Thursday, June 30, 2011

#193: The Pittsburgh Scrabble Club - Not for the Faint of Heart

The Best Way to Mind Your Ps and Qs

I have always enjoyed a great game of Scrabble, especially when I frequently beat the likes of my parents and friends (i.e. Kellen, Ed). So when I heard about the Pittsburgh Scrabble Club, I was pretty excited.

Michelle and I arrived right at 7:00 and were quickly buzzed into the Imperial House in Squirrel Hill where the club meets every Wednesday night. We were greeted by Terry to whom we explained what we were doing with LivingSocial's list of things to do in Pittsburgh and our blog... she didn't seem to fully understand and asked us to talk to Stan. We again explained our challenge, to which we received a look of disappointment. This Scrabble Club wanted us to join pretty badly.

Rather than jump right in, Terry provided us a set of the Scrabble Club playing rules, a cheat sheet of 2 and 3 letter words, and a list of words that most people consider to be proper nouns but, in a certain form, are not. (I will not be sharing them here, for fear I will play one of our readers one day.)

Soon, Stan assigned that night's competitors. He invited us to watch how the play unfolds, including how challenges are made and determined with the help of a computer program. For an old game, the whole thing is pretty high tech.

I found myself to be fascinated by the style of play. Every player was focused and serious - there were no smiles or jokes, and certainly not any laughter. One women told us how joining the Scrabble club has completely ruined recreational play for her - she can't stand the conversation and lighthearted nature of it all. Those of you who know me will agree that this is not for me. While I enjoyed observing the Scrabble club, I think I'll stick to social Scrabble - I need to talk trash!

- Emily

55 down, 310 to go.

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