The other day I was pre-autographing a box of squeezable Dilbert characters at my restaurant. We buy them with the restaurant information printed on their backs, as promotional items for potential banquet customers. (Yes, I pay for the squeeze toys.)
Anyway, as customers and employees were lusting after them, I lined them up for optimal viewing and noticed something interesting: They map perfectly into chess pieces. Check out this picture.
Imagine Asok the Intern instead of Catbert.
Here's how I see it mapping:
Alice = Queen. The most powerful and capable piece.
Boss = King. He’s in charge, but largely helpless.
Dilbert = Rook. He moves in a straight path. Dilbert’s head shape and bumpy hairline even resemble a rook.
Bishop = Wally. He always has an angle, and he has a little bald head.
Dogbert = Knight. It’s the sneakiest chess piece. You never see it coming. And it’s the only animal.
Pawn = Asok the interns. He’s small and powerless and expendable.
I played some chess as a kid. When I created Dilbert, was I subconsciously influenced by the chess characters? Would any random group of six characters have a good chance of mapping to chess pieces? Is this just a routine coincidence? Is it more evidence I am a hologram programmed by my past self, and I reused code? Are the chess pieces based on some sort of universal archetype that I instinctively tapped into?
Beats me. I just think it’s freaky.
Since I know you’ll ask, the squeezable Dilbert characters are just about the coolest Dilbert-related items ever. They have that inexplicable x-factor thing where you can’t keep your hands off them. You can get them at Amazon.com, without printing on their backs.
Or order direct from the company, Parle, if you want your company name on the back.
Or book a banquet at my restaurant and get a signed one for free. Just ask. www.eatatstaceys.com. (The web site will be redesigned in a few weeks. We’re working on it.)