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Archive for November 12th, 2007

My friend Gay and I play at least one game of Scrabble on almost every Saturday that has us both on the island. We have a low level of competitiveness and get our big kicks from high combined scores.

We are happy when between the two of us we total over 700, but right chuffed when we top 800. I think our highest ever was 860-something, so we’re now shooting for 900.

This is not to say that we don’t get bummed when it’s our turn for the bag to release nothing but vowels for eight or nine goes. In fact, I tend to take more than a full ration of ‘i’s as a sign that my week may not be going the way I would hope and that I should take extra caution in all things. After all, if the bag is cruel other inducers of outcome may also be.

As a metaphor, Scrabble isn’t bad. (Metaphor, an eight letter word, would be a good point maker, and place it on a triple word square and you’ve got three-figures of speech.) Sitting down to the empty board on any given Saturday, we have no idea if the game about to unfold will be a high-scorer or a disappointing practice in three letter words.

Some games appear to greatly favor one or the other, while others either punish or reward both in close to equal measure.

Most of the time when a truly miserable game prompts us to give it another go we end up sorry we bothered. If it’s a bad Scrabble day it’s a bad Scrabble day, and no number of attempts to alter our Scrabble fate will change a thing.

Is it biorythms? … all about stars? … the fickle finger of fate that sets Scrabble up as an arbiter of seven days’ destiny? Could the same indisputable message be conveyed if we passed our Saturdays with checkers or Candyland? (Or is this all nothing more than a consequence of living on a tiny island?)

Since it’s not Ouija we’re playing at, our games don’t channel spirits communicating through the tiles. Looking at a board post-game would not reveal meaning through the words we managed to scrape off our racks; in fact, my biggest points last Saturday came from “swooning” on a triple. There’s no doubt, though, that a thorough tromping means that Gay’s week will be better than mine, and vise versa.

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