Scrabble Dabble

Didn’t post anything over the weekend because the family and I were just too busy. We weren’t busy doing important things like cleaning the crow shit out of the gutters or throwing rancid meat into my dickhead neighbor’s backyard (Neighborhood-Only Link – PM me or ADD me if you want to see it.). No, we’ve spent the last couple of days playing Scrabble. Which is to say that we’ve been stringing little beige tiles together on a giant grid in the hopes of humiliating one another with our superior vocabulary skills. Which is to say that we are complete nerds without even a metric modicum of coolness between us.

Used to be we had to sit and watch 80 hours straight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and discuss plot continuity in order to express this level of geekitude. But then Christmas arrived and we got this lovely premium edition Scrabble board from my folks. It’s a thing of beauty, really – a massive wood-and-plastic symbol of hard-won book smarts and careful, painstaking perception. And stupid luck.

Scrabble is a wonderful tool for helping one work on one’s immense lack of PATIENCE!!! I’m here to tell you that nothing tortures an anxious person quite like a player two seats down leaving the letter “Z” just chilling right next to a Triple Word Score. That’s the sort of thing that can instantly create the need for medications to be administered. I wouldn’t be surprised if Son of Sam was actually just really pissed off because someone ruined the chance for him to play the word “quetzal”.

No one will argue that Scrabble isn’t an educational game, but I wonder if most players truly appreciate the extent to which Scrabble enhances their IQs. I mean, it’s patently easy to note one’s increased vocabulary when they start using words like “merkin” and “suppurate” on a regular basis, but there are other, less obvious lessons that are implicitly expressed in the game of Scrabble…

Size Doesn’t Matter

Unless you use all seven of your tiles to form a word, size doesn’t mean dick. I actually spelled out the word “bagpipe” only to have Amanda immediately score twice what I had by placing the word “qats” on the board.

Real-world application: You can have the biggest, most killin’est assault rifle in the world and someone can still sneak up and cave your head in with a rock.

Self-Deprivation Can Be Healthy

Sometimes you have to hold off playing a sweet word like “lubricant” because it will open up the opportunity for some asshole to play something silly like “zany” in just the right spot to earn them a gazillion points to your thirteen. Sometimes it seems like you’re better off splitting your word up into “cut” and “nab” than you are letting those bastards take advantage. And if you can hold off long enough, someone else will make the dumb play and it will be you who swoops in for the high score!

Real-world application: It might be tempting to boast about how awesome you are, but you should probably just shut the hell up.

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Even if your best play the entire game was the word “loser”, you can pull out a clutch win if you hold on until the bitter end of the game, placing whatever ridiculous two-letter and three-letter words you can muster. Panic is your enemy. Stay cool, and mind your “pis” and “cues”. If you can use up all your letters before anyone else, you’ll get whatever points are left on their racks. I’ve actually experienced upset wins in this way.

Real-world application: Having beaten each other bloody, the winner of a fight will end up being whomever is first to get his hands on the pitchfork.

Scrabble Links

Official Online Scrabble Dictionary



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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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33 Responses to Scrabble Dabble

  1. IG says:

    Scrabble nerds rock! I love Scrabble, but I lose all the time, because I can never, ever bring myself to follow the rules you just listed. I don't even care about the score, I just love to plop down fun words. Made-up words count. 😀

  2. IG says:

    Oh, er…real world application: I will never retire early to an island in the Bahamas. I just don't have the chops. *cries*

  3. I-Luv-Eeyore says:

    I love a good Scrabble game. My Grandma was a fun old bird to play against. She thought she played a bad game if she didn't score over 300 (and there were 2-3 players). If the board up there is from an actual game that you and your family played—-I wouldn't have a prayer against you….I don't even recognize some of those words. I'd have to challenge several of them. LOL!!

