The Rules of Scrabble

Slide29

Day 29 Play 29: The Rules of Scrabble

TED and DENISE are playing Scrabble. TED shifts tiles.

TED:
You didn’t shake the letters up enough.

DENISE:
You shook them.

TED:
I got the same letters as last time.

DENISE:
All the I’s?

TED:
None of your business.

DENISE:
I though ibid was a good play. The B on the triple letter.

TED:
That was last game. I don’t have I’s now.

TED places tiles.

Your turn.

DENISE:
What’s that?

TED:
Ibex. It’s a… African bird, or… or antelope or something.

DENISE:
Eight, nine, twelve: fourteen. And the B is doubled. Had to get rid of that X, eh?

TED:
I’ve been holding it a while.

DENISE stares at her tiles. TED stares at her.

TED:
How many tiles do you have?

DENISE:
I don’t know. Why?

TED:
You have eight.

DENISE:
So?

TED:
You’re supposed to have seven.

DENISE:
Why does it have space for eight?

TED:
How long have you been drawing eight tiles?

DENISE:
Why?

TED:
You won the last two games.

DENISE:
Would having an extra tile be an advantage?

TED:
It could be.

DENISE closes her eyes, selects a tile, and places it in the box,
face down.

TED:
What do you think you’re doing?

DENISE:
Putting back the extra tile.

TED:
But you saw what it was.

DENISE:
No I didn’t. I closed my eyes.

TED:
But you know which one it was when you look at your tiles. You see which one you put back.

DENISE:
So?

TED:
So, it’s not right. Now you know that that letter is out there. That I don’t have it.

DENISE:
What difference does that make?

TED:
It takes out the strategy! You might feel safe to play something because you know I don’t have a…

DENISE:
P, for example.

TED:
Don’t tell me!

DENISE:
Why not? Now we both know.

TED:
Now I know you don’t have a P.

DENISE:
So we’re even.

TED:
No, we’re not! You’re destroying the whole game!

DENISE:
Destroying? You’re over-reacting.

TED:
There are rules, Denise.

DENISE:
Oh, no! Here we go. The Rules of Scrabble.

TED:
There are Rules of Scrabble.

DENISE:
They’re—

TED:
They’re written in the box.

DENISE:
Where?

DENISE picks up the box to read the rules on the inside.

TED:
Don’t!

DENISE:
This is worse than when you play Trivial Pursuit.

TED:
Scrabble isn’t Trivial Pursuit! Scrabble is serious. Trivial Pursuit has no rules. That’s the problem. You have to make up your own.

DENISE:
This is why I hate game night.

TED:
Because you don’t like rules.

DENISE:
Because I don’t like your version of them.

DENISE picks up the box again.

TED:
You’re not going to—

DENISE:
I’m sick of this.

TED:
No.

DENISE:
I don’t want to play anymore.

DENISE upsets the box, letters falling on the board.
A beat. Will TED become angry?

TED:
You’re only allowed to do that in Monopoly.

DENISE:
Well played.

LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK. END OF PLAY.

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