EDitorial ± 19-Dec-2002

And The Next Word Is

Friends round this past Sunday for some pre-festive period festivities. After some shockingly early opening of presents (kids only, alas), the young'uns were left to run amok while the old'uns settled down to wag some chins and chew some fat. As you do when you're feeling slightly bloated.

Then one of the party, not me, suggested that we settle down for a friendly game of Scrabble, "the world's leading word game". Oh yes.

What are words worth?
— Tom Tom Club, Wordy Rappinghood

When I was but a lad and knew nowt, around the time of Live Aid, I spent a few weeks working in the same office as my dad. Most lunchtimes a table and four chairs were hastily arranged at on end of the open-plan area, and a competitive quartet sat down to (a) eat sarnies, and more importantly (b) play Scrabble.


While the mood was generally affable, things could turn sour if someone put down a dodgy looking word (out would come the dictionary in a flash), but the most heinous crime by far was to take too l-o-n-g. Totally unacceptable behaviour. Far better to grab a measly ten points than to incur the wrath of your opponents. Apparently they use a chess clock in the tournaments.

So with those memories of the mid-1980s, plus miscellaneous caravan holidays, Sunday's game was one big nostalgia trip. And despite one player, again not me, laying all seven tiles on the opening go, thereby scoring a bonus of 50 points, I'm too modest to tell you who was victorious.