Remember in elementary school when little Timmy Rosenblatt* was the light of your life? The way he ate graham crackers, the way he cried during dodgeball, the way he waxed Socratic on the meaning of “Sesame Street,” all made him irresistible to you. Until little Jimmy Hosenfeffer** came on the scene and you were suddenly swept up in his flip-collared Izod t-shirt, the confident way he rode the tire swing, the way he made you feel like a lady every time he held your place in the juice line? I have learned, though, that old loves can be replaced by new loves. Scrabulous, I’m sorry, but I’ve met a new game. His name is Scramble and like the Tonka-truck filled sandbox at recess, he rocks my world.
My passion for the Scrabulous has been well-documented... by me. I’ve been happy with the game. Sure, I get my ass handed to me by every single person I play against (you know who you are), but I think I’ve been getting better and the game continues to be a challenge. Plus, honestly – and this is quite sad – I have rarely been as thrilled as I am when I hit a bingo. Crushing someone’s soul with a 78 point word is just, well, let’s just say I imagine it’s how the first chimpanzee felt when he got shot into space, looked out the rocketship window and flipped the bird to all his earth-bound brethren. Oh yes, that is how good it feels.
So you’ll understand my naïve belief that nothing could supplant my Scrabulous passion. I thought we would be together forever, eating graham crackers on the playground and talking about Big Bird. But then Scramble came along. For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s basically Facebook’s answer to Boggle – you’re given a board of jumbled letters and have roughly three minutes to ferret out as many words as possible. My first attempts with Scramble were tentative. “Surely this can’t be as good as Scrabulous,” I mused.
Oh but it was. In fact, it was oh so much better. You know why? Because I can win. Hallelujah, praise the Lord of Online Amusements, I can actually win. Even better, though, I can’t always win which means that the game challenges me and fires my sad little neurons in ways that I’m assuming are beneficial. (Or not. Who cares? I’m winning!) It has increased my vocabulary, especially my knowledge of three letter words. (I shine with the three letter words). But I’m still failing with the longer words. It’s difficult – in a fun way – to tie 8 separate letters together into one coherent, not-made-up English word. For a vocabulary whore like me –- a sick woman who actually used to enjoy vocab quizzes -- the whole thing is bliss, bliss and more bliss with rainbow sprinkles and unicorns on top.
I’ll still stay friends with Scrabulous. The game’s been good to me and there is no better thrill than those all-too-infrequent bingos. But I don’t know if I’ll ever “like like” Scrabulous again now that my heart belongs to that bewitching young character known as Scramble.
* Name made up out of thin air to protect the innocent.
** Name even more made up than the first one!