Sherry Hopkins Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2007

Get the picture?

Board games become head games when playing with Dear Don

Over the weekend dear Don and I agreed to purchase board games to play this summer. We decided on Scrabble, my choice, and Yatzee, his. Days are longer and with no reality TV to watch, me, not him, we thought we needed something different in the way of entertainment.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This will probably turn out to be a mistake. You know the saying “Your marriage won’t survive building or remodeling a house?” Well, we flew through the latter with flying colors with not so much as a real disagreement. Games on the other hand are where the rubber meets the road in our humble little abode.

Don likes really competitive strategy stuff like Risk and Monopoly. But he won’t play Monopoly with me cause I won’t trade properties. That’s my strategy but he doesn’t get it. I like more laid-back stuff like Scrabble and card games.

So we settle on one each. Saturday night we got out the Scrabble board and began to play. Dear Don put on some weird instrumental music sent to him from someone he barely knows. I could quickly see why the anonymous party did not want the music. It was awful. But I digressed since he conceded to play my game first.

Scrabble is a slow game that requires a little patience for which Don has volumes and I have none. There is also a little bit of complexity when scoring words. A complexity that seemed to just confound dear Don. He formed man words like see, it, to, am, etc., and his score right away was in the triple digits. I had multi-syllable words such as money, erratic, firefly etc., and my score barely made it out of the teens. I should mention, if you haven’t figured this out already, that Don was the scorekeeper and I was the tilekeeper.

Anyway, he kept plopping (yes, Don that’s a word) down more prepositions and his score kept rising out of proportion to the difficulty of the word. Finally, I paid attention to what he was doing and saw that he was tripling his score on each word (innocently, he adds.)

“Cheater,” I yelled, “You’re cheating on the score.”

“No I’m not,” he so slyly replied.

“Yes you are. I watched you,” I accused.

“Well show me what I did wrong?” he countered.

At this point the banana, pineapple and cherry milkshake, I couldn’t live without, was making itself known to me in ways I shall not share with you. I didn’t have the “stomach” to argue.

Dear Don proceeded to break down his score. Every moment that he droned on trying to prove his point I became a little more nauseous. Finally I pleaded with him to let me out of the game. He could be the winner, cheat or not. I needed to go lie down and be very still until I could tame the rumble in my belly.

He gave in and, thankfully, shut up. I retired to the bedroom where he joined me moments later trying to take my mind off my troubles by making me laugh. Laughing requires stomach muscles and deep breathing, neither of which was good for what ailed me.

Blessedly he found something to watch on TV and I just lay there, wallowing in self pity and mad at my stupid self for wasting a trip to town and $2.52 on a shake that I was about to hurl.

Around 7 or so I started to feel better and left the bedroom to see where Don had wandered off. He was in the kitchen looking for something to eat. I couldn’t believe I was hungry but I was. We made ham sandwiches and tea and went back to the den to watch more TV. The Scrabble game had been retired for this weekend. Maybe next time I will keep score.

You get the picture

(Contact Sherry at