The sun has set over a smoky battlefield in a strange land. Two legendary warriors enter this worthy arena for a battle of epic proportions. Neither combatant has known defeat, but both know that their greatest challenge is looking them in the eye. A crowd of hushed spectators looks on. No one knows exactly how this will end, but all know that they are about to witness a contest that will never come again.
The two warriors acknowledge each other with a nod and then circle cautiously. While both have won contests through words before, bravado and arrogance are reserved for lesser opponents. Only strength, cunning, and sheer willpower will win the day here. Each looks for a weakness in the other, knowing that none exist. There is only power on the field, and neither knows whose is greater. Perhaps, in another world, these two could be allies and dominate the world together. Here, however, they are on different sides, and both must do as they have sworn.
Suddenly, they come together with a sound like thunder. Both move too fast for the stunned spectators to even see. The battle of strength vs. strength goes back and forth. Neither combatant can gain an advantage over the other. The contest rages long into the night and becomes a war of attrition. Can one outlast the other, or will they both collapse with all of their blood and sweat spilled upon the ground?
Finally, the warriors break apart from their epic struggle. With the last of their strength, they respectfully bow to each other. They both know that they have met their equal, and there can be no winner today. Skills of this magnitude only come along once or twice in a thousand years, and it would be a shame for one of the warriors to perish. As the two legends shake hands and turn to leave, the crowd breaks into rapturous applause. They realize that they have seen history…
Pretty cool, right?
It just so happens that I was one of those combatants. The other was the brother of a good friend. The smoky battlefield was an Irish Pub, and the strange land was Eastern Kansas. The crowd consisted of my soon-to-be wife, our friend, the bartender, and a group of the other patrons.
The form of combat……thumb wrestling!
Still pretty cool, huh? Not so much, you say? Well…I tried.
Back in college, my wife and I met a friend and his brother for a night of fun at an Irish pub. As we were sitting there, we somehow started talking about thumb wrestling. I mentioned that I had never been defeated (this was probably true since I only remember doing it a couple times). Our friend’s brother mentioned the same, and the battle was joined. As you can probably imagine, my wife was incredibly proud of me at that moment, and I’m pretty sure that was the exact moment that she fell in love with me. By the end of the night, neither of us were victorious in this worthy endeavor. We were both just too good. That was an amazing night.
As the two warriors left the arena, they looked over their shoulders at the other. They both knew that this battle may need to be fought again in the future. It wouldn’t be today, however, and it wouldn’t be here. Both worthy opponents had given their all and deserved to leave the field as legends. They had both also consumed large amounts of Guinness and really needed to pee.