I just found out that the original conception of the board game that we know as Chutes and Ladders was … the Hindu belief in the slow ascent to salvation (at 100) helped by occasional virtues (the ladders) and vices (the chutes). The chutes were known as snakes, an at least originally there were more of them.
It gets better:
In the original game the squares of virtue are: Faith (12), Reliability (51), Generosity (57), Knowledge (76), and Asceticism (78). The squares of vice or evil are: Disobedience (41), Vanity (44), Vulgarity (49), Theft (52), Lying (58), Drunkenness (62), Debt (69), Rage (84), Greed (92), Pride (95), Murder (73), and Lust (99).
How did I come up with that bit of trivia? Well I just heard Leonard Cohen’s “Closing Time” as covered by Fairport Convention for the very first time. Cohen uses the metaphor; apparently cheating on your woman is one of his chutes. Not sure why it took him most of his career to figure that out. Gee … and he was dating Rebecca De Mornay at the time … (I’m showing my age, but) WTF?
It’s really easy to find Cohen on YouTube doing his song, but frankly I never liked Cohen’s performances much. Here’s what I was listening to: