March 27th, 2009


Ourdert and Peter came to tea. They're used to spicy food so I made spaghetti putanesca- which is the spiciest thing in my- very limited- repertoire. Peter wanted a game of Scrabble. I've played en famille, but I've never played like this before. I play airily, in the spirit of Percy Bysshe Shelley; I like to spread my words over the whole board; I crave words of more than one syllable; I value the elegant over the high-scoring. He plays boxily, sticking letters into overcrowded corners to create several short words at a single move. Also he's studied the Scrabble Dictionary. He was playing words like "ti" and "si", so I thought it wouldn't be amiss to risk "ni". He spoke to me very gently- more in sorrow than in anger: " I don't think we'll find "ni" in the Scrabble Dictionary". I pleaded Monty Python's Knights who say "Ni", but he wasn't having any of it- pointing out that "Ni" is part of a proper name and proper names are disallowed.  He thrashed me of course. Twice. If I continue playing him I'm going to have to let the iron enter into my soul.