I Have My Own Cheering Section

I am beginning to think that what I should have given up for Lent is a little computer game called Scrabble Blast. You can download it (with the aide of your credit card) from msn’s home page. It costs about $20, but spending that twenty dollar bill in such a way will bring you endless hours of joy.

Oh, the joy! Genuine joy!

It will be the biggest Time Waster (capital letters denote the importance of that event) that you own.

You have to spell words by joining little Scrabble tiles together, before the bombs drop to the bottom of the screen. If the bombs actually make it to the bottom of the screen, there’s a bit of an on-screen explosion, and it’s lights out for everyone.

But here’s the Most Wonderful Thing (capital letters denote the importance there, too). When you spell words that are worth more than 40 points, you get cheered for. There is much cheering and applauding, and you feel like you’ve just flipped higher than Shaun White on his snowboard and heard the Olympic crowd erupt in brilliant applause.

Except there’s no flaming orange hair that needs the attention of a good pair of scissors.

Shaun White, get a haircut. I don’t care if you are a gold medal winner; you need to see a barber.

But I digress.

Which is nothing new, if you’ve seen this blog before. It’s a continual project in digressions and run-on sentences.

The Greatest Part (capitals…again) is that if you clear a screen with more than 400 points, there is not only cheering and applause — there is also the sound of bugles being blown. It’s a precious sound to the ears.

In fact, whenever I play it, I now get quite irritated with myself if I FAIL to spell a word worth a minimum of 40 points. Without the 40-point words, there will be no bugle-blowing. I don’t like to tell a lot of people this, but if I have a screen of bad letters, and I’m forced to spell small words worth small points (say that five times fast!), I’ve been known to quit the game and (gasp!) start over. It’s a little thing that Hubs likes to call cheating. But really? Have any of you ever played Monopoly with Hubs? Let’s talk about the real definition of cheating in that game, shall we? Hubs has been known to throw the bank filled with no-good paper money onto the floor like a preschooler, if he feels someone (and by someone, I mean me) has penalized him with incredibly high property taxes.

Really, the stupid game of Scrabble Blast makes me feel good. I’m challenged to create massive words (Intellectual Stimulation). And the cheering! Low! It’s beautiful.

And the word bedazzled? Hello! Put that puppy on a triple letter square, and it’s worth 305 points alone! I thought the speakers were going to blow out of the sides of the computer with all the applause I got on that one.

Hello, Shaun White. Not even you can generate as much applause by hot-dogging on your snowboard as I can gather with the word bedazzled.

As far as it being a Time Waster…well, it is. I still haven’t accumulated a high score with more bulk than 4,100 points. I’m on a mission to break forty-one-hundred, and I can’t seem to accomplish it, but I’m like a slot machine junkie with two extra quarters. I always think that the NEXT game will do it for me, and I’ll be launched into the famed area of 4,200 points.

It’s a sickness, people.

At any rate, the boy is currently camped out in his bathtub, conducting an all-out war with his little Playmobil men. He has a little camp set up (complete with a miniature cot, trees, a lantern, and plastic tent) in the area where the shampoo bottle should sit, and on the edge of the tub are the knights with their spears and clubs and black powder kegs.

I’m not really a betting girl, but my money is on Team Knight. I think the little campers are in for it, as they’re armed with nothing more than a camping axe and whatever oil they can ignite from the lantern and start a fire with, and with all the splashing that is going on in the tub, I’m afraid that their fire would be doused rather quickly, and they’ll easily be overtaken by the knights on horseback. Their full-body armour is just a bonus that makes them look very intimidating. They’re not going to actually need their armour, fighting those naive, unarmed campers.

I think the boy deliberately set things up that way. He tends to love weighing one team down with excessive weaponry and stripping the other side of all gadgets that could be used for bloodshed. He’s not really into staging fair fights; he prefers to have a unanimous victory that’s over in seconds.

But really? The wrinkled little boy needs to get out of the tub and study his spelling words and read. His dang teacher has to put a damper on everything.

And me? After the spelling words are studied and the chapters are read out loud, I’m heading out for a movie with some of my girlfriends. Of course the movie starts at 9:30, which is the time I usually crawl into bed, so I’ll probably need to have a Red Bull IV inserted in my arm tomorrow morning to get me going.

Or I could just play a quick game of Scrabble Blast, and the cheering should get me moving.

Happy Thursday night, people.

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