Count It All As Nought and Crosses

Stuck somewhere in waiting mode and somebody scrounges up paper and draws a hangman. The challenge is too much for Hangman Moose to resist! He quickly guesses their “Clint Eastwood” without so much as losing his head.

Now it’s Superhero’s turn. This is the name of a road _ _ _ _ _ _ . And nobody ever guesses this odd-named road between Baker and Barstow on the California Interstate 15. They lose head, body, 2 arm and a leg finding out there are no vowels! No A, E, I, O, U! Unless they luck out and guess the 3 correct letters, Hangman Moose will leave ‘em hangin’ high faster than Clint Eastwood ever did!

Curtis Howe Springer made up this name for his community in 1944 claiming it to be the last word in the English language. Today travelers just stare in amazement at the Interstate exit sign as they speed on to Las Vegas.

Correct spelling will be given at the bottom of this post. Can you resist peeking?

Not realizing this one great word is the only one Hangman Moose has up his sleeve, so to speak since I go around shirtless, the awed player makes a huge strategic miscalculation and switches games. He draws 2 vertical lines crossed by 2 horizontal lines, and then draws an “O” in one of the 9 spaces. Big moosestake! The desperate player has no clue that he’s just summoned a far superior Superhero, Tic-Tac-Toe Moose!

Our Superhero doesn’t even know that Tic-Tac-Toe was played in Egypt around 1300 B.C. and that similar grid games show up in ancient carvings of the Roman Empire.

He doesn’t know that there are 765 essentially different positions (state space complexity) or 26,830 possible games up to rotations and reflections (game tree complexity).

He doesn’t know about Noughts and Crosses or 9-Man Morris.

But he knows the winning strategy:

1) If the offense doesn’t take the middle, the defense should.

Corollary: If offense takes #2 and defense blocks in 4, 6, 7 or 9 instead of middle, offense can win. Same goes for the other 3 inside spots. Defense should avoid confusion and always take the middle if it’s untaken.

2) If offense takes the center, defense must block with an outside corner, not one of the four inside spots.

If both combatants know these simple rules, game after game ends in Cat’s Game until our Superhero outlasts by sheer German disciplined persistence!

So for now the best ol’ Broose can hope for is to bask in the fleeting glory of Hangman Moose or especially as Tic-Tac-Toe Moose. But like Paul I’ve counted it all for nought and crosses (Php. 3:8). I take up my cross daily and follow the One crucified (Matt. 10:38).

And I wait for that glorious day drawing ever closer in these perilous times when my change comes at the 7th Trumpet to a glorified eternal spiritual body with all the fullness of Christ!

Now talk about a Superhero! Yes, one who is a humble, obedient, Christ-centered servant leader eager to serve with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Family for whatever they have in mind forever. Forget about Donatello, Spiderman, or Batgirl! We’ll see what new name awaits (Rev. 3:12)!


FUN FACT: Our glory is our huge rack stretching 4 to 5 feet across and weighing about 85 pounds. Our antlers start to grow in early summer, covered with soft fuzzy skin called velvet. This velvet is filled with blood vessels that deliver nutrients to help the antlers grow. By late summer, the antlers have reached full size so the blood supply dries up and the velvet drops off. When mating season is over — it can make a grown bull cry — the antlers fall off! It’s all for nought! Except mice and rodents rejoice as they gnaw on the fallen antlers for calcium.

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