A young Scrabble player was kicked out of the national championship in Florida on Tuesday after being caught hiding blank tiles. A player at a nearby table spotted the player, whom Scrabble officials declined to name, concealing a pair of blank tiles by dropping them on the floor.
I’m not much of a Scrabble player, but even I know that there are only two blank tiles in each set. What was this kid going to say when he played his third, fourth or fifth blank tile of the game?
There’s nothing worse than a stupid cheater.
This story brought to mind an incident that occurred several years ago while playing Scrabble with my wife. We were at the home of friends for a holiday dinner and found ourselves in an actual drawing room playing Scrabble with a woman who was 100 years old. The lady could barely hear a thing but she had enough wits about her to not only play Scrabble but cheat at the game as well. Her attempts at cheating consisted mainly of surreptitiously shuffling letters on the board in a way that assisted her in word building, the whole time appearing as if she didn’t know any better. Despite her advanced age and inability to hear, it was clear that she knew what she was doing, and my wife called her out on it.
The best part was listening to Elysha yell at the woman, because this is the only way you could get the lady to hear. Yes, my wife was accusing a 100 year old woman of cheating, and yes, she was insisting that this woman play within the confines of the rules, but she was shouting at the woman the whole time. It was out of necessity of course, but I didn’t care. It was hilarious.
I actually asked Elysha to give the old lady a break and turn a blind eye to the cheating, but Elysha refused, insisting that this was a matter of principle.
For the record, Elysha won the game, defeating the centurion in what might have been the last Scrabble game of her life.
I kind of wished that the old lady had started crying upon losing. It would have made for an even better story.