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 .