On those occasions when I find myself in the company of Jeanne by the Herb River, Scrabble games often break out. The board appears on the screen of her iPad, and the tiles are doled out in the flash of a byte. I must admit that I miss the sensation of retrieving seven wooden tiles from a bag that has been shaken, not stirred. I’m very tactile!
We have our way of playing. There is much needling and teasing as well as the occasional exasperated comment about the collection of vowels devoid of consonant companions or vice versa. One of our playing requirements will remain between her and me. (Keep it clean, people!)
Last evening’s match was particularly daunting. Early on in the game, I played the letters J-A-(blank)-I-T-O-R on top of the word MAZES with the A above the M. The Blank tile standing in for an “N.” Because of the placement of letters on score multiplying spaces, my “JANITOR” swept up a tidy 95 points after collecting the 50 point bonus for using all seven tiles in my electronic rack. An insurmountable lead, right?
Wrong! Down by more than 100 points early on in the game. Jeanne began to masterfully navigate the board as I sat back on my ridiculous, comfortable lead. “DELFT,” “AVOW,” and “FURRY” are but a few examples of how a well-placed tile can eviscerate a ridiculous point gap held by an overconfident speller working that part of the board that does not multiply the values of numbers.
By the time we were down to our last tiles, Jeanne had easily attained over 300 points, and I was not going to come close to clearing that hurdle. She had administered a master class, and we had a lot of fun while she was doing it. In the end, I was 22 points astern of my partner.
I can’t wait to play again. It is things like this, shared, that make time with Jeanne stand still. I know a word played between us each day.