Amicus Scrabblae

Everyday, I get more and more convinced that the only reason why grown men play scrabble is because it’s the only socially acceptable way to explore their curiosity about jumping onto other men. For those who don’t know what scrabble is, gather around me as I explain to you the Byzantine nature of this dastardly sleazy game. Scrabble is a game in which guys the size of a tractor (Injera, Kidinga and Tiger Woods come to mind) scamper around in tight shorts chasing after an egg-shaped ball. Why is everyone so confused?
Oops! Sorry, am conflating scrabble with rugby! But you can’t blame me, can you? After all, these two games are eerily similar.
Now, let’s assume that we all know what scrabble is and go straight to the reasons why I play the game, shall we? Yes we shall.
1. Am Too Good for Hockey

Once upon a time, before I discovered goat-screaming and deer-dancing, I was a very lonely guy. There wasn’t a game I could engage in. That is when Chris Ng’eno, the hockey captain at that time, approached me and urged me to join hockey. My experience at the hockey pitch is one I’d prefer never to recall. If you can call running around the field like retarded penguin on drugs athleticism, then I was easily the greatest athlete Nakuru High School has ever known.

Again, hockey was an extremely dangerous game. I had to show up at the pitch wearing a wire-gauze around my groin so as to protect my future (unwanted) children. I still do that while walking around Nairobi though, this city ain’t safe.
My only moment of joy came that day when I scored the only goal of the match. But the limelight went out five minutes later when I came to a realization that I had veritably scored an own goal. Can you believe it took me a whole five minutes to realize I’d scored an own goal? My teammates were so mad that after the game, they all went Django unchained on me. They beat me with everything they could lay their hands on, including hockey sticks, boots, and fists. Some of them even used their nails! By nails, I mean they brought out hammers and nailed me to a nearby tree for three days!
Okay, the last line in the last paragraph is baloney, but you get my point. From that day, I divorced hockey and went scouting for another sport. I contemplated trying golf, but changed my mind when I discovered that impecunious guys like me would need to sell a kidney or two before they could afford entry into a golf club.
Thank God I later met Joel Birgen, my current scrabble captain, and he introduced me to the game. The rest, as a wise ruler called Mugabe once said, is history.
2. It Prevents me From Catching a Girlfriend
Other than Goat-screaming and deer-dancing, scrabble is the only thing I can really sink my teeth in. It’s so addictive that I usually stay in the house to play scrabble every night. I guess this gives you an idea of how wild and exciting my life is. But then, maybe I’ve just assumed my role in the society as an 83 year old senile man.
Unlike other kids who rambunctiously go out for raves and gormless jamborees, I prefer to stay in and do scrabble instead. Besides, am not in a rush to contract the latest version of venereal warts as those who go out for bashes are.
Even at school, it’s either calculus or scrabble. I stopped attending parties long ago when I was invited to this bash but they insisted one should bring along their own date. I brought with me my calculus book, after all my female cousins refused to accompany me. Worst party of my life!
Plus, scrabble prevents me from doing some very bad things like smoking weed, downloading porn, drinking Bluemoon, and catching a girlfriend.
3. It Strengthens my Gray Matter.
Nothing keeps the mind sharper than a little word jousting with your peers. In fact, when compared to other asinine games like NFS, FIFA, kalongo, kati and fornication; scrabble comes out as the most stimulating, scintillating and thought-provoking game ever known to man. The only games that come even close to it are goat-screaming and deer-dancing.

The strength of scrabble lies not so much on what it does to the body, but what it does to the mind. The other day I fell through the window from the fifth floor and hit the pavement head-first. Instead of calling an ambulance, they had to call someone to repair the pavement. This is a true testament to how playing scrabble has strengthened my medulla oblongata.

Another thing, scrabble gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re creative enough, you can bottle these juices and sell them to people as refreshment.
It has come to my attention that today’s youth are woefully obtuse. Most of these nitwits are more concerned with the growth of their hair than by the brain beneath it. These are the same ninnies who need to swallow pain killers every time they change their minds, because they’re just that stupid. Out of sheer concern, I am writing a missive to the Ministry of Education asking them to inculcate scrabble into the curriculum.
4. How about Better Spelling?

 I am a rare species, and the government ought to protect me and house me in a museum after I die. This is because am the only young person remaining who can spell words like ‘thanks’, ‘sorry’, and ‘success’ correctly. In fact, for this rare ability, President Uhuru should award me a holiday with a masseur of my choice. Heck! He should even crown me Moran of the Burning Spear! And do you know why I deserve all that? It’s because scrabble and Jones go together like Noah and pine-wood.

I have always reserved a special place of hate in my heart for people who rape the lexicon with asinine and discombobulating (I always like to use that word) spellings. This is a sorry generation of young people who are reliant on lethargic short form communication and must end every sentence with an emphatic LOL. You really have to wonder what the hell runs through the minds of these young people when they take a perfectly sensible word like ‘sorry’ and ruin its etymology by making it ‘XOWY’.
Let’s put a moratorium to this asinine trend by playing scrabble. Is that too much to ask?
5. My Crush Plays Scrabble.

I know it’s none of your business, but it behooves me to inform you that my crush (Not President Uhuru’s daughter this time) plays scrabble too!

Whenever I turn on my computer and find that she’s online, I bubble with joy as I inbox her “Wanna play?”
When she says yes, I celebrate by doing a little deer-dancing before rushing to the bathroom for a quick shower. I also brush my teeth and steal my mum’s perfume before the game starts. Never mind she (my crush) can’t even see me from the other side.
When playing against her, I make sure put down words like honey, love, sweetpie (a bingo), sexy, et cetera. It’s really disappointing how she never takes a cue.
I always let her win on purpose.
6. The Board is Uncensored.
This Image has nothing to do with this story

If you think am nuts, then you’ll be utterly flummoxed when I introduce you to my roommate, Otongolo Donge*. (The real name has been changed to protect the identity of my real roommate, Sebastian). (I still maintain that the picture at the beginning of this post has nothing to do with this story).

From a distance, Otongolo Donge looks like a paragon of good morals. But on the board, the façade crumbles to reveal the most amoral and vile creature the world has ever known. While the game lasts, Otongolo Donge’s salacious side gets revealed as he makes some very degenerate and unsavory moves.
His favourite offensive is f**k, and he usually strives to play the insult early during the game. He then proceeds to put down other raunchy words such as sucker, faggot, and others that I can’t post on my blog because my grandma is reading. (Hi grandma!)
While playing against Otongolo Donge, I try to secure a place in heaven for both of us by playing holy words like Bible, Jesus, cross, and Abraham (a bingo).
But despite his saucy and perverted moves, Otongolo Donge usually manages to wallop all his opponents. Nay, he smashes, squashes, pummels, flattens… Okay, you get the point.
One day, while playing against Otongolo Donge, I put down the word ass (I swear I was thinking about a donkey). The devil then took a hold of my friend and made him put ‘hole’ just beneath my morally upright play. I was so offended that I reported him to the nearest police station the following morning.
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jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.