The Annoyances of Scrabble Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The Annoyances of Scrabble

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A Scrabble set up for four players on a table

Scrabble is one of the great 'annoying' games of the 20th Century. Everyone seems to have a copy of it, but no one seems to play it apart from board games addicts and the people who think they have a massive vocabulary. When they do play it, however, a combination of one or more things from the following list takes place:

  • One of the players becomes obsessed with spelling out rude words.

  • Most of the game is spent debating whether or not 'discomnoceration' is a real word1 and/or with your head in a dictionary.

  • Someone sneezes and blows all the tiles on the floor.

  • You start the game with the letters X, Z, Q, F, B, W and J.

  • The set is missing a Y.

  • You will find yourself playing with someone who has a massive vocabulary. They will spend the game looking incredibly smug and will beat you mercilessly.

  • You will find yourself playing with someone who is as thick as two short planks. You will have a very long, boring game; unless you are the one who has a massive vocabulary. If so, you will spend the game looking incredibly smug and will beat your opponent mercilessly.

  • You will find yourself playing with a sad board games addict. You will have a very long game, or, to be more precise, a series of about eight games which will last until 2am.

  • You will realise that the person you are playing with has eight tiles on his/her rack, instead of the seven that you are allowed.

  • Your opponent will accuse you of having eight tiles. You'll then have to grovel to your opponent to convince them it was a mistake, provided it was a mistake, of course...

  • You will lose your will to live mid-game, unless you are a sad board games addict, in which case you have no life anyway.

  • Halfway through a game you will realise you haven't been keeping track of the score.

  • You'll find you can't be bothered to play it properly so you just start making random words on the board.

  • The triple word score is always tantalisingly out of reach.

  • Your opponent scores over 430 points for 'jabberer' running from one triple word to another with the 'b' hitting the double letter square.

  • You get a massively good scoring word and mercilessly beat your opponent. No one will ever play you again.

  • Your opponent insists on taking three-quarters of an hour to choose their word. In cases like these it is advisable to have a good book at your elbow and to treat the game simply as an occasional diversion at the end of a chapter. However, some players insist that it is bad form to read during the game and expect you to sit there in breathless anticipation while they work through every possible combination of their letters only to put down 'dog' 45 minutes later.

  • You get up from your chair and you realise that you have been sitting on some of the tiles for the last three goes.

  • On your trip to the kitchen for a drink, you step on one of the tiles, causing you a lot of pain. Even worse, on your way back, you slip on the same tile and smash the glass with the drink on your head.

In any case, after a few hours of playing, you'll want to personally hang the Parker Bros (the manufacturers of the game) with the drawstring of the letter bag.

1It isn't, by the way.

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