  4. snoringKatZ says:

    Possibly the only board game that ever gets regular exercise around this house! Now that I am aware of the real-world applications of Scrab-tastic skillz, it will see daylight even more frequently.Our family rule is you can make any word at all as long as you can pronounce it and define it satisfactorily. Such as:exorhack – n. voluminous violent vomit associated with exorcismv. to exorhack – to produce voluminous violent vomit, usually during exorcismsee also pukesession

  5. Brown Suga' says:

    I LOVE scrabble!!! I usually win against my sister and mom, but I still ain't good enough.
    And that's a great pic – perfect for the Vox hood!

  6. CrowSeer says:

    That's a damn fine looking board you've got there, sir. Our family board is a horrible travel thing with pegs on the back of the tiles… many of which are now missing. Haven't had a game in ages though.
    Meanwhile, I salute your dropping "merkin" into the post above!

  7. lizzy says:

    man what a gorgeous board!!i love scrabble and i play it on facebook right now, they have an application called scrabulous over there and i play it in english with a canadian friend. and yeah it's an extra challenge to play in a language that's not your native one so i'm not exactly winning lol.

  8. jaypo says:

    The board is a classic beauty, kirk. Scrabble has got to be one of the funnest, brainy games around. Even without the big words, it's strategy, vocabulary, competition, all rolled into a fun time. My peeves–the continual 3-letter word player; the let's-just-make-a-plural player; and the misspeller-who-doesn't-know-it-but-insists. But sometimes three letters or a plural is all you can do. The last is just wrong.

  9. Roboco says:

    that is one FANCY scrabble board! (kinda makes me want one …)
    and i'm SO adding you as a neighbor right now — i want to read about the neighbor. 🙂

  10. Kirk says:

    Thanks for commenting, peeps!IG: Everyone has their way to play (cf. snoringKatZ's comment). What's important is that you have fun. And learn new words.I-Luv-Eeyore: Wow, grandma rocked the Scrabble board! Karin and I were delighted to find that we were consistently scoring in the 200-225 range right off the bat in two-player games. 300-400 is expert play, so we figured we weren't doing to badly for having not played in years.snoringKatZ: I'm thinking we should have a set of different family house rules to pick from. The "by-the-book" rules, the "agreed-upon variations" rules, and the "any-word-you-like" rules. Different modes for different moods, you know?And I have to say "pukesession" sounds like something Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton might have done to pass the time between random acts of vapidness.Brown Suga': I fully admit to shamelessly taking a [tig] photo. I'm such a whore.CrowSeer: And I salute you for knowing/taking the time to look up such a word!lizzy: Awesome way to perfect your English though, eh? ;)jaypo: Yeah, turns out this particular board was one of Oprah's Favorite Things, so it's a bit scarce at the moment. And expensive. Glad my parents shelled out the dough, because I'd have put that off for a while. I'm with you; sometimes you can't help make a lame play, but insisting "thiefs" is a word is just unforgivable.Roboco: Added you back. Welcome! Please enjoy the asshole neighbor story; it has video! Sort of! For the record, I didn't actually throw rotten meat in his yard. I just really wanted to. 😛

  11. Emmi says:

    You're not kidding about it pumping up IQ, in fact I think it takes a tremendous IQ to begin with. It was the only game that my mom and sister (AND grandma AND aunt) always won at, I never won a single game. Anyway I don't hold a grudge, LOL. In fact considering the all day nature of video games, tv and internet, I think board games and card games are really underrated.
    My boyfriend and I love playing these card games called Frog Juice and Slamwich and others from Gamewright, mostly for kids but actually very challenging.
    Very pretty scrabble board!!

  12. Susan says:

    I see part of your blog name, 'copilot', on the board too. 🙂
    Nice board! I've started playing Scrabble on Facebook. It's great fun and goes along with some of my New Year's resolve to exercise the 'ole brain.

