They got game

I married into a Scrabble family and initially thought I could hold my own.

Then I faced my father in-law in round two of the Biskupic holiday Scrabble tournament (which involved an actual plaque and post-mortems that went on for months.) A gentleman and a Scrabble scholar, Grandpa Vince kindly complimented my 17-point word.

“Nice play,” he said graciously and then laid down a 46 point word.

I swiftly realized that, while I had been raised to be competitive, mostly in sports that involved racquets and balls, my husband and his siblings had been raised to be emulous (with Scrabble semantics, especially involving seven-letter words, key).

Our children come by both their love of family games and their intense need to win them quite naturally. At least some part of holidays finds our family members duking it out on the touch football field, over a Scrabble board, with a deck of cards or, in the case of this Easter weekend, during a fierce round or three of charades.

The quaint pastoral setting of our family cabin belied the intensity of the battle.

In the end, the entire match came down to our opposing team’s last guess.

Our daughter Katherine acted out the phrase and, with seconds ticking away, she successful indicated a television show and coaxed these words out of her teammates, which included Molly and Katherine’s friend Blake.

“the cold bear read …”

“Time!” yelled my teammate and son Vinnie.

The correct phrase, “The Colbert Report,” one of Molly’s favorite television shows, will haunt her until the next family gathering.

A friendly Scrabble game is about to get ugly...
...because someone texted her father in the middle of the game.
Vince won the Scrabble tournament in 1999 and accepted a check, a commemorative game and the score, written on traditional yellow legal paper and reviewed to this day.
Katherine's friend Blake spent some time on Saturday negotiating a forced entry of her apartment in Chicago, but she said the most stressful part of the weekend was the charades game.

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