Tennis isn’t my game. Racquetball during my college years for sure. But, tennis? Nope.
Now, had I been born a few years earlier, courting Grace Kelly around town on my arm – even in a fantastical whimsy – would have been a possibility. She was a beautiful actress. As Margot Mary Wendice in the 1954 classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock, however, her graceful availability met its match. Tennis pro, Tony Wendice, finds out about his beaus off-court doubles action and can’t help but seek out the ultimate revenge … duh duh duuuuh!! … MURDER! Enter Charles Alexander Swann locker room left. Thus begins a tale of handbags, watches. keys, and … no perfect murder.
Alas, however, I did have the perfect word. SUMP. Tile “M”. This wasn’t a game played on a clay or grass court measuring 120×60 feet, or a mysterious game leading to an apartment full with intrigue and an executioner’s dalliance with a pretty lady. Nope. It happened in the virtual world of “Words with Friends -2” and, without dissembling a single emotion here, I was rather seven-letter overturned by the move. She stole my “M”. It was a letter already so courtly placed as the third in NEMO falling down from LANNER horizontally resting four rows from the bottom of the game board. So beautiful it was. There for the taking as I planned my move.
At once, she struck a blow. I felt trembling in my core. Unexpected, due to her prior text-babbling about “too many E’s … oh, toooo many E’s…”. In the shadow of my pride and delight, the whole virtual board seemed to be – in my mind, anyway – an open oasis for her to use. This little corner of my world – down where the “M” sat – was to be my multiple-point score … an ace she didn’t see coming. Ah, yes … the “S” to pluralize SQUAT draping down, “U”, then the magical “M”, … and “P” to finish off a 4-letter other-wordly experience she had no idea was festering in my mind.
Then. Then, “E-M-C-E-E” slapped me. She stole my “M”. Hijacked my happy little corner, she did. And I must say, …although I have no way to prove this, I believe there was a smirk about her face as she did it. Oh, for the record, I’m soooo glad she was able to use those E’s! (sarcasm, of course)
Currently, I’m losing 153-95 and not happy about it. I have 4 words against her 6 thus far with my turn in play at present. Due to my switching tiles and losing a turn, the turns are a wonky one-off at this point. There are 47 letters left in the game. Oh, boy. Fifty-eight points behind isn’t a satisfactory place to be against a player who plays well, steals my letters I don’t actually have until it’s my turn, and, admittedly, may be a slightly better tile-placer than I … “may be” until proven otherwise.
It’s just a game. I’m having fun. A moment of frustration shouldn’t ruin the fun. I am over it. I think, anyway. Looking at my current rack of letters, the next tile-ation will cause some consternation as I, now, find myself full with 5 vowels and little expectation. The 2 consonants facing back at me don’t offer much hand-holding hope, either. Seven letters of little longing at this point.
Racquetball was easier. Break a good sweat? Done. Those days are gone. Now it’s mind games more than physical exercise. Older knees know how to ruin quick, sharp turns and the high-energy, two-hour long little racquet, blue-ball chasing interludes of mine, perhaps, are over. I miss the echoes in a racquetball court. The squeak of rubber soles on the wooden floors and grunts that bounced around my youth are so missed.
Today, replaced by tiles, I guess. Oh, and other virtual games on my little hand held device. Once in a while, I pick up one of a few bowling balls in my closet and roll a few games to re-visit the 3-D world of gaming we used to live in back in the 20th century.
Games. We can’t forget how to play. Even the ones frustrating us at times, we can’t lose sight of the fun. I’m 95% sure the loss of the “M” yesterday is in my rearview mirror as I move forward with the current game. The remaining 5% is yet to be determined depending upon the remaining 47 letters in the queue. I will conquer the board, but may not win. The virtual quandary will be my inability to dump the board if – and when – I eventually lose.
No problem finishing a tennis match, however, because I won’t be playing one … virtual or otherwise. Wii won’t be doing it together, my virtual “Words with Friends-2” partner and I, since she can’t EMCEE the match and play at the same time. That in mind, I’ll sit with these ridiculous 7 letters in my rack trying to come up with my own version of, “Where on the board is SHE thinking of playing so I can hijack her ‘M’?”…
Grace? I have none at this point and most likely wouldn’t have her on my arm 67 years ago. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to plot my next move. Five vowels and two consonants … I believe I may be in trouble here. Calling the spirit of Mr. Hitchcock. I see another movie in the making …