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.