Electric Aunt

Electric Aunt was a game played on the Game of Life board. A friend and I invented it back in adolescence days. Inspired by the square ‘Eccentric Aunt dies and leaves you 50 cats. Pay $10,000 to get rid of them.’ The electric aunt was an old TV tube—all TVs had many tubes, before the days of transistors, let alone semiconductors. The aunt took its own turn, after that of the regular players. It could move independently and zap anyone in a radius equal to its height. Today, due to sensitivity toward cats and maybe even aunts, that square was long ago renamed and you must pay $10,000 for some other reason.

‘Care to play a game of Electric Aunt?’ I asked my brother, after the cheating snot whomped me once again at Scrabble?

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There is a God in Heaven—and the Game He Plays is Scrabble

Not looking good. The lousy cheater just Scrabbled to make ‘loaners.’ 151 to 92. How much you want to bet that when I turn the blank over it is another letter?

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I painted a crosspiece on an ‘i’ and put the resulting ‘x’ to make ‘ex’ going both ways—the ‘x’ counted 6 times for being on a triple letter. Got to do something to keep up wtih my brother’s cheating. Even after his unfairly taking the triple word with ‘oh’ I am slightly ahead.

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With few letters letter, my lousy brother probably has probably cheated to draw the ‘q’ and the ‘z.’ The trick will be to make him eat them. He will scream ‘We don’t play that way!’ but that is to be expected.

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The rotter! Do you think he will open up access to the lower right of the board? No way will he if it gives me the chance make one point more! What a skunk! I guess I am forced to play the same way, but in this type of battle, being magnanimous to contrast his smallness, I usually give in. Not this time!

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He did unload his ‘q,’ the louse, but he didn’t get much for it. He is putting down words of 10 and under (so am I) so as not to open the board. All letters are out. I must make him eat the ‘z.’ Should I make ‘kale’ & give him shot at the triple? NO!

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Whoa! He broke first! Put down ‘plug.’ But how can I go out with this mess of a hand? Four vowels and an ‘f’? Where’s the justice?! I can’t even reach the triple word. Is he setting himself up? I lead by a point!

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YES!!! I whomped my cheating brother by 15 points even WITHOUT counting the ‘z’ he had to eat! ‘Tom, calm down, it’s just a game!’ he says, as though I am not calm. When HE wins he calls out the Navy Marching Band AND the Hill Cumorah Tabernacle Choir to celebrate.

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Come, now, Tom. It is a cute post and all, but ‘God Wrote the Universe, and the Game that he Plays is Scrabble? Really?

Well—the scripture does say that in the beginning was the Word. Moreover, the verse that must be there but I have not yet found it reads: “Have you beheld the great Scrabble game in heaven, o Job, and considered how nobody can put one over on Me?”

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Well, I Guess I Taught the Big Cheater a Lesson This Time, Didn’t I?

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HA! Right off the bat I opened up an 8 point lead! My brother is such a lousy Scrabble player!

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Okay, okay, so it’s 80-8. I’m just getting started. (What a cheater!) Words like ‘stealing’ occur easily to my brother. I should have known! Now what am I to do with this mess of a tray? Hmm. ‘Witch?’

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Not looking too good. Down ‘only’ 64 points—after 2 turns.

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Lay down 3 vowels—draw 3 more. What a rotten game! I’ll trade in some letters. “You’ll never win that way!” my brother taunts, who probably stacked the bag. The X is good, but it must count at least 4 times.

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Empty the tray to make ‘broadens.’ 62 points. But that only puts me within 6 of the big cheater—and he has yet to take his turn. He will take one triple—I will take the other. What nasty tricks does he have up his sleeve?

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His turn. He is leading 179 - 173. Anyone following out there? May need help here. He was leading by almost 100, though.

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Good. Will score 4X with the K to make ‘kale’ and ‘ad.’ 27 points. Puts me 5 ahead. But he still has his turn to take.

 

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Tie score—221 each. My turn. Can I do anything with ‘porn’? The word, I mean, not the stuff. No, wait, I’ll do ‘prion’ ‘op’ and ‘or’ for a 28 point lead. I could win this game yet, after being down almost 100. J is out though, and Z—and I don’t have them. Better watch the skunk.

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Um—I could use a few vowels here. All letters are out and I only have a 15 point lead. Wait! ‘Adz’ will probably do it for me. Good thing. I would have been in big trouble otherwise. When my brother tried to count remaining letters in the tray against me, I would have had to say, “We don’t play that way! But now all is well.

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Down almost 100 points, I came back to kick his rear end, 361 to 311. “He can’t even let his brother win once in a while,” he grumbled as he walked away. And when a spare letter dropped from his sleeve, I didn’t even say anything!

