Friday, August 01, 2008

It Boggles the Mind

My son John, my husband Justin and I sat down for a friendly game of Boggle last night. If you haven't played this in a while, it's the one where you shake up the letters and make words with letters that are next to each other.

I must admit, I was overconfident going into the game. I'm a writer; my husband is more mathematically inclined and my eight year old just learned how to read, so yeah, I had it in the bag.

But my husband, whose number one goal in life is to beat me at every game on the planet, had a surprise strategy.

He plays the caveman version of Boggle. Arrange letters to make a sound, and declare it a word.

This actually works. Who knew that ooh and haha were endorsed by Webster himself?

Haha: n. A fence, wall, etc. set in a ditch around a garden or park so as not to hide the view from within.

Yes, come to think about it, we were just talking about that at our neighborhood book club.

Diane, I just love your new haha.

Well, we didn't want to mask the view from within the garden.

Of course not. The view is wunderbar. (Also in the dictionary as an alternative to wonderful.)

Thank you. We're having a wunderbar time now that we have our haha. More tea?

We play where if you challenge a word and it's in the dictionary, the challenger has to subtract a point. Still, there were times where I'd challenge every word starting with Noa (the abbreviation of Noah, according to Justin, which wouldn't work anyway because there are no proper nouns!!!!) and ending with nont. Which is "nont" a word.

Challenging ha ha and ooh cost me the game. Then I let Justin convince me that otir, though not an animal, is, in fact, a word. I later found out this was a bluff.

Johnny also was a surprisingly good player. He found beet. "You know," he said. "Like I beet you in basketball." And "Peat," which he said was short for Peter. (Do we need to review the definition of "proper noun"?)

Justin won the game. (Or can you also spell it wun? I don't know, why doesn't he write it on his Boggle sheet and find out?!)

I demanded a rematch.

In the second game, sadly for Justin, hoo and hals, which he defined as an abbreviation of halls (because who has time to write an extra L anymore?), were not in the dictionary, so I won.

By this time, Johnny had dropped out of the game, and was getting a kick out of watching us challenge words.

Afterwards, he said, "I never knew haha was a word." Summarizing the definition, he said, "Haha. It's what the farmer said when he saw a hole in his garden. Ha. Ha."

Well, I'm glad he learned something about our language.

I learned something, too. It's a big dictionary. As it turns out, you don't have to know what's in it, you just have to know how to win. My husband does a wunderbar job of finding a way to win any game.

Little does he know that I intend to read the entire dictionary before our tie breaker game number three. He'll never see it coming, not even if we build a haha in our garden.


Blogger MoxieMamaKC said...

That is hilarious! Your Boggle game tactics sound just like my husband and I when we play Scrabble. Which, to say, is why I never play Scrabble with him anymore. He can find words in the dictionary that are amazingly obscure.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Leah Fitz said...

I am so jealous of this blog of yours... your kids will enjoy reading it when their older, what a great memento of their child hood you are giving them... I thought I was doing well at my "journal entries" in their baby books...but by comparison mine are boring and stupid... I think they all have "that's so cute" or "you are so sweet in them"... yuck"

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Il beat you nexT time mom JOHNNY

3:49 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

My sis plays Boggle with the intent to make any opponent look stupid.
She plays the game by herself to increase her score each time.
She's a maniac.
At least your spousal unit will play Boggle with you. My husband refuses to play games with me, especially if it's a word game.
All because when we were picking out the color of siding for our house in Nebraska, he'd written "tope" down as a possibility; I did, in fact, laugh at his spelling, which obviously embarrassed him to all ends of the earth. To this day, I think his spelling of "taupe" is extremely funny.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with Leah...i need to start a blog!! just to document this all!! love it!! gotta luv family game night!!!

7:22 AM  

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