Deconstructing an alleged compliment

Bush administration White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was quoted in the NYT as describing his boss (George W. Bush, for the dim) like so:

“He reminds me of one of those guys at the gym who plays about 40 chessboards at once.”

In my experience with gyms, there is in fact noone there playing 40 chessboards at once. Now, there are chess geniuses who can manage such an incredible feat, but they don’t go to the gym to do it. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that someone wanting to play 40 games of chess at once who thought that the proper venue for such an event was a gym is probably an idiot.

I am reminded of the episode of The Simpsons, in which Bart plays a dozen games of chess, blindfolded, simultaneously. Onlookers are briefly astonished. Bart loses every match.

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