Scrabble in Time of Crisis

450px-Blank_Scrabble_board_with_coordinates.svgMy old buddy Stan called shortly after our governor issued a ‘stay at home’ order due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I got to get out of here,” he wailed.

“Good grief,” I told him, “it hasn’t been ten minutes since the announcement and the order doesn’t go into effect until midnight.”

Stan is usually unflappable and very few things can rattle him, but after considerable prodding, I finally got him to confess.

“Daphne threatened me.”

“With what?”

He cupped the phone to muffle his words, ………Scrabble.”


“She is demanding we play Scrabble for the entire shutdown and the way I figure it, I only have two options: murder or catching up on her honey-do list.”

“I’d advise the later.”

“But that’s the problem. I only have a week’s worth of work, and the shutdown lasts two weeks, which leaves me an entire week of Scrabble hell.”

I didn’t think it was possible to hear a man shudder over the phone – but I did.

“You want me to talk to Daphne?”

“It’s why I called.”

So I called Daphne.

“Did you threaten Stan with Scrabble?”

“I did.”

“That’s pretty low.”

“But effective.”

“Any thought of going back on it?”


“Okay, then at least let him win. Think of it like playing checkers against a five year old. Stan is just a big kid and it drives him nuts to lose.”

“You don’t have to tell me that – but I can’t let him win.”

“Daphne, the world is in a time of crisis and everyone is called upon to make small sacrifices, letting Stan win at Scrabble is your calling.”

“I can’t do it.”

“Why not?”

“Because we don’t own a Scrabble game.”


“I know how much you hate it and how your wife threatens you with it, so I borrowed the technique to get some things done around the house.”


“It’s my middle name.”

“Tell me, would you play Scrabble with Stan if you had it?”

“Not in a million years.”

A few days later, my wife called out from her sewing room. “After you finish painting the living room, you can hang those hallway pictures like I’ve been asking you to do for the last six years.”

“Not going to happen.”


“Not going to happen either.”

“and why not?”

“Because I gave our game to Stan and Daphne, it is all they have been talking about.”

A long pause…, (the kind that sends the cats scurrying for cover).

“Then go buy another…”

“We are in lockdown and Scrabble is not considered an essential.”

“By who?”

“The state.”

Somehow I knew what was coming.

“Maybe so Mister, but it’s an essential for you.”

Author: Almost Iowa

45 thoughts on “Scrabble in Time of Crisis”

  1. Nice. I keep asking my husband if he wants to play Back Gammon, and he keeps saying no. I need to work on my delivery because the honey-do list isn’t getting done either. Hmm. Can you call him?

  2. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it now! And my husband is currently cleaning out the garage. I won’t tell how I managed that one, it’s a Scrabble-type secret.

  3. I think the Amazon drone can carry the edition with the plastic racks and tiles. I also think you’re doomed.

    Nicely done Greg and it’s good to see that you’re doing well. At least you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

    1. I’d can’t wait to get to some outside projects, unfortunately we rushed home to dreary cold wet weather. Next week looks good though. Hope you can get to some gardening soon.

  4. Hahaha – I’m very bad about rage-quitting games. Scrabble is one of those games I often rage-quit, so I doubt there will be much going on at my house!

    1. It is my fair hope that before I pass from this earth, I will at least get a glimpse of what it looks like when that arsenal is spent. 🙂

  5. All wives recognize the chinks in our armor. It’s instinctual and goes back to earliest times. “Go kill something to eat or wash off the baby’s butt.” Guess what. —Curt

    1. Yeah, I’d rather gut a deer than change a diaper. In my family, everyone had to do everything and being one of the oldest in a family of 11 kids, I wiped a lot of butts, so when I say I’d rather gut a deer, I am speaking from experience.

    1. “Excuse me?”

      “This is Greg’s muse speaking. The story is mine, not his. He is a dolt who relies upon me for everything creative, and you know… I worked on the guy for decades and only after he retired did he start to listen. These days, he helps by doing the typing while I dictate…”

      1. 😀 😀 My frustration stems from my family ‘conveniently’ forgetting to show me cards they had. That was too much letdown for a little kid!

  6. Essential. It’s all in how you define it. I say that about as often as I say WTH anymore. Great time to be alive, ain’t it?

  7. You never fail to crack me up, Greg! And what a delight to finally meet Daphne. I see shenanigans a-plenty in our near future!! 🐒🐒

    1. Daphne is an interesting character. She is the sister of Darcy, who was and is Stan’s old flame. On the way to Vegas to get married, Darcy and Stan got into a fight and Stan married Daphne for spite. Daphne married Stan because he has an excellent health insurance plan. It all worked out – in a fashion.

  8. Ah, yes. Definition is everything. Are grocery stores essential? Sure. Gas stations? Yup. Liquor stores and pot parlors? Uh… yes. As one state official said, “We can’t close the liquor stores. We don’t need all those people suffering withdrawal coming to the ERs.” Well, I see his point. I wonder what he’d say about Scrabble?

    1. Interestingly enough, liquor stores may soon be running low on stock. My son owns a distillery in Northfield and they are converting their processes over to hand-sanitizer. They have been giving the stuff without charge to first responders, hospitals and nursing homes and I suppose sooner or later they will have to start charging – but everyone seems to be pitching in with their own skill and resources. I guess times like this bring out the best and worst in people. Hopefully more best than worst.

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