chose rock.
It’s easy to say that Wallace should have known better than to wager his entire career on a children’s game. It’s also easy to say that Jeremy shouldn’t have let things escalate to the point that Wallace was waging his whole career.
If Wallace hadn’t gotten upset about that stupid marketing campaign, none of this would have happened. But Jeremy was the one so stubborn he refused to give even an inch and they were supposed to be partners, after all.
So the proposal was made: “Winner take all.” All of the business, that is. No more brothers and co-owners of the most successful software company for graphic design in the US. Now just brothers, one of which happens to own an incredibly lucrative enterprise.
That’s how it came to this point: two grown men, eyes locked, fists clenched, yelling “Rock. Paper. Scissors.” with all of their might as though they could intimidate the other into choosing wrong.
Wallace, confident in his years-long winning streak, threw out paper.
But this time, Jeremy didn’t choose rock.
They looked at each other, stunned for a moment, then Jeremy started laughing and Wallace joined in.
“A tie,” Jeremy said, holding up his hand to indicate that he, too, had chosen paper.
“Best of three?” Wallace proposed, but his heart wasn’t in it.
Jeremy shook his head. “I think it’s best,” he said, “that we just take what fate has given us and keep running the business together.”
They settled it with a good-natured handshake.
It was the highest stakes game of rock-paper-scissors ever played, but that hardly matters when no one lost.