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My War With Words (Or Scrabble Hell) This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There are some words. Some words are different depending upon the way they are printed. For example, if you write HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA for a long time on this word processor, the H's look like Shaker chairs and the A's look like Medieval thrones. Other words though are weird on their own. Implacable sounds like it should be an onomatopoeia word. Plack. Whoops. Or pixle. A computer word. It's too cute, sounds too much like a Pixie.

When I was in Maine at a friend's house for a weekend, we played Scrabble constantly. I was really bad. I mean, I wanted to spread great big clunky words all over the board. But there's not a lot you can do if you continually get X, Q, L, U, M, and L (again) all the time. Her mother was surprised. She said, "But you like words." Yes, I guess I do. But these people were Scrabble strategists. Scrabble prodigies. I mean, they could write Scrabble novels. A big, heavy blue Webster's was reluctantly shuffled around from player to player - and the words they got sounded like noises you hear under a sink. I mean, who uses "qua" in a sentence? Anybody who does I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

But I tried to keep my mouth shut, so as not to disturb the reverent silence that had settled. I quietly unwrapped a Mary Jane candy to chew on for a while so I could stew over my letters. It sounded like I was crumpling explosives in my hand. I didn't try it again. Thank goodness my friend asked for one, because that gave me an excuse to try it again. However, the serious quiet soon flowed back. I looked out the window at the lake and the gnarled pine trees, and shivered. I looked for lint between my toenails. I thought about what might be for dinner. I thought about deli-sliced turkey. It still was quiet; the other players were breathing shallowly as they moved the little wooden tiles around.

Finally, I thought this was about enough. I said simply, "Why is everyone so quiet?" expecting to be hushed immediately. Instead, my friend chortled.

She said, "You fool, it's been your turn for half an hour."

Whoops. I put down CAT and she proceeded to add some bizarre letters to it and garnered like thirty points. Such is my rocky relationship with words. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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