I’m the world’s worst Scrabble player, guys.
Which is weird because I like to think of myself as a pretty adequate Words With Friends player.
(I know; I don’t get it either.)
Every time it’s my turn, I see other players lose interest as they get ready for a lonnnnnng wait. I feel bad, so I stare intensely at my pieces trying to conjure up a word longer than three letters or else suffer their complaints that I’m really “clogging up the board.” A couple of minutes of awkward silence will pass before somebody inevitably says , “Hey you, know what this game should have? A time limit, ha ha ha ha ha!!!” And everybody laughs and laughs and smiles at me and I look up to a grin, and then stare down at my letters quickly.
The pressure is on like hot fudge on a sundae, my friends.
I stare at those letters, and I stare hard.
A few more minutes of silence will pass and then I will look up, grimace slowly, and offer up one of my two classic lines:
1. “Sorry guys, I’ve got like ALL of the vowels over here, ” or
2. “I’m really, truly, very sorry. It’s like consonant central over here! I’ll just be another minute, unless Jgrfkll is a word.”
A couple of people nod and smile at my lame joke, someone idly turns on the TV and starts flipping channels, and another will generally grab the latest issue of Cosmo and head to the can. I frantically rearrange my letters over and over again, as if by doing so, rebuke, jinxed, or fibula will appear on my little wooden tray as if my magic.
Accio 500-point word!
Nope. Not even some Harry Potter will save me now.
My nerves fraying, my heart dum-thumping, I’ll eventually put down a lame four-letter word like bill or lamp in an act of pure desperation. “Eight points,” I’ll whisper to the scorekeeper, while turning the board and nodding to the other players to move along.
….See, part of my problem is that I draw letters like j, z, or q at the beginning of the game and they end up haunting me all the way through. That big q is the worst of them all. It holds its powerful 10 points over my head, just daring me to draw one of the four u‘s in the game so I can finally, finally lay it down. I spell my letters out in arrangements like, q_uick, q_ote, and q_iet, ready and waiting for a u at any time, but generally no dice, or at least no dice for a while. I got qat or I got nothing.
And so you see that’s why, in my book, there is no better thing to happen to you in a board game than picking a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble. I say it beats building two hotels on Boardwalk in Monopoly or drawing a perfect brontosaurus in Pictionary during an All Play.
If I get a q and a u together in Scrabble, then it’s all me, all the time, baby! Doors open, and I quite quickly and quietly quash all quack queries from my competitors. And friends, you know how that makes me feel….