The whole thing started off innocently enough. I clicked the “Play Random Opponent” icon, and, enjoying the first turn, entered some awesome word. I can’t recall exactly what it was—maybe “dariole” or “atelier”—you know, one of the obvious ones. After picking up a quick 70, I took note the moniker of my new foe: “Mikeypoo2.” Instantly a feeling of unease overcame me.
Player 2 entered his first word, something higher order like “goo” or “wuss” or “crap.” “Oh,” I thought, “this is going to be a long one.” Just then I noticed I had been sent a message via the game’s player-to-player chat function. Usually these consist of a “Hi” or “How are you?” just a little something to personalize the game a bit. Mikeypoo2, on the other hand, opened with:
“r u a guy?”
Now look, I don’t mean to nitpick, Mikey, but this is Scrabble chat and please, show some decorum. Setting aside the irrelevance and possible inappropriateness of the question, the proper presentation would clearly be more akin to “Are you a guy?” if not a full “Hello good Sir or Madam. I hope you are well—hale and hearty. If it doth not offend thee, may I politely inquire as to whether you are among the male or female variety of Scrabbler?”
I really didn’t know exactly what to make of this silly start. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions nor lose the blazing 70 points I had scored in the opening frame. I decided to be blunt, hoping to quickly separate wheat from chafe.
“Yes. That matter?”
The response (I kid not!):
“r u cute?”
Again, the protocol here isn’t exactly clear, but various options occurred to me, including bailing out, being again blunt and thereby trying to hush him, or playing along to be civil. Having just thrown up a decent sixer—I don’t know, something like “aliyot” or “tsades”—I opted for what I thought was a solid combination—I would play along but be curt.
“So I’m told. Your turn.”
“So you’re hot stuff huh?”
Now I was getting irritable, with the “b” on a TL space.
“Just to be clear, I’m straight.”
“Oh my god I am SO sorry, guess I’m just a natural flirt J (so you’re hot stuff huh) jk jk.”
“Quite all right.”
A few tiles were played in blessed Scrabble chat silence.
“So, sorry if this is personal, but have you ever thought about a guy, like as more?”
For Pete’s sake!
I responded with some amazing triple word score, letting my Scrabble game do the talking. Poo2 put yet another low value word on the board and left the following message…
The ellipsis indicated he was awaiting my response.
“Ok, sorry bro ha ha.”
At this point I’m really not enjoying this, but am trying to simultaneously rack up my highest score ever and avoid feeling like a dick. A few more tiles were laid, and I thought we had finally found a cozy, quiet playing groove.
“So what’s your real name?”
My real name?
I made one up and played on.
Shortly thereafter Mikeypoo2 disappeared, leaving the game behind. Apparently it wasn’t titillating enough.
Now look, Poo, it didn’t bother me in the slightest that you’re gay—all are welcome in the word game community—it’s that I thought it was clear I wasn’t enjoying the banter and can only assume you have ten games (and, likely, some similar number of compelling, illuminating chats) in motion right now (that’s right, I didn’t even feel special to you).
In addition, your consistent use of ordinary two, three, and four letter words either exposes a weak vocabulary or indicates you’re just going through the motions as a cover to work your chat game.
In short, Mikeypoo2, you’re terrible at Scrabble, and what’s more, cruising for dudes on iPhone Scrabble just smacks of total desperation.
Now feel the wrath of this triple letter z-word.