Embracing the world with positive creativity since Sept 2007.
“What is that?”
“Are you challenging?”
“Better believe it.”
Greg reached for the SCRABBLE Players Dictionary and began flipping its pages. He’d played this game against his old nemesis, Barry, plotting his strategy carefully. Playing his last tile a few minutes ago, Greg held a slim lead—347-341. The nearly three-and-a-half-hour epic battle had gone nearly the way he’d planned it. Barry had darted out to a quick early lead; but Greg slowly reeled him in and, by the halfway point, he’d gone ahead, keeping it close, trading Barry’s scores nearly point for point. Greg’s catch me, kiss my ass strategy was to result in winning by a single point if he could manage it, first pouring vinegar into Barry’s wound before rubbing salt into it; however, whether he won by a single point or six points, the shame would be Barry’s.
Greg had only to wait as Barry futilely searched the board for someplace to play his final tile, “K,” and come up empty. Maybe he hoped to tag it onto the end of a word somewhere—how many words ended with a “K?” INK, BLINK, THINK, SINK, LICK, STICK, SEEK, PEEK, KICK, MONK, BLANK, CLICK, TICK, PICK, PACK, BACK, SACK, PEAK, BOOK, LUCK, COCK, WORK, MILK, CHICK, WALK, TALK, FLICK, LINK, BANK, RANK, DRANK, FRANK, JUNK, OAK, QUICK, SUCK were just a few. Greg had played “PEE” horizontally early on, scoring double word points, then made a new word of it a few turns later by adding “R” after the “E” when he played “HAREM” vertically, scoring triple letter points for the “H” and robbing from Barry his future chance to play his “K”. Or maybe Barry hoped to nestle his “K” in between two letters to create something that, in his moody blues wildest dreams, would amount to seven or more points.
Fat chance of that happening, Greg had thought as he scanned the played tiles.
And so he had settled back into his chair, lips besmirked (not in the SCRABBLE Players Dictionary), smugly waiting for Barry to concede checkmate; the chair creaked from the weight of his great bulk, and he listened to the clock on the kitchen wall tick its tock. Greg was about to clean Barry’s clocK. All he had to do was to wait for his capitulation.
This was going to be sweet. Taking poetik license, it would be epik.
Until “clicK” went the “K,” onto the plastic surface of the deluxe SCRABBLE playing board (replete with recessed squares): EKE.
“Faaahk,” Greg said.
Greg read from the SCRABBLE Players Dictionary: “To supplement with effort; to obtain with great effort.”
Barry nodded. “Eke. Five points for the ‘K’ and one each for two ‘Es.’ I guess I managed to eke out this one, old friend.” Barry did his best Ricardo Montalbán impersonation from The Wrath of Khan, as Khan had repeatedly referred to Captain Kirk as “old friend.”
“I fuckin’ hate you, Barry. I fuckin’ hate you.”
Grinning, Barry didn’t think Greg sounded at all like William Shatner.