I may have mentioned here recently that I received one of the world’s best board games, Scrabble, for Christmas. Back when I was single and living in a 5-bedroom house in Allston, Mass., we used to try and play Scrabble every Sunday night. In fact, evidence of these games actually still exist. Bless the web. I miss those games and it was fun getting together with a group of people to play. Making fun of people’s attempts at clearly fake words and laughing with roommates made for some memorable evenings. I always remember one particular time when our Italian born roommate tried to get away with the word “Wopen.” Maybe it was the way he pronouced it (hi, Guilio), but I’ll always remember it. Of course, it wasn’t allowed.

Anyway, Steph and I have been busy since the holidays, so we finally unwrapped the new game last weekend and gave it a go. It was a very close game with the lead bouncing back-and-forth each time we played a word. It pretty much came down to the last three turns. After playing a word, I reached into the bag and my hand emerged with both the Q and the K. What a thrill. Luckily for me, I also had an S and a U on my rack, which means I could probably drum up something with Q. So I started moving tiles around, desperately trying to come up with something, when it hit me. I actually had the word “Squawk” on my rack! If I were able to play this word, it’s game over, baby!

One turn went by. No place to play it. Believe it or not, there were no words I could make plural on an already crowded board, so I took three points by tacking an N onto an I to make “in.” Surely the next turn would open things up for me. Not to be. I looked at the word Squawk on my rack, just begging to be used, for 3 turns. I couldn’t use it anywhere and ended up losing by roughly 15 points. Tough break, but Steph’s a good player and she’s definitely smarter than I am. I look forward to many more years of down-to-the-wire games.