As one of four kids my life was filled with repeated claims of “it’s not fair,” “you always go first,” and “it’s my turn.” We ended up with several methods of solving these minor disputes by ourselves. Our parents were steadfastly uninterested in the debates.
“Rock, paper, scissors” was usually played by two of us for the best two out of three. (Unless the loser insisted that what they really meant was best three out of five.) Rock(clenched fist) smashes scissors. Paper(flat hand) covers rock. Scissors(two extended fingers) cuts paper. I would like to say that this ended the disagreement. However, there seemed to be new complaints such as “how come you always choose rocks?” Irrational I know, but the loser had to think of some way to confuse the results. (Here I consciously avoid present political parallels.)
Coin tosses were another decision maker. I still was regularly tricked by my brother’s quick “heads I win, tails you lose.” As I watch my grandchildren use the coin toss to settle questions that old phrase still hangs on. And a new complaint is added to the list: “that coin only has heads!” (My brother did buy such a penny at the novelty store we both loved.)
Finally we used “eeny meeny miny moe.” In the mid-1950’s our family was considered progressive because we said “catch a tiger by the toe,” instead of the much more commonly used racial slur. It never occurred to me to figure out who should go first in this rhyme. It took 60 years to learn from my young granddaughter that where you start determines who wins. I’m glad we didn’t know that as kids. We would have had yet another round of : “you always go first.”
I would love to know any other ways you resolved issues of fairness when you were a kid. Violence not included!