I’ve recently started playing Scrabble again. After a hard day’s work negotiating the office jungle and wondering when the cookie jar will be replenished, I can highly recommend a game of Scrabble – with a pint of Milo – to help unwind.
How quickly you become absorbed into the game’s intrigue! Scouring the board for double word scores, pondering what word you can make with ‘c’, ‘a’ and ‘t’, and wondering when your opponent will finally go to the pantry so you can look at their letters.
A game of Scrabble is like life: there are ups and downs and as the game goes on, there’s decreasing opportunity and increasing desperation. You’ve gleefully saved up ‘z’, ‘q’ and ‘x’ in the vain hope you can pull out some triple-scoring doozy, but you’ve timed everything wrong. Now you’re saddled with every high-scoring letter and you’re trying to convince your opponent that ‘XOQJZ’ is some kind of endangered African ferret or that proper nouns are permissible and that ‘ZJQ’ was a 16th century Czechoslovakian poet.
As with life, you soon realise the only way to survive is to make up your own rules.
My Scrabble partner knows lots of killer grown-up words. While he is laying down words such as ‘stoven’ and ‘Xi’ (apparently it’s a Greek letter) and ‘mayhap’ and ‘anomalistic ‘ in strategic areas of the board, I am dazzling him with words such as ‘cum’, ‘homies’ and ‘up’. The other week I was one letter away from making ‘vagina’.
Dennis Wongbert – sausage dog and math genius – likes to award word of the match. Anyone who can produce a dog-related word such as ‘paw’, ‘woof’ or ‘canine’ is usually victorious.