  13. mariser says:

    I'm playing Scrabulous in Facebook too! is the only decent thing about Facebook these days. anybody wants to play, send me a PM.I have the same problem as #1 on kirk's list – I love "show-off" words, only to see the next player put down xi and getting a ton of points. I just ain't got no discipline to play properly. and I'm baaad. out of four games I have going right now I'm behind in all of them. three not by much, but on one of them I'm going to lose by 100 points.

  14. Kirk says:

    "I can see that my deluxe edition with the lazy susan spin mechanism just pales in comparison."I hate to gloat, but this one has the lazy susan on the bottom as well. ;-PI almost challenged Amanda's play of the word "jo" until I happened to notice it mentioned right in the Scrabble rulebook as a valid two-letter word.

  15. mitzie says:

    Go on and gloat – your board is awesome!

  16. Timshel says:

    i hadn't played in years and we didn't celebrate christmas this year so we played scrabble it was great fun.

  17. NGMusic says:

    My mother used to play it with me (more liked forced to play) when I was a kid to help me out with my english. I grew up french Canadian and the game helped me out tremendously. But unfortunately we played so much that I quickly got sick of it and have not touched it for years.

  18. IG says:

    I fully admit to shamelessly taking a [tig] photo. I'm such a whore.Hahaha! Looked like your strategy worked — congratulations on the double [TIG]!

  19. Kirk says:

    Heh, yeah. Thanks. 🙂 But you know, the word VOX actually comes up pretty often in Scrabble games. I mean, it's thirteen points without any bonuses. Not a bad three-letter play.

  20. Bookmole says:

    If I tell you that I have a book in which I have kept the score of every game of scrabble played since I met Husband does that make me a Geek of some Geekitude? Cos I have. The scores even out over time, though big, ha ha you lose type wins are much more likely to be his than mine. But I have the best words.

  21. CrowSeer says:

    Congratulations on another TiG, my friend! And I'll bet SnuggleMuffin is glad your Scrabble board has taken some of the heat off her… (what a peculiar sentence to have to type) 😀

  22. Jade says:

    I love Scrabble…Not really good at it and I get really frustrated at my hubby for beating the pants off me. How does he come up with these words?!?! And WHY in god's name do I get stuck with the Z, X, and Q?!?! When there's no room to spell anything good…or no open U's….. But..I still like to play. His mom gave us a travel sized edition for Christmas…great for the couch–the tiles won't fall off the board!

  23. Jiggsyiggsy says:

    This is way cooool; create a board for Monopoly and u would be hot2trot.

  24. Kirk says:

    Ha ha ha! Too funny. I can say that we've got every score sheet since we started playing after getting this board. I know it hasn't been a long time, but we've played many games. Avid Scrabble players have serious geekitude, to be sure, but I already accepted that I was full of geekness when I majored in English. :-PI make the fab words, too. I actually played the word "tequila" on one of the first games we played. Wasn't a bingo, but I got some serious points off it.

  25. Kirk says:

    "…create a board for Monopoly and u would be hot2trot…" Believe it or not, they've made one of those, as well. Very nice, indeed!

  26. snoringKatZ says:

    Gettin' [TIG]gy with it! Wooohooo! (37 points)

  27. Tigergal05 says:

    I just got into Scrabble this past Christmas break..very addicting. But I was upset to learn that one of the words my father used (vox!) was actually not in the official scrabble dictionary (thats about 10 million years old, mind you..) :-p

  28. DKN says:

    Somehow I missed this post before. Congrats on the TIG. I've recently gotten into scrabble for the first time ever. I've been playing on with a girlfriend of mine. It's awesome!

  29. little miao says:

    Great post, Kirk! I've always liked scrabble, even though I've never had much of a chance to play.congrats on the double [tig]!

  30. Lorelei says:

    Kirk, this post has just underscored my undying admiration for your awesome writing skills. This was supreme.

  31. flame says:

    Kirk, I know it's not the same, but, clearly, you have the Scrabble
    geekiness to appreciate the "vintage" 1977 deluxe board I scored. Love
    it! Still not comfortable referring to things from the '70's as

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