73. June 22: South Lake Tahoe, CA
For those that know me, you will know that words and I don’t often mix well. My brain and mouth don’t always communicate they way they should and I will mean to say well meaning things that can completely backfire and come out as horribly offensive or otherwise unintelligible. That being said, word games are not my strong suit.
This past Thanksgiving I played Bananagrams with my younger cousins (who are all bonafide geniuses in their own
right) and got my ass handed to me. I think I only won one game out of like 20 and I made sure they remembered it since it was the only thing I had to show for hours of mind numbing thinking trying to put letters together into ways that I wasn’t completely sure were actually words.
In college while the mountain bike team was off racing in the fall the rest of the road cycling team would get together to play board games on the weekends. It was all fun and games until Boggle was brought out. Each round I would finish feeling elated thinking I had found a substantial amount of two and three letter words only to find out that everyone else had found at least ten more.
And this brings me to Scrabble. I’ll often prompt my family to play Scrabble when we’re in the mood for a board game (which is rare and usually I’m the only one in the mood to play anyway). My mom is pretty good at Scrabble, but I can occasionally best her, but when my sister plays; dear Lord. She opens up a can of whoop ass and unleashes a nuclear holocaust on everything leaving me to reconsider my definition of fun.
So today after our breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats Glowworm and I found a Scrabble board with a few missing letters and wanted to kill some time so we decided to play. This decision was followed by Glowworm saying, “Ugh, I’m so bad at this game.” Mild foreshadowing.
She immediately played a 15 point word to start off the game to set the tone. This was followed by a few 20 pointers and a 33 point wallop leaving me with a 70 point deficit less five turns into the game.
I like to think of myself as not a very competitive person and I’m consistently reminded why that is far from the truth. This early deficit enraged me and I vowed to make a comeback. Not necessarily win, just prove after years of pummeled into the ground by my friends and family in word games that I am capable of spelling words. So I started to get created and played word combinations like wan, way, and ye to get a 37 point play (I am ridiculously proud of this for the record).
Finally, with one tile left in the bag the game was tied at 235. I has slowly clawed back a 70 point deficit and nearly doubled my previous personal best score in the process (with missing pieces nonetheless). Glowworm and I went back and forth squeezing out all we could of our boards by exhausting the legal two letter word list. Ten minutes later, I emerged victorious winning 281-276.
I prefer to liken it to Milan High School winning the 1954 Indiana state basketball championship, or Alexander Rossi coasting across the line on fumes to win the 100th Indianapolis 500, or the US beating the Soviet Union in the gold medal game in 1980 Olympic hockey final, or Bradley Wiggens and Mark Cavendish lapping the field on sheer will and grit to win the Madison and Track Worlds last year. My win is definitely in the same company.
So we then walked to McDonald’s, ate the foods, walked back, napped, ate more foods, watched a movie, walked to the beach, watched the sunset, and walked back to the hostel. The end.