Friday, December 11, 2009

Back to Scrabble

Scrabble is so mean, man. You take, oh, say, five months off and you forget all your pretty steams and anamonics. You lose that crucial board sense. Time management? Ha! If you remember to hit the clock after your play, you're in good shape. Oh, and do you pick up any skills? Are you suddenly a natural anagrammer or have the ability to count? Are you a lucky tile drawer now? Nope. You still suck at what you sucked at and now you suck at all those other things too!
As I'm sure you gathered, I went back to Scrabble club after a long hiatus. I got caught up in wretched Lincoln Tunnel traffic, so I missed the first 10 minutes or so of my first game against my nemesis Adam. Joel stepped in for me. I walked in just as he bingoed with spirula to hand me a ten point lead.
Yup. Spirula. Totally EXACTLY what I would have played!
I drew seven tiles: O O E E I A A.
Adam played something, I exchanged four.
"Ooh, Joel is going to kill you," Adam said as he made his next move.
My new rack looked like this: S A T I R E O

I shuffled and shuffled, but all I found was Satoire and well, come on, look at it! That just couldn't be right.
Adam dumped an O. So did I.
He then bingoed down the triple line with secondi/quays
Me? Oh no, I drew a J.
I played off the J on top of the O, I just dumped for Jo going two ways.
And ignored Adam's stupid 97 point stupid play.
I drew an enn.
Of course, now there was NO PLACE to play it.
Adam was thinking for a long time, so I saw I could play my letters through an E on the triple line. It took an embarrassingly long time to remember the eight. Thankfully, Adam took longer to play his Gae.
I played stearine.
I was still behind and when he drew the next blank, I was finished, even though he went over by four minutes.
Boo. A Joel handicap and I still lose!
My next game was against a wispy blond girl. Maybe in her twenties.
When she challenged my arenite bingo, I was like "yay! An easy win."
Nope. She drew both blanks and going into my last rack she had a 76 point lead.
I had ANTISUS and lots of time, but I couldn't find anything but sinatus. Which I was pretty sure was good, but it woulda been an outplay and she woulda challenged, so I just wimped out and played stains down the triple line.
I discovered I had two bingos in that rack. Sinatus was not one of them.
My third game was against a kid, teenager, I think. Hope. I opened with sestina against him. He challenged! I COMPLETELY relaxed. Okay, Dawn, you got this!
No, no I did not. I started doing tha awesome thing where I get 7, 8, 9 points in a row fishing for "any ess or blank"! Dude!! Why do I retain the bad habits after a hiatus? Shouldn't I forget those too?
Anyway, the kid was scoring 30/40 points AND he drew both blanks. But still I kept it close, Then I drew the dreaded qm on my final rack of satin.
But the kid screwed up! He played tui on the bottom line. I was down only by 34 points. I can play qat on a double word score...I CAN. WIN.
I play qat vertical to the horizontal tui: 28! I am TRIUMPHANT! The stares at it, I am hoping for a challenge! PRAYING. I win easy if I get another consecutive turn. He thinks and then hits the red button...I think by accident because when I ask "you challenge?" He stammered and looked confused, but Joel had already heard me say challenge and came over. So the kid shrugged and said "yeah."
Joel was all "play is no good."
I couldn't believe it.
TUIT! Of course, TUIT's a word!!!
Tuit's not a word.
I lose.
At the end of the game, the kid goes "You coulda won if you had played qat across tui on top." (Making qi/qat still on the double word square.)
Double word CRY.
I was so glum.
This old lady came over and sat across from me. She goes "You lost all your games tonight"
I didn't even look up at her: "Yeah."
"Oh good! I hope I play you."
Now, I look up.
I do not smile.
She clearly does NOT know me.
Joel announces matchups and sure enough I am matched with her!
I don't think I've been so focussed on beating the living wits out of someone since...since...when was the last time I played Fisch?
I did some fishing until I bingoed with some stupid satine word, but then I just hammered her face with 40 point plays, my favorite was Booze with the B on a TLS going two ways and the Z on the DWS, for 54. Plus, I was playing SUPER fast because it was the last game of the night and I wanted to go home. This must have rattled her because she tried to play AF under the ZE in booze. I watched her counting it all up and write it down and when she finally said "42, did you write is down"? I said "you haven't hit the clock yet." So she hits it and goes to draw tiles and I insta challenge.
Oh, you hope you get to play *me*?
Ask about me, lady.
I proceed to crush her, but not so badly that we hit the 200 point mercy rule. 189 points. Heh.
Stupid Scrabble.