Word Play

photo 2

So here’s something that isn’t necessarily a favorite at game night. Bananagrams still one of my favorites. Does it sound lonely to admit that I enjoy playing by myself?

Bananagrams is a quick game. Speed games are not Cam’s forte. He’s methodical, calculating. I like to think quick on my feet. I feel more productive when I have a deadline and time is running out. I could probably say the same for my day job too.

I like word games. Words with Friends—or it’s original, Scrabble, Scattegories, Boggle, Bananagrams, and even cross word puzzles are all pleasures I usually consume alone. Bananagrams is an easy game to play alone. I just follow the rules for a 2-4 player game. To make it more challenging, I try not to “dump” a letter, or exchange it for three more tiles to work with.

For 2 years while in the Peace Corps, I had Bananagrams to entertain me in the evenings when I was out of books to read. Playing with the village children could be amusing, until they spell their own names ten times and don’t really know how to spell any other English words. It was a game that was easy to carry around with me. I could always pack it with me when I was on my way to visit other volunteers. We always managed to find creative new ways to play the game. Themed games were always the hardest. We would challenge each other to only use words to describe yourself, or the person across the table from you.

I was also an English teacher, so I was always trying to come up with new word games to integrate into the classroom. The school library had a Scrabble board. I occasionally played with my fellow teachers. Unfortunately, English was their second language, too. Or third or fourth.

These days, they aren’t favorites at game night. It’s hard to convince the group to embrace fast-paced games or word games. We do on the rare occasion play Unspeakable Words. Of course, we’ll play that one. It has cute little Cthulhus to track your insanity.

Today, Cam and I whipped out and dusted off Bananagrams for a quick game. I’m confident that if he practiced as much as I do when I’m at home alone, he might beat me someday.