The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


January 18, 2014

Theresa Timmons: Spelling C-H-E-A-T-E-R on a snowy day


There was no hesitation. "OK," he said.

I am the official Scrabble game set-up crew. I pulled it out of the closet and wiped off the dust. I decided to create a game table right beside Seth's chair. That way he could still watch TV between turns, and I would be more likely to get more than one game out of him.

Because I love Scrabble. Naturally.

Within a few minutes, the game was on.

Seth and I have very different approaches to Scrabble play. Seth has a terminal case of attention deficit and can only ponder a play for a short time. If he can't produce a word in a couple of minutes, he will add an 's' somewhere, or spell 'it.'

As for me, I will transcend this world and mentally float in a sea of letters that flip themselves in to various sequential possibilities. I will even jot down the variable scores of each possible word, to organize the potential word candidates by their scoring strength. A tough move could take me 15 minutes. During which time Seth, who has the attention span of a fly, forgets what game we are playing.

Seth's main strategy is pretty simple. He waits till I am distracted and then he quickly spells a word with brazen confidence and tells me his score, hoping I won't look too closely. Seth makes up words.

"Pejor is not a word," I say.

"You are telling me you've never heard of a pejor? Are you kidding me?"

"Klingon words or Star Trek planets don't count in Scrabble. I WILL challenge this." I don't let him get by with especially stupid words.

When our Sunday game was over and I revealed the score, Seth had something to say.

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