Last night, somewhat unwisely as I was under the dual influence of alcohol and MSG, I challenged my friend Neil, who was visiting, to a game of Scrabble. I love Scrabble and feel I ought to be good at it. I have a reasonably good vocabulary and love words but the sad truth is I am a poor Scrabble player. For Scrabble, it seems to me, is less about words and more about seeing the opportunities and I'm usually too busy thinking about the nice words I could make to see that points mean prizes.
Thus it was that Neil had a less than thrilling Scrabble opponent, particularly as my brain was somewhat addled. While he was making words like 'it' and 'on' and getting high scores, I was struggling to score over 5!
There is a shaming precedent for the absolute trouncing I received last night at Neil's Scrabbley hands. A few months ago we took to playing one another at the online game. The beauty of this is that you can go away and think about your 'go' , playing for time in a way you couldn't possibly do in real life. After all you have such an amazingly exciting and full life that you don't have time for online Scrabble for goodness sake. Why, you have the supermarket to visit and may even have to go to the toilet.
The other beauty of the online game is that you can 'test' your more unlikely words as the programme will reject them if they are not bona-fide words. So if, for instance, you think 'mig' could be a word (or at least you think it bloody well ought to be as you have M I and G on your rack) for say the hairs on your arms ('Oh my, I was that afraid my mig stood right up'), you can just plonk it in and see what happens. The other joy of online Scrabble is that there is the potential for, shall we say, educating oneself in the privacy of one's own home, ie: having a quick peek at the dictionary without your opponent knowing (tee hee). Neil however was soon on to me, particularly when I started coming up with Arabic words for wombat urine, dialect words for agricultural implements and two letter words for fish spleens.
Despite my tendency to use the online game as an opportunity for 'self-improvement', I still lost to Neil on almost every occasion. Though it pains me to say it, he's a much better Scrabble player than me but what care I? I made mincemeat of him at Pictionary. My stick drawing of Kate Winslet on the Titanic will go down in gaming history - a triumph of communication over style.