Wrap up:

Drawing upon my mastery of the language I opened up an 8 point lead with my very first move, putting down ‘leg.’ But with all the deviousness of the Dark Lord, my brother laid down ‘stealing’ to Scrabble AND take the triple word, unfairly vaulting ahead 80 to 8! Trust my brother to come up with a word like ‘stealing’—I mean, it is his specialty. I should have known!

It only got worse! Lay down three vowels, and draw four—that kind of a game. I traded some letters in. “You’ll never win that way,” he smirked.

The smirk faded when I Scrabbled myself to make ‘broadens’ for 62 points, pulling to within 7. Still, I pulled ahead, but (gasp!)—with all letters out, a tray full of consonants and two ‘Y’s, and only a 15 point lead—look, I had tons of vowels before, I could use one about now. Wait! Building off an ‘A’ to make ‘adz’ puts the ‘Z’ on a triple letter score—probably enough to carry the day. It did. After being down nearly 100, I beat the skunk 361 to 311. He looked grim as he left the board.

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Still More Games

Well, I ordered dominoes today - not the pizza (Lord, how much can we eat??) I mean the tiles just to shake evenings up around here.  The estimated delivery was like 2042. Recommend other good games for two??? Something without screens!

Scrabble works well if you are not playing someone uber-competitive who will die before he leaves you access to a triple word score, like my brother.

After this evening’s Scrabble game, my brother checked the bottom box.

 

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On the way to crushing my brother, I counted a 27, I counted a 33. I counted a 64. I counted a 28. “I don’t like your countenance!” he said. He complained that he’d had only had one good letter. So I told him about Barney Fife, who begged for bullets but was only allowed one (and he had to keep it in his pocket) because he was too irresponsible for more. And even one was risky. Wielding power instantly went straight to his head.

Like the episode in which Barney is fidgeting as always and almost shoots himself in the foot. Against Andy’s better judgment, he gives him another bullet on condition he keep it in his pocket. In no time at all, temptation has overcome him and he puts it in his gun. Now, there is a confidence man—a famous swindler, a dapper man—that the State Police have asked Andy to keep in this cell a couple of days pending transfer. In short order he proceeds to sweet-talk everyone and while Barney is seeking his favor because he is so famous, he grabs his gun from the holster—now he will make his great getaway. Andy enters. The con man points the gun at him and orders him into the cell. Andy just smiles, He knows the gun is not loaded. Barney is not allowed to load his gun. (Barney is sweating —um—bullets, because he has indeed loaded it. Andy walks to the con and he fires a warning shot. Click. He fires another. Click. The guns not loaded Andy says, and puts the fellow back in the cell before all. ‘Imagine thinking he could threaten me with Barney’s gun,” he smiles again as he pulls the trigger, gun pointed in the air. It fires. He turns sheet-white. Barney doesn’t ask for another bullet—at least for the duration of the show.

“As long as your brother does not start keeping an extra letter in his pocket now,” someone said, getting into the spirit of things. He usually does do this. But when he keeps two in his pocket, they click together and i catch him red handed. His ’repentance’ is like that of Adam.

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“Come on, Tom—it’s only a game,” my brother says when he’s clobbering me and I am sweating to recall just what can be done with four ‘i’s and a ‘v.’ He will also say it when he has a tray from hell himself and wants to detract from my inevitable glorious victory. But if he has a decent tray himself, and the game is anyway near competitive.....

From the day of his birth, my brother has lived to torment me. In his defense, I must point out that he maintains it was irresistible, since I took everything so seriously. Maybe in those words someone will read a how-to directive on side-stepping torment, so I leave it in without comment.

It was a stupendous battle of monster intellects—when drawn upon full throttle, the very Einsteinian time-space heavens bent around the board, snarling traffic citywide. Through Herculean mental effort I eventually squeezed by my brother, 198 to 196‬

‪And my wife—who atypically sat in for the game, had 235‬

Obviously, when my I beat my conniving brother 198 to 196—drawing on brainpower that at its peak depleted the power generation of Niagara Falls—and my wife scored 235, we could have beat her. Don’t think for even one second that we couldn’t. No way would she not have fallen before we two titans locked in a war of superheroes, had we diverted even a hairsbreath of our mighty intellects. Surely you realize this. But who wants to beat up on a girl? we said chivalrously.

Usually in a 3-way game where I lose to my brother, I can (and do) blame it on my wife. She gives him easy setups—access to triple words and so forth. Softballs she tosses at him, whereas he fires hardballs to me. “I’ll give you a break, Tom” he says as he technically gives access to a triple that you would have to have a one in a million trayful of letters to reach. Taunting me all his life, the little snot.

No, there’s no sibling rivalry. Why do you ask?

