Published April 8, 2005


July 14th, 1972, Hotel Loftleiðir.
1 am.
Sæmundur: Oh, Bobby, look at the mess you made.
Bobby: Yes. I’m a genius.
Sæmundur: But was it necessary to do that to my favourite ascot?
Bobby: Don’t dare to guess my ways.
Sæmundur: Of course not. You’re a great man.
Bobby: I was thinking about that. I wonder if there is an irony that I will be remembered for being the great American chess player, despite the fact that I basically revile American principles. Were I simply another great Russian player, few people would bat an eyelash.
Sæmundur: Yes, bats. That’s funny.
Bobby: Are you changing your clothes again?
Sæmundur: I like to wear new clothes.
Bobby: Well stop it. You look like an overweight Tony Randall in the Odd Couple.
Sæmundur: I like the Odd Couple. You’re funny and smart.
Bobby: Yes, I am extremely amusing. Want to hear my joke about women chess players.
Sæmundur: Ha ha.
Bobby: I haven’t told it yet. Damn it, stop combing your hair. Here’s the joke: women are stupid compared to men. Ha. Get it. I told that to Ralph Ginzburg at Harpers, and he didn’t get it at all.
Sæmundur: I like Ralph Ginzburg. Is it true that you want a house shaped like a rook?
Bobby: Actually, I’d like a house shaped like a bishop. And I want the roof to be pink. It’s part of my love of chess. I’ve always been misquoted.
Sæmundur: Yes, I would like to see your bishop house. Would you like to tell me more about the time you gave your money to a fourth-rate cult?
Bobby: No. I am very stressed Sæmi. I’d like to sit here and stew in my own hate for a few minutes.
Sæmundur: I understand.
(Thirty minutes later.)
Sæmundur: Bobby?
Bobby: Yes Sæmi.
Sæmundur: When I am stressed, I find something I like to do, to take my mind off of things.
Bobby: You are an imbecile. Why would I care?
Sæmundur: Sorry, Bobby.
(Thirty minutes later.)
Bobby: What is it? What do you do?
Sæmundur: This is a little embarrassing. But actually, what I do is I dance. I’m a dancer.
Bobby: I don’t dance. I can’t be bothered.
Sæmundur: Sorry, that was stupid of me.
(Thirty minutes later)
Bobby: I’m very stressed. Maybe you can show me something. How relaxing is it?
Sæmundur: Very relaxing. I mean, there are different types of music. I like rock music, but you have to dance slow, too. Here.
(Puts on “Unchained Melody”)
Sæmundur: Okay, well I’m bigger than you, so I’ll lead. You just put your hand right here.
Bobby: Here. Oh how foolish of me. I feel so silly.
Sæmundur: Relax, Bobby. Just let the music take your hips. Excellent. There you are.
Bobby: This is great fun. This is great fun. I am so sorry that only a few minutes ago I was contemplating ways to hate you and everyone related to you.
Sæmundur: You see. Just relax and listen to the music.
Bobby: Thank you Sæmundur. You know, I really feel much better. I’m going to win tomorrow. I’m going to knock Spassky’s socks off. And then I’m going to go out and insult a lot of people, and make all sorts of horrible decisions.
Sæmundur: That sounds great, Bobby. That sounds great. We’ll be friends for life.
Bobby: Yes, Sæmi. Friends for life.
If you too have an interpretation of how Bobby and Sæmi became friends for life, email us at We’ll post our favourites on our website.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!