Tuesday, February 26, 2008
not your grandmother's bingo
Today I need to lament that my once promising cerebral cortex has atrophied into a pitiful little blob I have come to accept as my latent mind. You see, my exceptional children, tender little parasites that they are, managed to bilk me out of virtually all the functioning brain cells I'd worked so hard to amass during my formative years. It's not enough that they left me with a gelatinous alien flap for a stomach, oh no, they had to suck every cognizant molecule out of my grey matter as well.
They say that a mother loses brain power with every birth, but I only have two children, and am lucky if I can string together words with more than three syllables. So either my precious bundles were particularly greedy, or I wasn't as smart as I thought I was to begin with. Obviously, I refuse to believe the latter.
It is true that I speak with less confidence, for I know that key words will elude me at critical moments, and as anyone can tell you, I forget everything I see/hear/read/say/buy/etc. I was never like this before. I competed on the varsity Street Law team in high school, got a free ride to Willamette University, and could annihilate almost anyone in a verbal confrontation. Sadly, I took great joy in this and did so often. But I digress.
One thing that reminds me daily of my ever-dwindling brainpower is our Scrabble Deluxe game. It beckons me with its swirly letters, burgundy tiles, and velvet pouch. But ours is an affair best forgotten, for I can no longer score even a fraction of what I used to. My mom taught me how to play when I was very young, and I fancied myself somewhat of a natural. I've only bingoed twice, and I'm semi-ashamed to confess that I've phoneyed zillions of times (typically with lesser-known proper nouns--like cheeses and such). I'm an excellent blocker, and I even admit to some brailing in my younger days, but payback is a bitch when you're staring at a hopeless nongo.
God how I miss it.
My mom always has her Scrabble welcome out for me, but we have a fairly fierce rivalry, and I don't think my ego could withstand being trounced right out of the gate after five years. But I see certain word orders everywhere I look. License plates, babies' blocks, things my children write that are words, unbeknownst to them. I've slayed people using AA, AI, HM, and JO. I am reminded of a time my mom got like a thousand points playing DOJO on a triple. I naively thought there was no way she could play off of a hanging J with only one square open. Drats! Of course, nothing beats SUPERNOVA. See why I can't play her when I'm so raw? I seem to recall sticking my neck and playing her a couple years ago, and she QAT-ed me twice, and drew most, if not all, of the ten powers. (The two blanks, four esses, J, Q, X, and Z)
You all know that Q is typically the coveted letter, right? And that people will hold onto a U even if it's their only vowel, in hopes of drawing the Q. It's worth mentioning that, as one of only two letters worth ten points (the other being Z), naming my son Quinn was no coincidence.
Anyway, I really miss Scrabble, and I REALLY miss being able to play Scrabble. I was never going to play in a tournament or anything, but one can derive a lot of confidence from throwing down BANJAX to an unsuspecting opponent, and cresting 300 points.
Then again, one can also derive pleasure listening to Raffi sing Les Petites Marionettes. All I know is, Quinn and Reilly had better put my brain to good use!