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The skunk! My brother’s a no-good skunk. Firmly behind, he Scrabbled and went out at the same time with “steering!” Oh—and the ‘Q’ that I would have used next to score 44 points, regaining the lead? He wanted to count that against me! “We don’t play that way!” I told the cheater!

 
Laura Lampert Who played "pully"? I'd have challenged that word for being spelled wrong.

Actually that was mine. It went unchallenged. I got a lot of points for it, too. Of course, I didn’t mean that round thing. I meant the word used for people who are too clingy.

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Eric Snitel, the weather guy, tweeted a photo of Bolt, his Siberian Husky, a dog that always looks like it is about to nail you for larceny: “Monopoly night at our house. Katie cheats, so I employ Bolt to keep an eye on things.“ “I need that dog bad,” I responded. “My brother does nothing but cheat at Scrabble.”

Driving to my brother’s place, I missed a turn. I told my wife I hoped I was not going senile since I would need my noggin for at least the next three hours to trounce the big cheater per usual in Scrabble.

The skunk! My brother’s a no-good skunk. Firmly behind, he Scrabbled and went out at the same time with “steering!” Oh—and the ‘Q’ that I would have used next to score 44 points, regaining the lead? He wanted to count that against me! “We don’t play that way!” I told the big jerk! FBE56BE1-193F-4B57-9C83-3D0C16C91EF1

NO, he didn’t beat me! Why do ask? I took the big cheater by 70 points! And doesn’t he wish he opened his Christmas gift early? “How to Beat Your Bigger BETTER Brother at Scrabble” I broke all the rules to put the book by his tree. You would think he could at least open it early.

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My brother was due for his bi-weekly Scrabble drubbing, but last night it had to be postponed. After the game he tried to follow me out to the car in order to rub in his 80 point win, but his big head got stuck in the doorway.

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Midway through the game, my brother poured concrete on the board, eliminating use of the upper left half. I began to think I had been overconfident and I untied the hand behind my back, but he eaked out an 80 point win anyway. What a miserable Scrabble game!

The game had started so well. I had pulled the dictionary off the shelf to help my brother in case he wanted to cheat and look up some words. As long as I had it in my hand, I checked on the spelling and the existence of another word. Discovering I had a green light, I had jumped to a 4 point lead!

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I forgot my clandestine sneak-a-peak pocket dictionary and I knew my brother would take advantage of that oversight to cheat. During the game I scrabbled, but he unfairly disallowed it because it was spelled wrong.

After my brother beat me two times by 80 points, I said NO MORE!! He beat me by only 60 points last night. It is getting awfully hard to put lipstick on this pig. (When he bent over to tie his shoe, his extra stash of Scrabble letters fell from his pocket, the big cheater.)

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I used my blank to #Scrabble by making “berriet” but my brother screamed that there was no such word!

Check it, I told him. “And if you don’t find it, try ‘berries.’”

The big baby.

I won, but it was not easy. He’s very good.

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I Scrabbled to make “longers,” but my brother challenged it: “Use it in a sentence!” he taunted.

“I see some longers,” I said. (the big baby)

I made other cool words, too, and he STILL beat me: 379 to 351.

He is very good. (and he cheats)

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When I used my blank to scrabble by making “toggues,” my brother howled that toggues was not a word. So I told him it was really “toggles.” After the game I asked if he would mind posing by the board and looking real sad, but he was not cooperative.

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.............

My brother drew a low letter through cheating to have the first turn. But the baby only scored 10 points with ‘oy.’ I got 40 with ‘jar’ but he whined that I had blocked up the board. Just because no one can play does not mean the board is blocked up. He always was a crybaby.

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.........

Can you believe that my brother challenged “ai?” It’s a 3-toed sloth! Duh.

And if there can be one, there can also be many—to reach the triple word score, which I did my next turn.

He had started by dishonestly scrabbling with “weaning” but later I did the same with “panamas” and beat the cheater by 50 points.

He got so mad he almost ran over a pack of ais backing out the drive.

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It’s unbelievable! My brother—the cheater—scrabbled on his first turn: “pointer” to open a 40 pt lead! I closed the gap and regained the lead. HE DID IT AGAIN with “jockies.” I never liked him. Even my wife who has been known to take his side said that was unfair! But if you take away the 100 “bonus points” that he claimed (is that really a rule or did he just make it up?) then glorious victory is mine!

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.......

See how my brother stuck a Q up there to seal off the upper left? Do you think he cared?

Never have I seen such a tray of such filthy, cantankerous letters that hate each other (and me) and refuse to cooperate. My brother’s, in contrast, sung “I Want to Hold Your Hand”! all game long! He had a love-in with his!

I do beat him sometimes. I do! I really do. I crush him SO BAD! But he gets so mad when that happens that he instantly hurls the board and letters at the wall before I can take a picture, so the only photos i have are of the rare times that he beats me!

