Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 2:21 pm | Light Rain Fog/Mist 55º


She Said, Z Said: Hardscrabble or Easy Scrabble?

Proper nouns or not, hard-core Old School gamers just can't get bored of games in bork

She: Have you heard about Scrabble Trickster?

Z: No. Why? What have you heard? It wasn’t me.

She: Mattel is introducing a game called Scrabble Trickster, which will allow players to use proper nouns.

Z: You mean like Bob?

She: Sure. Although, that’s also a real word: bob.

Z: OK, then, Frank.

She: Again ...

Z: Dick? Pat? Apple? I got a thousand of ‘em.

She: I don’t understand why you’re not more horrified. I thought that if you held one thing in this world sacrosanct, it was Scrabble.

Z: No. I’m fine. It’s really not that big a deal.

She: So if I play, say, Xyzal next time, you won’t have a problem with that?

Z: No. That’s fine. Great. Lovely. More power to you.

She: You, Mr. “Klobucher Rules,” who doesn’t allow cheating or improvising for any kind of board games, are OK with this?

Z: Absolutely.

She: You, the spawn of the family who not only reads the rulebook for every single game — including Candy Land — but also memorizes it and can still quote it verbatim 40 years later?

Z: I can’t believe you’re still hung up on the Molasses Swamp. The rule is very clear.

She: Yep. Just like Scrabble. But now Zzyzyx Road would be perfectly acceptable as a proper noun. You OK with that one?

Z: Awesome. What could possibly be wrong with that? I mean, of course, there’s a little problem in that it’s two words, so that kind of makes it illegal. And it’s a name. Of a road. Which is clearly sick and wrong. Never mind that there’s only one Z in Scrabble, and it would be a huge waste to use your two blanks just to prove a point, and what is wrong with you? Why would you taunt me like that? What’s with the torture?

She: Ha! I knew it! I knew this would bug you.

Z: Of course it does, because I’m civilized. What’s wrong with you that it doesn’t set your brain on fire?

She: It’s not the actual game. It’s a spin-off of the game.

Z: A spin-off? You mean like Joanie Loves Chachi? Yeah, what could possibly be wrong with a spin-off?

She: You never know. It could be like Cheers and Frasier.

Z: Yeah, more like Cheers and The Tortellis or The Cosby Show and A Different World. Sometimes you have to leave a good thing alone. It’s sick and wrong.

She: You mean Sickandwrong, the name of my next pet rock, which would be perfectly acceptable in this new version of Scrabble.

Z: Exactly. The reason I hate this is because Scrabble is mostly about fighting over what’s a real word, and then fighting over which dictionary to use. Once you add proper nouns, all that fight goes away. “Aeeebio? That’s the name of my fish. Aeeebio. Look it up.”

She: How is that not fun? It’s like Balderdash and Scrabble combined.

Z: I’ll give it this, and nothing else—at least it would allow me the opportunity to play Bork, bork, bork!

She: Bork, bork, bork!? Like Mork & Mindy bork, yet another spin-off from Happy Days?

Z: No, Bork, bork, bork! the language. Yet another total tangent to the rest of this column, but did you like that transition?

She: Uh ...

Z: I was Googling “Matt” because I couldn’t remember how to spell mat, and at the bottom of the Google search page I saw something called language tools. Curious and suddenly bored by my “Matt” search, I clicked on it.

She: You sure can tell a riveting story.

Z: It took me to a page where you can set the language for your Google messages and home page. Right there, between Bihari and Bosnian, you could select the Bork, bork, bork! language.

She: Who speaks that?

Z: The Swedish Chef Muppet. How awesome is that?

She: What would really be awesome is if he had a spin-off. Maybe Soony Day in Suhveeeden.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Share your favorite proper nouns with She and Z by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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