Checkmate this out

December 8, 2006


Every year I teach our 7th graders how to play chess, then around Christmas I send home an order form so that they can buy some nice chess stuff (by that I mean so that they can convince their parents to buy them some for Christmas (by that I mean that maybe their parents will throw some money my way to buy some chess stuff for school)).

We order from, and this year our order was over $500.00. They have great prices. This stuff would have cost well over $1000.00 anywhere else that I’ve found. At the bottom of the order form is a blurb asking them to consider giving a little bit to help buy some chess equipment for the school, and every year our parents are more generous than I expect. Last year, in addition to listing the price of a set ($6.90), I also said that chess clocks cost about $20.00 each. A parent sent in enough to buy three. This year I mentioned that a giant chess set costs $110.00 and a parent sent in $110.00.
You sank my battleship!
It takes up both of my tables, but they were mostly used for playing smaller games of chess anyway. Interestingly enough, about the same number of people participate. Instead of having 8 people playing 4 games of chess, there are 2 people and a host of spectators. I’m training up a bunch of geeks.
Yeah, I know, girls playing chess is pretty far fetched, but they take nicer pictures.
The king is a little over a foot tall. So, my question for you is: Where am I going to store these?

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About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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13 Responses to “Checkmate this out”

  1. Beth Said on:

    I think you should suspend them from the ceiling in your classroom…your genius wife should be able to come up with a cool way to hang them that allows the kids to get them down and put them away…


  2. Beth Said on:

    Oh, and your crack about girls playing chess did NOT go unnoticed. I kicked a few boy-butts in chess in my day… (read, you pompous jerk).


  3. Lauren Said on:

    Like, since I’m a girl, I don’t think I’m like, y’know, SMART E-nuff 2 make something that would, like, be able to, um, hang stuff from the thing that’s, like, not the floor, but is the other one? I think I’d need some skills that could only be learned from checkers, no -- chess, wait -- which one has the lamps?


  4. Brad Said on:

    This was on the bottom of the page at

    “Great product line! I am very impressed. I shopped around for this gift for weeks. I am so glad I found your site.” -- Beth 12/5/2006

    You aren’t planning to give me a chess set for Christmas, are you Beth? Because that would definitely be a unicycle.


    • Lloyd Said on:

      <inside joke> ahh, the arrogances of youth </inside joke>


    • Lauren Said on:

      WHAT is wrong with a unicycle, I ask?


      • Brad Said on:

        Ask Brent. Hehehe.
        Boy, this post is full of inside joke comments.

        Okay, the short version: One Christmas our mom gave Brent a unicycle thinking it would be a funky weird present. Brent really didn’t like it and it went back to the store immediately. It was really uncomfortable at the time. Now it’s funny. So “unicycle” is our code word for an unwanted gift.

        And Lloyd’s comment is an inside joke about why I don’t know how to play chess. But that’s another story…


        • Michele (Brad's friend) Said on:

          We had an “uncomfortable moment” during one Christmas party in the late 1970’s. Let’s just say our code word for unwanted gift is “monogram sweater.”


  5. Michele (Brad's friend) Said on:

    I’m sorry Beth -- it was late and I was still in shock over the size of Brad’s … bombs, yes bombs! Anyway, before I get to the monogram sweater incident let me just say I had one of Brad’s enormous coconut candies and it was delicious. My BIG mistake was having two! (especially without a glass of milk) Now I feel half sick!
    OK -- back in the 70’s when monogram sweaters were the thing, my grandmother gave my Aunt Shirley and my mother money to buy our Christmas gifts (as she did most years.) There were four girls & four boys between our families and the gifts were usually the same for each group (boys, girls.) ANYWAY, my cousin Lisa hated to wear anything that was considered a fad or anything that put her into some stereotype. That Christmas as we all sat around the fireplace eating cookies, singing Christmas caroles and opening gifts -- one of us girls (not Lisa) opened our gift first. It was a monogram sweater. My cousin Lisa yelled out, “I better not have a STUPID monogram sweater in MY box! I’ll burn it!” My Aunt Shirley flashed a look that could kill as my grandmother sat there trying to act like it didn’t bother her. It was a BAD moment -- one we will never forget. So -- “monogram sweater” in our family means unwanted gift. Aren’t you glad you asked?


    • Lloyd Said on:

      …But the truth was actually far worse…

      Grandmother had regretted for sometime that she hadn’t been able to personally select her grandchildren’s presents. She had felt out of touch with the youngsters and didn’t want to get them something “old fashion”. But, one day while shopping, she noticed that there were lots of displays for monogrammed clothing. Lots of people buying monogrammed clothing. This was something she understood; something she uknew from her childhood. And so she bought 8 sweaters, brought them home, and painstakingly embroidered each one. Just the same way her own mother had lovingly done for her so many years before. She knew they would love them. She always had. If not for the sweater, then for the love that she knew her mother put into them. Ahhh, the love.


  6. Gonzalo Estevez Said on:

    Hey!. I am going to check it, since I saw a comment in another site regarding \”te this out |\”. Someone related to a list of popular candies. Thanks anyway.


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