Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rebooting the Ducky

Okay, so I am still playing scrabble and several people have begged (or at least casually mentioned) that I need to get back to chronicling the weird world of scrabble. I played in a tournament last weekend and have plenty to say about it, but first I think a quick primer is in order for people new to the site or who have forgotten somehow all the bizarre topics that have come up. Those who know me best are now bracing for what is coming next: MEGA RECAP LIST OF DOOM........

1) Tournament Scrabble is not like any other game I know I played chess tournaments for years and also a strategy card game called Magic. There are lots of questions that must be asked when you have people compete for prizes in a long term structure. Questions like: How do we decide who plays who? How do we decide who is the overall winner? How do we keep track of performance from one event to another? What do we do if one person breaks the rules? Etc... There are very similar answers that the organizers of most other games have come to. Then there are scrabble answers... I have talked about this a lot in previous posts, but the short answer is this. There are many kind and well meaning people in scrabble, but something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Wanna know what specifically? You will just have to tune in next week or click the links to previous posts (or at least ask a question in the comments forum. I am a sucker for feedback of any kind).

2) Because Scrabble is Crazy I Take a Duck With Me for Protection I am a very competitive person, but I can not take some aspects of scrabble seriously. To avoid frustration and to make sure I stay a good sport I carry around a tiny duck to watch my games and highlight the absurdity of the activity. It also seems to make opponents act a little kinder and a little less crazy (although there are a couple notable exceptions). She is famous and had her picture taken when we broke a scrabble world record.

3) The Blog's title comes from a list I studied called "knockouts". ScrabbleDuck as an address was already taken by a selfish person who does not even have anything at their site. A knockout word is one that would score so many points, it would be almost impossible for the opponent to recover. They are seven letter words that have two of the high point tiles in them (J,Q,X or Z). I have managed to play three so far and one of them set the new record for a first turn play.

4) There are Crazy People that Play Scrabble. Some Good. Some Bad The majority of what I write (trust me, check the old posts) is the experiences I have at tournaments with people who are very different than the humans I am used to. Some of them are delightfully quirky and I look forward to seeing them again soon. Some of them should not operate heavy machinery and may in fact be a danger to themsleves, other people and most small woodland creatures. More to come on both of these groups in the future.

5) There are/were Pie People that are Disturbingly Obsessed with this Site Only time will tell if they continue to read and post, but there are several posters (PiCurious, CobblerGal) with names related to pastry and or/mathematics that frequent my blog. Their identity is currently unknown. Is it one person with multiple personality disorder? Is there a cult that has made Scrabble Duck part of their dogma? Is there a fraternity (or even better a sorority) that hazes its pledges by making them read and comment on the site? No one knows. I have a filter on the comments, but weird and wacky comments continue to show up. I would block them, but I would lose half of my audience.

So come back soon when I discuss my trip to my first tournament after the mind bending journey to Nationals. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll check the definitions of words that exist only in scrabble and/or my own warped mind. See you there!