A rock that was friends with a scissors and a piece of paper said, “Shall we play another game of ourselves?”

“Tell us the rules again. We've forgotten,” came the answer.

The rock tumbled itself in exasperation, because it didn't have eyes to roll, and stated, “The rock blunts the scissors, the scissors cuts the paper and the paper smothers the rock.”

“Sure, why not?” said the paper.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I cut a Möbius Strip in half?” the scissors asked, as they all prepared to begin the game. The rock and the paper were about to reply in the affirmative when a stick of dynamite and a raincloud happened to approach.

“Good morning!” they called. “May we join in?”

“I suppose so,” said the rock, “but it'll make the game more complex. I do have an idea how it might work…”

“Tell us!” they chorused and the rock explained:

“The rock still blunts the scissors but it also smashes the raincloud; the scissors still cuts paper but it also severs the fuse of the stick of dynamite; the dynamite blows the rock to pieces but it also disperses the raincloud with shockwaves; the raincloud rusts the scissors but it also makes the paper soggy; and the paper still smothers the rock but now also becomes a letter of complaint to the authorities about the owner of the dynamite, who is subsequently arrested.”

¶ This improved version really does work.

(Image by Anthony Lewis)