A year or so after we moved to the suburb, I remember how all of us got addicted to Scrabble on the computer. Of course, I had been playing the board game for years but the girls played against the computer (it was an offline game against the computer) before they learned to play with a real board and real tiles. I remember too that because we were using only one computer at the time, all our scores from every game were saved in a best-to-worst list and it amazed me how Sam and Alex, then about 9 and 8 respectively, could get scores higher than mine. Until one of them slipped about having discovered how to enable “hints” — a list of suggested words that almost assured the player of beating the computer. If you’ve played Scrabble on the computer, you’d know what I mean.
A short while after that, we started playing with a real board and real tiles. All four of us — Speedy, the girls and myself. Now, I’ve never been the kind of mother who’d let my children win just to make them feel good. If they won, it had to be because they really made an effort and the victory was truly deserved. I never held back when we played against each other. I was contentious, I was tenacious and they knew that they would have to play really, really well to win. No empty victories in this house.
That was then. Things are very much different now. Last Saturday, we played a game of Scrabble and I won by a margin of two points. TWO POINTS. ONLY. And I played a good game at that. Alex got the next highest score. Aside from me, she was the only one really paying attention to the game. Sam and Speedy were watching Banana Split on TV and were like playing Scrabble on the side. And I was proud of Alex. Very proud. And she would have beaten me too had she been able to use the letter Q on a triple letter or triple word play. My girls are all grown up and they have built vocabularies that can compete with mine.
Like I said, Sam and Speedy were too busy watching TV to really get into the game. You can see a reflection of the TV screen on the bottom left corner of the board in the photo below. But TV wasn’t the only distraction.
Speedy went downstairs and came back with a bag of marshmallows (supplied by his mother, believe it or not) and his trusty toolbox which was filled with Oreo cookies.
Even Alex got distracted with the arrival of the Oreo filled toolbox.
But after the momentary distraction, the game went on. Alex played with a four-letter word and Sam objected that this particular expression was not a real word and, ergo, unacceptable by Scrabble standards.
See it? Not clear?
I’m sure that’s clear enough.
Of course, it’s slang. But it’s in my Mac’s dictionary. I ruled that it was acceptable.