Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

The Night I Accidentally Cheated at Scrabble

Brent and I didn’t have any big plans for Valentine’s Day this year, so last night, instead of staying in NJ as I usually do on Mondays, I drove home for a quiet evening of wine and wordplay.

Every winter, after we’ve reached our quota of lazy nights in front of the television, Brent and I turn to boardgames to keep us entertained until the temperatures climb and the daylight lengthens.

Well, we haven’t come close to our lazy-night quota this year, but a spirited game of Scrabble seemed like the perfect way to spend a low-key Valentine’s Day.

Riesling poured, strawberries rinsed, and chocolate pulled from the freezer, we set up the board and got down to business.

If you haven’t guessed already, Brent has a competitive streak a mile long, and if pressed, I can get pretty into it myself.  At the end of the day, neither of us takes it too seriously, but our winter board game nights often turn into spectacles of strategic showboating, both of us gunning for the seven-letter payouts.

I started the night with the simple but well-placed PEEVE before Brent upped the ante with AVAILED.  Then came RANCH, and CROFT, and TUBES, and several rounds of both of us trading in our letters before I finally hit big with PAINTING.

That was it.  The gloves were off.

Over the next couple rounds, I began to piece together my big-money word of the night.  “I’m going to win it all right here,” I told Brent.

I had a D, an A, a Q, an R, and two I’s.  All I needed was that elusive U, and I was golden.

I threw down a B for an easy seven-point BA, and reached into the bag.

And then it happened.

I didn’t mean to look.  I’d planned to stick my hand in and pull out whatever my fingers grasped.  But I caught sight of the U, sitting right on top.

And what could I do?

I grabbed it guiltily and placed it in sequence.  And when my next turn came around, I made my move.

D-A-Q-U-I-R-I.  Double Letter. Double Word. 50 Point Bonus.

110 points.

Brent was crushed.

I tried to enjoy the moment, to relish in my victory.

But I couldn’t do it.

“Want to know a secret?” I asked a few turns later.

He was too focused on his letters to answer.

“Come on, let me tell you my secret.”


Another round went by.  More demoralized rumblings from across the table.

“Are you sure you don’t want to know?  It might change the outcome of the game…”

“What?  Is DAQUIRI spelled wrong?”**

“I don’t think so,” I told him.

“Then what?”

I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

“I accidentally fished out the U!”

“You cheated?”

“It was an accident.”

“You cheated.”

“Yes, but not on purpose.”

“You cheated!”

“I suppose I did.”

Brent’s revenge?  To play out the rest of the game – by himself – to see if he could best my score.  And I had to sit and watch.

**Turns out that DAQUIRI was, indeed, spelled wrong.  But I didn’t realize it until I wrote this post and the spellcheck caught it.**


13 responses to “The Night I Accidentally Cheated at Scrabble

  1. Kari w/ Jogging with Fiction February 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

    hahahahahah! that’s awesome. I still remember a game of scrabble when my then boyfriend played “treasure” and destroyed my entire family at the game. I, myself, am a master of the tricky 2-3 letter words that ruin the board and rack up points for me. 🙂

    • Abby February 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Treasure! What a great use of vowels. I’ll have to remember that one. My dad’s the master of the strategically-placed small words. I’m not sure I’ve ever beaten him.

  2. Mallory February 15, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Haha that was such a funny entry! I love it! As strawberry daiquiris are my favorite drink, I learned how to spell it quite a long time ago. So, on that note, I think you should forgive yourself and have a daiquiri!

  3. middleagedrunner February 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    My dad and I like to play scrabble with all 3 letter words. Makes for a very tricky game….

  4. RunToTheFinish February 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

    oh my gosh that is hilarious, mostly because it was in fact spelled wrong and because I am totally jsut as honest as you 🙂 we used to play scrabble a lot in the winters, haven’t much since we moved to miami so I may need to restart that

  5. Julie February 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Oh man, that was a hard one. An accidental cheating – I would have tried to keep that to myself, but the guilt would eventually make me spill my guts.
    GREAT word, tho!!

  6. nobel4lit February 15, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Similarly, we spent Valentine’s night watching Jeopardy and making him make me soup for dinner because I have been too sick to want food or be around it.

  7. Kim (Book Worm Runs) February 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    LOL!! Love it!! 🙂 Do you know that I have NEVER played Scrabble??? Shameful, I know!

  8. Stephanie February 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Good for you guys for playing Scrabble…I’m horrible at it. I can handle Banana Grams, but that’s about it for me!

  9. Kat @ Living Like the Kings February 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Hahahahaha I love that you fess up! Btw, I’ve seen your comments from time to time and I give in- what does “have dental floss, will travel” mean? I am so intrigued!

  10. denise February 16, 2011 at 9:35 am

    love it!!! we play a lot of triple yahtzee and it usually comes down to me sneaking in an extra roll. i eventually fess up but i don’t really need to…andy already knows every time do it!

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