I have never been a Scrabble guy. I have simply never believed in it. For some reason, I have staked many an argument on the fact that it's a ridiculous game with no worth in the real world. For some reason, I never applied this logic to the game Hungry Hungry Hippos (as I apparently thought someday...SOMEDAY...I would encounter a wild pack of reallllly hungry (hungry) hippos, in which case oh I'd know just what to do...). Anywho.

Why, you ask, have I opposed Scrabble? Because I'm like a grandpa when it comes to that crap, apparently: If you can't use the word in a sentence, you should not be given points in a game for outwitting someone who's using non-narnia words like OH I DON'T KNOW, ANY WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. I just don't think it's fair that if I write the word "quick" on a Scrabble board, someone can destroy me by then using this word to spell the word "qi".

You know when I use the word "quick"? A lot. I can "quick"ly do something. I "quickly" just judged you for being a smartass whilst using a fake word during our Scrabble game.

You know when I use the word "qi"? NEVER. I NEVER FUCKING USE THE WORD "QI", AND NEITHER DO YOU. So it bothers me that I just lost a game to you because you used a Chinese noun that, translated, is the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much philosophy and medicine. Guess what: I just looked it up, and they don't even have a sample sentence to show how it's used. This, to me? Equals NARNIA WORD.

So here's the problem.

The other day, I was having a drink with a friend and she mentioned to me that she thoroughly enjoyed playing some game on her iPhone named Words With Friends. Basically, it's just Scrabble but they couldn't use the word Scrabble but still wanted to make money off of someone else's idea (which I have learned, the older I get, turns out to be a great way to make money). I made fun of her, went off on my Scrabble rant, and then proceeded to do what I always do: caved into peer pressure and downloaded the game on my way home to play against her (logically).

I can't stop. It's like crack. I feel defeated.

You play a word and then wait. When your friend plays, it notifies you with an adorable little "edoggydog just played a word!" note. It's like the Christmas morning Jews never had, except OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Presents just FLOODING in. And considering I love writing words down that have no meaning (re: what I do for a living), this is like someone telling me there's a game for that, and everyone is playing it. You are FINALLY rewarded for never shutting up. I KNEW I WAS ONTO SOMETHING, GOD.

At start, I played totally in what my opinion was fair. In some crooked way, I felt that I would be the one that changed it all: I would only use words that I could use in a sentence. If they wrote something tricky? I'd simply play some simple word like "rat" or "cat" (which, if you play Scrabble, is like the equivalent to someone showing up to a baseball game with no arms trying to hold the baseball bat while everyone just kind of feels bad for the cripple who just reaaaallly wants to play).

Then it happened. "Qi" got played on me. On a triple letter square AND a double word square. Which equaled  66 points. Which equaled me getting nerd angry and starting to play nerd-aggressive fake narnia words, because I wasn't having that crap.

All of the sudden, I was throwing out "QINDARKA", "CACIQUE", "DIQUATS"...whatever it took. I was now dropping steroids on my game.

(*writers note: I am not smart enough to know any of these are actual words. I just looked them up. Google exists. Google the word "google". Shit's genius and is great for writing witty blog posts).

But no, I was actually using words like "za", laughing as the points racked up. I was irony encapsulated. Hypocrisy realized. But I was winning.

The other day, I had "qi" played on me again, and I thought I'd be all clever on the other side of the board and drop a "whatever letter you'd like" letter into a spot where I would successfully spell the word "qi" TWICE in return. I felt like I was about to drop an atom bomb of nerd truth on this person. Turns out when you use a "whatever letter you'd like" letter, it only gives you one point. So I scored a whopping two points total on them.

And that's when I got it: Scrabble is just about winning. It has nothing to do with being smarter than the other person. It just has to do with winning. And you know what? I take it all back. I can get behind something like that.

So without further ado...

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 25: Songs That Go Well In A Sentence With The Word "Qi"

Disc 1: Stream / Download Mp3's

Disc 2: Stream / Download Mp3's

Drew Hoolhorst

I have a black belt in feelings.