Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Could We Play Apples to Apples Instead?

A fun way to pass the time with friends or family is to play board games.  Even more fun is to turn them into drinking games.  But with or without alcohol, board games are fun ways to pass the time, learn more about each other, and have some fun.  I like board games (except Monopoly; that game is pure evil).  I especially like non-board board games, like Apples to Apples or Balderdash.  But there is one game I cannot stand.  One game that gives me unparalleled levels of anxiety to play.


Ever since high school, people have commented to me that since I'm such a wordsmith, and since I just love to read and write, I must absolutely love the game Scrabble and, so they tell me, I must be good at it.  Since then I cringe at the thought of playing Scrabble.

What if I can't come up with any words?

What if I can't come up with any good words?

What if the word I put on the board isn't even *gasp* a word??

I can't handle it, Follies.  The pressure is too much.  I stare and stare at the board, trying to come up with a word of epic proportions.  One that will garner me Double Word Scores or Triple Letter Scores.  One that shows the extent of my admittedly limited vocabulary.

This is what a normal Scrabble board looks like.

Come play with me, Folly. Forever and ever!
This is what a Scrabble board looks like to my eyes.


Last week, I played Scrabble for the first time in 8 years.

A few coworkers and I went to an event at a local espresso and wine bar, put on by the public library, to play some word games.  After acquiring glasses of pinot grigio, we joined a nice British lady in some Scrabble.

Nice British lady, as it turns out, is a Scrabble genius.  She had the electronic Scrabble dictionary, mental knowledge of most two-letter words, and a few Scrabble competitions under her belt.

I downed that first glass of wine like it was water.

We played, I asked questions, my boss joked around.  We ordered a second round of wine. We began a second game.  I had to go first. At this point I don't know if it was the wine (and lack of food) or if I was finally getting comfortable with it, but I felt okay.  I had a great word to start: ANISE.

Without detailing the game tile-by-tile, I'll skip ahead to the end and let you know that I ended up with 6 tiles leftover: B N N V C and L.

No vowels.

No open vowels on the board that, as far as I could tell, worked with my letters.


Nice British lady kept asking if I had an X. "Xi is a word. So is..." and she started listing off two-letter words, none of which utilized the poor selection of letters I had sitting in front of me.

I came in last place in both games.  Dead last.  It's not the points that matter but you know what? It is. I can't stand to come in last. And that's what I did.  In a word game, as someone who has studied words for my entire, albeit short, life, I came in last.  This, Follies, is why I don't play Scrabble.

Shut up, Vowel!


Ashten said...

I am such a failure at Scrabble! I have Words with Friends on my iPhone and all my friends beat the crap out of me!



Josie said...

I know! I am an English teacher so should be good at it. No. I used to play regularly with a maths teacher friend. She ALWAYS wiped the floor with me. Luckily she has moved away now and we've lost touch. My life is blessedly Scrabble free.
I also can never do those quizzes in the paper where they give you a mystery word with all the letters jumbled and you have figure out what it is. Can never do it. Never.
Josie x
PS no idea what apples to apples is. Love Taboo though.