I really can't help myself. It's true. A terrible affliction. I hate to lose. I am a terrible, horrible, no good, sore loserpants. But it is only at Scrabble that I cheat. I never cheat at any other game. In fact, I won't even cheat to lose on purpose for my kids as I believe learning to gracefully lose is an important learning lesson. One that I apparently never learned well myself.
For some reason, the idea of losing at Scrabble is unacceptable to me. The little devil pops up at my ear and whispers "He is beating you and the last word he placed on the board was 'fun?' You call yourself a writer? A voracious reader? A brilliant legal mind? He barely reads! The last thing he read for fun was a fishing magazine at Barnes and Nobles which he was too cheap to even purchase. He refuses to see foreign movies because he doesn't like reading subtitles. You are going to let HIM beat you at scrabble?" I argue back, "Listen, I can't help it that all I have are a series of 'I's and 'E's. What the heck am I supposed to do with that? Even Dickens couldn't come with a word worth more than 4 points with the crap I keep getting!" But even the little angel on the otherside of me shakes his head and says, "Listen, you need to step up your game before I smack you silly. Now I need to take a little break, but when I get back, I better not hear you've lost again..."
At this point, it's not like I have a choice anymore, I must cheat, and cheat I will. Strategically holding the bag so the light hits the letters just right, I spy a Z and slyly pick it up along with a few 'O's and 'S's and a very fortunate blank. Utilizing a carelessly opened triple word score box, I crow elatedly over a well placed "Zooms" adding an 'S' to the end of his "fun." As I gloat openly and outrageously at my triple word score, HE coughs carefully and asks me, "Did you cheat?" I look him in the eye ready to angrily deny it and then deflate like a flattened whoopie cushion. I cannot lie to him. He knows me too well. Not because I can't lie, although I do not consider what I do lying, more of a strategic manipulation of certain facts and truths to my benefit, but never outright lies. It is part of the aresenal of a good lawyer. You admit only certain facts, omit others and speak vaguely on all other points. Is this lying? Perhaps that is a topic for another post. For now, I sullenly nod and cross off all my illgotten points. I am losing again. Oh and funs is apparently not a word, which he so graciously pointed out to me. I was not having funs.
Forced to return my purloined tiles, I instead exchange my original crappy tiles for even shittier ones. Now along with all my 'I's, I have only 'U's and 'O's. Apparently for this round of Scrabble, I am to be the Queen of Loose Vowels. As I lose the game 98 to 50 points, I throw a little temper tantrum and kick the board over as I blame everything on the crappy tiles I received. He looks over at the sulky angry brat I've become and asks me if I want a rematch. And I sulk a little longer but then finally agree but ask to go first. He graciously concedes. Viciously shaking the little grey bag, I reach in (without cheating) for my first seven tiles. 'I's. Why did it have to be 'I's? I may have to cheat again. But this time, I hope he doesn't catch me.