It seems fitting that, in an extraordinary week of Australian politics, Fam Fibro has taken up Chess. I went to Aldi to buy nappies and muesli bars last week and came home with a kids’ Chess set (could have been worse, they had an enticing array of fetching women’s cycling shorts).
The Builder and I have been meaning to learn to play Chess for several years. We went so far as to buy a book about it but got so confused by the first ten pages that we gave up. The children’s version is about our level.
Mr6 is hooked. He loves the plotting and the strategising and we have endless conversations about whether the kings on the Chess board would have had swords. He has taken to dressing up as a Chess piece and has developed an interest in medieval warfare. I can be grateful that when he swings a pretend sword around it doesn’t make the same ‘zzzhzzz, zzzzhzzzz’ noise that a lightsaber makes. Small comfort.
This morning, before the actual leadership spill took place, I tried to explain to him that Kevin Rudd, whom he knew was Prime Minister, was in a bit of trouble. That a smart lady named Julia Gillard might take over and become the new Prime Minister. He looked at me, wide-eyed and nodded. Then tried to skewer me with his sword.
I’m going to try again tomorrow, over a game of Chess. If I explain that the King (Rudd) has been ousted by an all-powerful Queen (Gillard), supported by the pawns, rooks, and bishops of his own army (no white knights in sight), he might get it.
I know that he will try to tell me that the Queen cannot take out her own King. Which is when I’ll explain that politics is a dirty game and the rules change by the minute.
I will tell him to keep practising his Chess. It might come in handy one day.