W-E-I-R-D-O-S on a triple word score.

On Sunday afternoon, Mike and I went and played Scrabble at the zoo. I don’t know exactly how this happened. A few years ago, we went through a crazy Scrabble phase. And now that Mike has taken up Scrabulous, we seem to be in another crazy Scrabble phase. We wanted to get out of the house, and I said, “Well, why don’t we go to the zoo?” Somehow or another, this morphed into, “Let’s go play Scrabble at the zoo.” This is the beauty of the zoo membership. You don’t have to go and look at any animals in particular. You can go hang out with the tortoises and play Scrabble. (However, if you need to call someone to settle a word dispute, you are going to have to explain yourself. Be prepared for that.)

For a while, we sat on a bench and played with the board between us, but then some zoo employees moved from a table that was set up right next to the tortoises, so we grabbed the table. We looked very official there. I was kind of terrified that we were going to be asked questions and not know the answers. Fortunately this did not happen. If it had, I would have felt compelled to make up stuff. This is how I trick people into thinking I am smart. I make up answers and say them with authority. I am a librarian. This totally works, and I advise all librarians out there to do the same.

The zoo employees for the KidZone play area were happy to see the space being used for all kinds of play. One lady stopped by a few times, confused at first. But after I said, “Well, we have a membership, so why not?” she was totally on board. And advised us on some words (she objected to one that wasn’t really a word, but I allowed it because we allow Harry Potter words in our games). And, as usual, Mike crushed and destroyed me. At least I had the tortoises to console me. I got to watch them eat. They are really really funny.

I think it would be awesome to go there regularly all summer long and become known as “the weird Scrabble people.” But perhaps never going back makes us even more mysterious. “The weird Scrabble people who never returned” has a nice ring to it, too.

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