My warning is not a prophecy of things to come. It is much too late for that. For the evil already enshrouds us, inherent in our very being. An evil so base, so fierce, it takes no prisoners preferring instead to slay all who cross its path. There are those who would experiment. Taunting it. Daring it to touch them. They think it might be fun; the highs, the lows. They are the invincible, holding steadfastly to their belief that nothing can touch them. "It won't happen to me", they think, and they laugh at the voice of experience. But we know better. We have been there. We have experienced the pain of addiction and recovery firsthand, and we see what you will become should you let the demon overtake you.
Don't do it. Addiction is devastating. Relationships have been forever damaged and lives taken. Don't even try it. I beg of you.
Demon, thy name is Scrabble.
It began innocently enough. Three friends, one piece of cardboard, a bag of tiles, and a dream. One would best the others. One would emerge victorious. Yes, one and only one would be crowned the victor. And to the victor go the spoils. (The spoils being completely imaginary, you understand.) A battle of wits. To the death. (Okay, maybe not to the death, but two people would feel sort of linguistically challenged when it was all over. And that kind of mild ego bruise is really painful to nerds like us, I assure you.)
Jessica began the game. The first word. The coveted default double word score. Leaning forward with an evil sneer, she began placing tiles on the board. Both of us dying a little inside as each new tile was positioned. A. N. I. E. S. T.
And then, with a hideous evil laugh and a flourish, she laid the first tile. The coveted "Z". "Zaniest". For 102 points. The deep intake of breath could be heard for miles. Well played indeed, Jezebel.
A few more turns. Staring. Glaring. Each working to undermine the confidence of the others. Each trying to top the previous score. The malicious name calling. Yes, Delia, I am speaking to you. Coy as you tried to be, we all knew exactly to whom you referred when you played "Fathead". Staring right at me, with open hostility. And then you batted your eyes at me demurely, and ... well, you certainly earned that black eye, didn't you? For not only did you openly insult me, but you took my spot! I stand behind my actions. No judge would convict me.
Nearing the end of the game. No more tiles in the little bag. Everyone needing to use up the tiles that remained on their wooden shelves, lest a penalty be incurred. Double letter value deductions was our rule. Double! And me with seven letters, while Delia, sitting there icing her eye like some kind of "victim", had only five.
She did not deserve the title. I had to beat her. I must win.
My turn. I took a deep breath, and ...
Building on "ZOO". I knew I could do it. I laid down my tiles, slowly, casting sideways glances at my opponents. K. E. E. P. E. R. S. Triple word score. Double letter beneath the "K". And as an added bonus, the "S" that had landed on the triple word score completed an adjacent word and made "Hybrids". 48 points for "Hybrids". 90 for "Zookeepers". And a 50 point bonus for the Bingo. A total of 188. The game was done. I had won.
I laughed. A malicious, evil laugh. But my glee was short-lived, as one grabbed me by the throat and the other forced me to eat the "K".
I've lost more friends this way. Really, it was just a typical Friday night.
And in case you need more evidence of the evils of Scrabble, I present you with this Canadian Vignette. (Well worth watching, I assure you.)
Mama Kat writes one of my favourite blogs, Mama's Losin' It. Head on over and check out this week's writing assignment. Lots of fun to be had!