Thursday, October 23, 2008

More than words

I write to warn you.

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.

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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.)

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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!

21 comments:

Michelle said...

What a clever way to introduce your story! I was glued to the screen wondering where in the heck you were taking me! It was a great ride. :)

Stu Pidasso said...

If you are not a contributing writer for some publication, you need to be. That was great. I will be back to check your other posts, I hope they are even half as good. GB!

Weeksie50 said...

I am loving this whole story.. Especially the beginning how you pulled us in..

man do you ever have a way for weaving a story..
I love it..

georgie said...

oooooo man i was thinkin this was gonna be an inspirational post i was like right up to the screen reading and reading my heart pumpin faster my breath quickened then i saw SCRABBLE!!!
LMAO!!!

I am like that with yahtzee and 42 to funny!

Diane said...

Fantastic!!! Laugh-out-loud funny!!

PS... remind me never to play Scrabble with you. You're scary ;)

Maki said...

What a clever post!!!

I really enjoyed it - thank you!! :D

Becky said...

That was awesome. I love your style and I LOL as you ate the K. Great job, very dramatic. My Love plays Cut Throat Scrabble. I had to convince him that the name of the game is actually just Scrabble.

Sometimes Sophia said...

Have you found Text Twist yet? It's Scrabble for computers. My husband and I were utterly addicted to it. The nice thing was we could play on the same team. Us against the machinel. ;)

La Pixie said...

awesome! I love it... drag out the win!!!

Mama's Losin' It said...

Oh my gosh this was PERFECT. You can tell you really play...the game is dangerous, but I can't stay away.

I LOVE this post!!!

Mrs.D said...

What a great post! Your high school English teacher probably refers to you in his/her classes often, "one of my best students always...." and uses you as a high standard to today's students. lol.

Gwen said...

I've only played once because I get too into games. Monopoly night at our house always turns into an all out trash talking event. It's that way with video games too. Great post!!!

Captain Dumbass said...

Ah, Scrabble. Wife and I, oh, excuse me... wife (BA from UBC, Honours from U of O) and I bought a board a long time ago. We had one game in which I gloriously crushed her. Have not played since.

No "K's" were ingested.

Jo-Jo said...

Wow! I am so glad I stopped by via MamaKat! You definitely get an A+!

Ron said...

the wife and I had to quit playing. she obliterates me. I don't mind her being smarter, but such smack downs are hard to recover from. Maybe I shouldn't drink so much beer while playing? Hmmm

TattooedMinivanMom said...

Icing her eye like a "victim".

You cracked me up! Great post! I will never mess with your bad scrabble self.

angie said...

I wish I had been present at some of these knock down drag out Scrabble matches!

Momma Trish said...

Michelle - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the story!

Stu Pidasso - No, I'm not a contributing writer. But thanks loads for the flattery! :)

Weeksie50 - The beginning was a lot of fun to write, actually.

georgie - I don't often do inspirational, though a few do slip in from time to time. Best of luck combatting your yahtzee and 42 addictions!

Diane - Thanks! We could always play online Scrabble ... way fewer injuries that way.

Maki - Thanks. Glad you stopped by!

Becky - No. The name is indeed "Cut Throat Scrabble". ;)

Sometimes Sophia - I haven't found Text Twist, but it sounds fun. They have a few Scrabble variations on Facebook that I play sometimes, though. Lots of fun!

Momma Trish said...

La Pixie - Thanks for that. Glad you stopped by!

Mama's Losin' It - Yes, the game is dangerous. And highly addictive. Thanks for the prompts this week!

Mrs.D - I think I skipped too much high school English to be a teacher's pet. My teacher probably holds me out as an example of what not to do. :)

Gwen - I have a number of friends who can't play any games without getting overly competitive. I try not to, but sometimes it comes out in me. Thanks for stopping by!

Captain Dumbass - So Supreme Leader has issues with your superior Scrabble intellect, hmm? ;)

Jo-Jo - Thanks for the good grade. My ego needs that sometimes!

Ron - Beer enhances the game, I think. My husband usually ousts me at Scrabble too. We don't play often.

TattooedMinivanMom - Oh yeah, I'm a force to be reckoned with, I assure you. ;)

angie - Don't wish. The matches weren't pretty. ;)

Thanks everyone for coming by and commenting! Glad you enjoyed the post.

The Stiletto Mom said...

I dread the day my kids can spell well enough to play scrabble...we almost draw blood over our weekly Monopoly sessions as it is!!

What a well written post, thanks for the entertainment!

Momma Trish said...

Stiletto Mom - Oh, it will be tough here when our kids can play too. H and I are far too competitive!