Every day, I take my life into my own hands. I need a lot of courage to survive.
No, this has nothing to do with my commute on windy country roads. I’m talking about playing Scrabble with my wife.
The computer program we use to play the word game throughout the day isn’t called Scrabble, but that’s what we’re playing. We use one of those Facebook games to take each other on throughout the day.
A better explanation, however, is that Maria uses the game to beat the pants off me. She wins more than 80 percent of the games. So why do I worry about my life?
Those other 18 or 19 percent of games could spell doom for me. I have recounted the Parcheesi incident in previous columns and don’t want a repeat of that. (In short, she was one move from beating me at Parcheesi, I made an amazing comeback, she got mad and wouldn’t play the game with me for years.)
My wife isn’t unbalanced or anything. She just gets some pretty serious competitive juices when playing board games. And not only do I run the risk of stirring them up on those occasions when I win, but I do something on occasion which might send her over the edge.
There, I said it. She knows it, but I needed to admit it publicly. Now I don’t really think I’m cheating, but I need to conform to the generally accepted public definition of the word.
If I ever got dragged in front of a court of law on this matter, I would throw myself on the mercy of the court. You see, when you play Scrabble online, and you know that the Internet also contains websites where you can input the letters you have and get a list of every possible word you could play, you pretty much have no choice, right?
I think that’s true, especially when your regular opponent has a distinct advantage. She’s really, really smart and reads a lot of books. I’m just a poor TV watching, sports-loving, chicken-wing eating guy. How can I expected to know all those words?
To be fair, I don’t cheat all the time. I do hunt around the board and see what words I can make, but when I have a rack with a Z, a Q, three E’s, a W and a R, I pretty much have no choice.
I also think the whole aspect of cheating goes out the window when she plays an 82-point word on her first play of the game, pretty much dooming me to yet another loss. At that point, I’m not cheating. I’m just trying to make the score respectable.
I have a ton of fun playing so I keep it up knowing that I’m tempting fate. I won three times in five games in February so I started to get a little worried. But she keeps accepting my game requests and has won six of the last seven as I write this.
Even though I’m losing, I feel a little safer.