Zero points for hoarding
According to my Words with Friends stats, the best scoring word I’ve ever played was the word quartz for 141 points. Somewhere between all the times I’ve played words like cat, toe, and ran I had a shining moment of impressiveness.
It doesn’t tell me when I did that, and I don’t recall. But one thing is clear: I was able to score that well because I had high-point tiles in my rack, a balance of vowels and consonants (which sometimes feels like a miracle), and there was a great position to play them available on the board.
I wish every game was like that, but most of the time I’m sitting there trying to figure out how to get a, i, i, i, i, o, r to make something that will score more than three points. My personal belief is that if I can spell it and use it in a sentence, then it’s a real word.
The Words with Friends rule nazis beg to differ. Pfft.
It occurs to me that I’m telling you this from the comfort of my air-conditioned home, where I’m tapping away on a computer. I have electricity and wifi here. I had dinner a few hours ago, but if I get a bit peckish I can mosey into my kitchen and open my reasonably well-stocked pantry and get a snack from food I bought at a well-stocked grocery store—no shortages, no lines, no rationing. There’s plenty of clean water; I can drink it straight from the faucet and not worry a bit about getting sick. There’s a spoiled dog curled up on the chair next to me and he eats twice a day, as do the cats, whether they earned it or not. The van I drive is in the driveway, and it’s got a nearly full tank of gas. I am literate. I not only completed grade school and high school, but I have a bachelor’s degree. My neighborhood is quiet. It is not plagued by acts of war or terrorism or even local civil unrest. I can move about freely in my country, I can worship freely in my country. I own multiple bibles, and don’t often use them these days because it’s quicker to consult an app on my smartphone.
I am a middle class American, although by most of the world’s standards, I am extremely wealthy. My tile rack is loaded with high-point tiles. And the planet is chock-full of great places to play them.
I could have been born anywhere, you know. You too. You could have been born in South Sudan where the life expectancy is currently 54 years old. Or in North Korea where an entire country lives under intense political oppression from psychotic leadership. Or in any number of middle eastern countries where there is no religious freedom and women are deeply oppressed. Or in Mozambique, which is currently undergoing a famine due to extreme drought that has led to catastrophic crop failures.
But I was born here. For such a time as this, I was born here, and you were born where you were born. I landed on the planet with some high-point tiles, and I’ve been given opportunity to add more over the years. Perhaps you can say the same.
So here we are with our tile racks loaded. Exciting, isn’t it? Except you have to know one thing:
you can’t score any points unless you actually spend the tiles by playing them on the board.