Thursday, January 5, 2012
So for a person who likes words, I have recently discovered I truly suck at “Words With Friends.” Have you played this game? Sure you have. Everyone has. I mean, it’s all because of Words With Friends that poor Alec Baldwin got kicked off an airplane recently. He was so hooked on the game he couldn’t stop playing and shut off his electronic device so the plane could take off.
Well, okay, so the real reason that Alec Baldwin got kicked off the airplane is that he is a spoiled celebrity who thinks rules are for the rest of us bottom feeders and he is exempt from them. La-di-da. But Words With Friends was evidently a handy excuse.
Nevertheless, if you have played or will ever play Words With Friends with me, it’s a sure bet you’ll win. Not only that, but you'll most likely beat me by a minimum of 100 points.
It’s crazy. I mean, I’m usually good with words. I can string ‘em together and make complete sentences, even. But what I’m bad at is trying to come up with a word when the letters I have to work with, for example, are x, q, i, v, d, z and w. If I could make up a word with those letters, I’d get a lot of points because all those weird, rarely used letters are worth about a bajillion points.
As it is, I usually make some flashy move like find an “r” on the board and add my “i” and “d” and form the word “rid.” For 4 lousy points. Naturally, the triple word or even triple letter square are one square beyond what I am able to use.
And then my opponent slides in there with some archaic and heretofore unheard of word and earns 125 points. FOR ONE FREAKIN’ WORD! I’m usually flabbergasted – and yet even when I add up what I think are triple word and triple letter combinations, I still cannot figure out how they earned that many points.
Clearly, I need remedial Words With Friends training.
Currently I’m in the midst of playing four separate games of Words With Friends, but I have rarely been in the lead in any of those games. And it’s killing me. Sure, I could just admit defeat and resign – and move on to something a little less daunting like, say, quantum physics – but I tend to be a tad bit competitive and can’t stand the thought of being a quitter.
Vince, you should know, is howling right about now. He’s saying, “a ‘tad bit’ competitive? Are you kidding me??”
Well, okay. So I’m a lot competitive. Don’t ask me where that came from. Maybe my competitive streak was born in grade school when we had spelling or reading comprehension competitions. I had to spell better and read (and understand) more than my classmates just because I wanted to win.
So that’s a possibility. But I think my competitive streak really began when I started playing tetherball in the 8th grade. I won most matches. Was it skill? Was I some sort of tetherball prodigy? Nah. Mostly it was that I was taller than many of my classmates and simply had the height advantage.
Yet I became the person to beat. And I liked it!
The leaping of tall buildings was the next step on my Charlie Sheen quest of Winner-ness, but fortunately, I graduated from parochial school and moved on to public high school where it wasn’t nearly as competitive. Guess those nuns took some perverse pleasure in pitting little kids against one another or something.
So I’ve learned to curb my competitive streak over the years because whether I’m playing Trivia or Euchre or hitting the bowling lanes, I want to enjoy the social interaction, which is far more important than whether or not I win.
But that still doesn’t mean I want to lose, for cryin’ out loud! And losing Words With Friends by 100 points is just plain humiliating.
So I’m trying to look at this whole Words With Friends thing as a learning experience. It’s stretching my creaky little mind a little bit. And it’s merely a friendly competition between friends.
But deep down I know I want to win at the stupid game. I don’t want to lose by 100 points. I want to be the one utilizing all seven letters to earn the beaucoup points. Even if no such word exists that is comprised of the letters x, q, i, v, d, z and w.
So if you come up with a word made up of all those letters, well, then, I quit. Resign. Give up. I’ll be takin’ my letters and goin’ home in a huff.
And right after I have my hissy fit, I’m going to go out and buy a tetherball set. Any takers?!