recent UK National Scrabble Championship was clinched with
the word obeisant, which means obedient or showing respect.
I offer my utmost and proper respect (props, in the parlance
of the young) to the winner, Mikki Nicholson.
Whilst video games are great, immediate fun, board games allow
interactions impossible via consoles or computers. In Scrabble,
for instance, after scoring points, you can physically wag
a finger in your opponent’s face, thus scoring another
kind of point and heaping psychological pressure on the fool.
Note to fools - and especially to my girlfriend: the true
Scrabble player does not refer to a dictionary for suggestions.
If used at all, it is to check spellings. Even then, it’s
proximity to the Scrabble board is, to my mind, almost xenobiotic.
The Facebook version, I see, has a built-in electronic dictionary.
It will even check words for you. What a pointless way to
Scrabble is designed as a test of vocabulary and brainpower.
Unfortunately it is also about being numerate. Which I’m
not. Which means my wins are as rare as a zebu in a Glasgow
garden. And why I invariably have my paramour’s finger
wagging in my face or pinching my zygoma. Her dictionary-assisted
victories, though, are pyrrhic. They mean zilch.
We must have standards. Games have rules. Women who break
them should be sent to the zenana to think about what they
Am I dogmatic? A sore loser? Look, Scrabble has been around
since the late 1930’s. It has been finessed over that
time, but is still essentially a simple game of letters and
numbers played on a big bit of cardboard with a wee bag of
tiles. It is genius. Elegant, frustrating genius. The least
you could do is give the game and it’s rules your obeisance.