Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Agony of Defeat, Plus a Toothache

On the way home from Bashas Grocery Store this afternoon, Bob challenged me to an after-dinner game of Scrabble. Referring to himself as the World Champion (which he is not), he knew I could do nothing but accept the challenge. Bob and I are both under-the-weather; he with a bad chest cold and me with an unfortunate toothache. Since I have no experience with toothaches, Bob, no doubt, assumed I would be too distracted to concentrate on Scrabble strategy. The first of several thinking errors . . . .

We lit the gas logs and huddled around the coffee table. The puppy-chows settled in around us, confused that our attention was uncharacteristically directed away from them. Things began poorly for Bob when he realized that he needed to exchange all his letters at his first play.

Despite unspeakable pain and suffering, my mind intermittently wandering to the chance of an emergency root canal on Monday afternoon, I played one of my best games in quite some time. Thank God for Earl Gray and Vicodin! I successfully managed to add points through the use of French words and by dominating the triple-letter score spaces.

Bob clearly was frustrated and, whether due to chest congestion or the effects of red wine, refused to accept that "quince" really is a word, even though I swore on my honor that it is a flowering plant, and that indeed, I had a small red quince shrub growing in the cottage garden of my old house in Louisville. Luckily, I never play Scrabble without my American Heritage Dictionary within easy reach.

The game ended with a blood curdling scream from Bob. Although he had used all his tiles, and I could find no place for a remaining X tile, thus forcing me to both give him 8 points and deduct the same amount from my score, I won. The cry was so unexpected and loud that Jade was startled from her nap by the fire.

For my opponent's POV, possibly blurred by the combination of cold medication and lack of oxygen to the brain, visit The Running Bob .


letsgorideabike said...

I love this! His post is a perfect compliment to yours. I congratulate you on your win. My husband has not agreed to play scrabble with me since his terrible defeat last fall. -Dottie

stylocycle said...

I've just stumbled on your blog via another of my favourites, and have to say that I'm always glad to see *another* blog that is working to normalize the idea of bicycle commuting.
I've returned to almost daily cycling after several years with my bike languishing in the garage. A trip to Amsterdam last year changed my view of cycling as a practical means of transportation, even for those of us who can't or won't suit up in spandex and fluorescent jackets. (That said, I adore the Tour de France, and spend my July mornings engrossed -- but that's *sport*, and I'm talking about daily life).
Anyway, welcome to the world of bike blogging. I look forward to reading more...

She Rides a Bike said...


My husband just sent me an on-line article about how Copenhagen's leadership moved the city from a car dominated culture to one where 40% of residents bike as their regular commute. Part of their success was due to strategic marketing that depicted bike commuting as the choice of the hip, beautiful people. The writer also noted that the Danes tend to be less individualistic than Americans and view the world through the group lens so bike commuting, rather than being a solitary activity is encouraged to be a social one as well. They actually have bike stops (like bus stops) where bike commuters (otherwise strangers) meet at scheduled times and peddle the route together, creating an increased sense of safety as they ride as a mass.