The New Art of War

It was 9 PM when Toria came into the lobby. The girls had assembled to discuss our evening plans. ‘Hi girls,’ Toria greeted us. ‘You know, the boys are downstairs in the pool. In the jacuzzi, in fact. It looks very funny.’

‘Really?’ I laughed. ‘Anyone got a camera? We should take a photo.’

Toria handed me her compact camera and we trooped downstairs to ogle.

We found Ian C, Abdel, Chris, Eskandar, Yap, Owen and Joe in a ring at the perimeter of the round spa. Duane was smack bang in the middle, like the hub of the strange bubbling wheel of engineering man-flesh.

I giggled like a schoolgirl and snapped two photos.

While Toria and I were loitering at the door to pool, Kiki rushed in.

‘D5 to E7,’ she called.

Duane rose a little out of the spa. He considered her announcement briefly, then said, ‘H8 to E8.’

‘H8 to E8,’ Kiki repeated. She rushed back out. Toria and I followed her as she mumbled ‘H8 to E8’ all the way to the bar, where Arun and Markus were waiting in front of the chess board.

‘H8 to E8,’ Kiki told them.

‘Ah! Told you he’d do that!’ Arun exclaimed, as he shifted the piece.

‘Tell Duane F4 to G5,’ Markus said to Kiki.

She was about to run off when Arun said, ‘Hold on! Let’s think about this…’

I shook my head in amazement. I knew Duane was the National Jamaican Chess Champion and had already crushed the best chess players in Cambridge, Oxford and London. But playing chess through Kiki-graph while lounging in a jacuzzi? That is truly boggling.


  1. joanium says:

    mr joel, I tried to think of a less graphic alternative to the term ‘man-flesh’, but came up with nothing.

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