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About a month ago, I discovered Words with Friends.

This discovery was much like Columbus’ discovery of the Americas.

Everybody else knew about it but me.

Despite the fact that I try to keep up with the times, I had no idea a game like Words with Friends existed. Even though I’ve had an iPod touch for almost a year now, have friends with iPhones, and talk to people, I didn’t know what the heck Words with Friends was. I found out the day my cousins, Rachel and Ariel, graduated from college and grad school. With a 2-3 hour graduation looming in my near future, I took out my iPod and started browsing free apps. I found Bejeweled (one of the creepiest yet strangely addicting games ever), downloaded it, and started playing. I was on level 13 when Nigel said, “Download Words with Friends and we can play each other.”

“What the heck is Words with Friends?”

“It’s like Scrabble with Friends.”

“Fair enough.”

About ten minutes into our game I was freakin’ hooked. Suddenly I had a use for all of the asinine words I had taken great pains to learn in an effort to appear learned and educated! One of the words I had taken great pains to learn was “asinine.” Who doesn’t love that word? It’s like your cussing but you’re not.


I felt great pride in the fact that my useless vocabulary was serving me so well in the real world. After I beat Nigel at Words with Friends, an old school chum challenged me to a game. You must understand that I am incredibly self-absorbed and in love with myself. Any sort of accomplishment causes me to incur a great deal of pride and vanity. Upon receiving the Words with Friends request, I thought to myself, ‘Oh silly boy. Does he not realize that I am a word god among insects? Well, he could probably do with a good verbal thrashing…’

And then he completely owned me.

He was playing words I didn’t even know existed in Modern English. I studied Old English for a semester and I had never come across any word he played. However, they must have existed in English at some point in time because Words with Friends knew them all and gave him a ridiculous amount of points for each of them. Did you know that “nth” is a word? Did you know that “dado” is a word? Did you know that “qi” is a word?

I was still under the impression that “Q” always needed a “U” after it, but apparently the rules have changed.

When the score was 428 to 245, he stopped playing.

It’s been six days since his last move.

I’m starting to think he’s given up on me.

Currently, I’m playing seven other games of Words with Friends and losing miserably in five of them. The only reason I’m winning the other two is because I’m using a dictionary and I’m playing against my brother and sister.

That’s not to say they’re dumb, but I know for a fact that I know more words.

That’s because while Kira was out playing baseball and Tim was playing DragonBall Z Budokai I was being bookish and unpleasant and ill-tempered.

It was all done for the cause.

Also, I know as soon as the two of them read this they’re going to join forces against me.

Oh well, at least I can revel in a brief sense of victory…

Part of my problem in playing Words with Friends is that I keep challenging other English majors. On top of that, I keep challenging other English majors who have been playing Words with Friends for longer than four weeks. They know the ins and outs of the game. They know that a well-placed “qi” will earn you twenty points at least. I did not know these things when I started, but I’m quickly learning.

I have to learn quickly because I haven’t a shred of dignity left.

Also, the following conversation with my friend, Cristine, did not help.

Me: I don’t know if I can play Words with Friends with you anymore. My self-esteem is really starting to suffer.

Cristine: No! Don’t give up! You’re the only one I can beat!

Cristine and I are on our 3rd game of Words with Friends.

I have awesome friends.