I win at life. Isn't that what good chess players do? We win. It is simple. We visualize what we want and then we make moves and countermoves accordingly. So, why do I get knocked out every time I go to the supermarket? My first supermarket knockout came in 1998...
The attack on my money was lightweight compared to the brutality of the beating on my mind and body. You know what I'm talking about, the powerful knockout punch of the supermarket. It was a summer afternoon in 1998. The cherries were $1.70 a pound, watermelon was .32 cent a pound and seedless grapes top my 3-item grocery list at .59 cents. With each bite of the fruit, I started to feel my waistline go from a 42 to a 38 and my no abs stomach transform into an 8 pack. The excitement of me fitting back into my favorite pair of Tommy Hilfiger Jeans and my crop top (maybe stretching it a little) had me standing in the middle of produce singing my own version of "Say My Name":
Fruit lookin kinda good
Waistline callin me baby
Why you lookin now
Say my name, Say my name
Destiny Child would have been so proud.
Then the first jab came, it was quick, effective and saliva wet and it landed in the form of a pound cake. The ice cream hook followed lifting me slightly off the ground. Finally, the milk chocolate sensation melting in my mouth provided the all-powerful uppercut that knocked me into the checkout aisle. Battered and bruised, I limped to my car. The salty metallic taste in my mouth was making me nauseous. I needed water. Just thinking about that heavyweight Sonny Liston beating I just took, this metallic taste is rather refreshing. I will just wait for some water. But how long will I have to wait? I was seeing double out of my right eye and my left eye was half closed. I had to sit and wait until the car in front of me moved. So, I can easily pull out.
My ego was shattered and my confidence was at an all time low, but I was determined to checkmate this brick and mortar opponent next time. With the sound of the ocean ringing in my ears and Jimi Hendrix pounding away in my head, I was determined to turn this failure into a success. Even if that success came the next time I visited the market. Closing my one eye and gently resting my head against my headrest, I replayed my beat down. I entered the ring (doors of the supermarket) and playfully sang and danced around the produce section. Unaware that my exit routes from the produce section were being covered by sweets, calories and carb filled items.
My first mistake was forgetting to step and drag. Any good fighter knows that footwork is vital to any win. Failure to step with my right foot and drag my left, I walked right into a PCJ (Pound Cake Jab). The PCJ was enough to cause a distraction from my original goal of buying fruit to checkmate my increasing waistline. Wobbling backwards, I tried to pivot to better position myself, but I took an I.C. Hook (Ice Cream Hook) to the left of my face. I realized my Oscar De La Hoya body frame was outmatched. The best I could do now was to force a draw. Using my shopping cart, i pulled myself together. If my fruit and I could just make it to my car, then both Sonny and I would have accomplished our individual goals for the day. He would have accomplished a sugary beat down and I would have accomplished my preliminary results of a waistline of 38.
Dazed and confused and with limited eyesight, I made it to checkout. Before I could get my items out the shopping cart, the chocolate uppercut took me out. The family size plain chocolates were 2 for a $1. I was down. I was out. I was checkmated. I left the store with my pound cake and ice cream. What happened to my fruit? Physically, I was outmatched. I was a welterweight going against a heavyweight. Despite the physicality of my opponent, I should have never turned my body into a canvas soaked in black and blue. However, mentally, I was his equal. As a chess player, I should have been able to stay a safe distance from his outstretched arms. My chess tactic training should have told me that he was keeping a distance of 3 steps away constantly moving on an angle. By planting his feet in the middle of the produce section, he controlled all exists to and from the fruit. I had been forked by the most cunning craftiest of them all, the KNIGHT. The PCJ had paralyzed my feet and set up the count down to the smothered mate. By all means, my chess tactics training failed me at the supermarket.