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“You even had the J!’ said my victorious, cheating brother. Yeah, well what of the Z, the Q, the X or any other DECENT consonant?!!! 

 

Trade in five vowels in & draw six! “Well, you HAD the J,” the odious skunk says. 

 

NO, I AM NOT UPSET!!!!! A7DA817D-65CD-4CFA-A2AE-8385DE0B8387
....

I Scrabbled! A brilliant Scrabble for a stunning come-from-behind WIN!!!! Except I didn’t. He beat me 337 to 335!

 

He had the Q, the Z, the X!!

 

Oh, and did I mention he had the J?

 

How do you spell: “IDONTLIKEMYBROTHER!” ?

 

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Here is a Picture of My Scrabble-Cheating Brother BEFORE Donning His Halloween Costume

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I don’t believe it! My brother won ANOTHER Scrabble game? How? Through his usual method, of course. Through cheating! Here is a picture of my brother BEFORE he put on his Halloween costume: 27D604A6-C047-427A-8957-E74518E943EB

He always cheats. He cheats and cheats and cheats. And whenever he wins a game in that way (through cheating), he will climb atop a slide or something and taunt me!

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This is a photo of my mother taking my brother and I probably to church, where we would supposedly learn to be moral,upright, and honest. She succeeded beyond her wildest dreams with me of course. But my brother grew up to be a notorious ne’er do well, known far and wide for Scrabble cheating.

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Do I never win? Yes, sometimes I do. Sometimes all the cheating in the world, even his extra stash of letters, does not help him. And when I do win, do you think he is a good sport about it? Does he look cute to you in these photos? Well, JUST LOOK at how he changed the paint job on my Datsun pickup!

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photo: (final photo) SilverElephant

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Dishonestly, my brother took an early lead of 30 points. Valiantly, I closed the gap and pulled ahead by 10. It was not to be. The skunk edged me out, 317 to 311. 

You should have heard him holler about my drawing the Q, Z, and X. But he had BOTH blanks (to match his blank skull)

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............

Can you believe that my brother challenged “ai?” It’s a 3-toed sloth! Duh.

And if there can be one, there can also be many—to reach the triple word score, which I did my next turn.

He had started by dishonestly scrabbling with “weaning” but later I did the same with “panamas” and beat the cheater by 50 points.

........

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I Scrabbled to make “longers,” but my brother challenged it: “Use it in a sentence!” he taunted.

“I see some longers,” I said. (the big baby)

I made other cool words, too, and he STILL beat me: 379 to 351.

He is very good. (and he cheats)

.......

 

I used my blank to #Scrabble by making “berriet” but my brother screamed that there was no such word!

Check it, I told him. “And if you don’t find it, try ‘berries.’”

The big baby.

I won, but it was not easy. He’s very good.

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My Brother Does Nothing But Cheat

On my second turn, I scrabbled to make ‘records.’ But then my brother cheated to also scrabble and make ‘painter’ which tied the score, probably using an ordinary letter flipped over, trying to make me believe it was a blank. Never in our playing have two triple word score squares been exposed so soon. I took one to make ‘hair,’ mostly so that he could not use it. But then he cheated to take the second, making ‘pup,’ so I could not use it.

Soon thereafter I traded in some letters and he lyingly said I was a wuss for not playing through the ones I already had. Then he traded in some letters, and I astutely observed that if he were really any good at Scrabble, he would be able to use his existing letters.

Through skillful playing I built up a significant lead. But then he cheated to put his ‘x’ on a triple letter tile, making a word both ways. It is amazing the damage such an unfair move can do, and with that underhanded technique, he almost closed the gap. I brilliantly surged ahead still more, showing magnificent command of ever-evolving language, employing that new-age flakey word ‘qi,’ which amazingly, can be pluralized. But then he cheated to put down a ‘v’ and make both ‘vet’ and ‘vid.’ Who would think that ‘vid’ is a word? It is so unfair.

By doing this, he deceitfully deprived me of the opportunity to use my ‘v’ in the same place, I had missed the move altogether while he was dishonestly distracting me, and I was stuck with the letter at the end.

Through such despicable methods, he actually came from behind to beat me, 368 to 364. It was a very sad day for truth and justice.

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......

Edit: 

On another occasion.....

.I saw no need to snap the photo below, but then my wife reminded me of my brother. It is always hard Scrabble playing with him because he does nothing but cheat. Nonetheless I decisively thrashed him last night. The victory would have been greater were he not keeping score.

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The last game was a truly rotten one. Nobody had good letters. Either they were all vowels or none.

If you add my wife’s score to mine, we easily crushed my loser brother last night. What a lousy player he is.

He jumped to an early huge lead, but then I almoooooost caught up—but not quite. It didn’t help that my wife would lob him softballs and he would lob me grenades.

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