Don’t steal the show

2008, November 24

In my younger days I used to spend my spare time in a chess club, a mixed place where you could find retired people playing regular chess, noisy students playing quick games, and one pro, very aware of his best-player-around status, who was never playing with us except for a stake. For my birthday though, he came to me, had one piece of the pie and announced that as a gift he would offer me two five-minute games against him. He took it easy, too easy maybe and I won the second one. Cheers, applauses around. The chess master hurried to announce that he was willing to offer me three more games, that he played at full strength and duly won, making the overall result 4-1, much more presentable.

Two weeks ago at the Monday tango class there was another birthday, not mine, one of the girls had turned 25. The teacher announced that all the guys would share a vals with her. There were only five of us, so one vals was enough. He began of course, and after dancing for half a minute he brought the girl to another guy, and so on. I was the fourth. When I finished there were some applauses. Then the girl danced with the fifth leader and when it was over we pupils began to move closer to the table where the birthday cake was waiting. But the teacher announced that another vals was necessary because everybody had enjoyed it so much. He danced most of it, turned the birthday dance into a little performance. And we applauded him.