Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Employment gods don't hate local woman; Scrabble gods totally do, though

BEVERLY HILLS, CA--While yesterday marked a turning-point in the post-graduate life of local resident Adrienne Graves as she filled out tax forms for her new job as a Starbucks barista, it seems her luck did not extend to a game of Scrabble against her dad.

"Like, I breathed a sigh of relief when I filled out all the paperwork necessary for Starbucks to actually consider paying me, but I guess it was beginner's luck or something. Cuz, like, that was at the beginning of the day, because I'd overslept until the time I was actually supposed to be there, and then at the end of the day things totally didn't go as well."

Ms. Graves began what she hopes will be a short-term employment as a part-time employee at a local Starbucks, despite coming close to "fucking it all up" by arriving late for her very first day. "I dunno what happened... my cat woke me up at like 6 a.m. and I was awake till 7, but when the alarm actually went off at 8 I turned it off or something because next thing I knew my cell phone was ringing and woke me up at 10:30. At which point I was like, 'Oh shit, I was supposed to be at Starbucks, like, now.' "

Luck was with the local Integrated Marketing Communications Master of Science, however, and her verbal job offer of the previous day was not revoked. She begins formal training in the barista arts tomorrow at 11, presuming a timely arrival.

Unfortunately, it seems she blew all her good luck early in the day. When she returned from a dinner out with her parents that evening, they discovered that a power outage had occurred, and were reduced to doing "whatever it was people in the olden days did when they didn't have, like, light."

In this particular instance, the Graves family agreed upon a candle-lit game of Scrabble. Neither Adrienne nor her father had played in some years, when Adrienne's younger brother had incurred a constant reminder of his humiliation when he attempted to add the letters 'D', 'E' and 'F', in that order, to the preexisting word 'blast.' He had since refused to play and thus obstructed any familial attempts at the pasttime. Mrs. Graves had reportedly never been a fan of the game and had abstained since any of the participants could remember.

Adrienne might have done well to have chosen that particular course of action in this instance.
"I don't know what she was thinking; except for that one game when her brother tried to do the word 'defblast', I don't think I've ever lost to either of my kids," Mr. Graves said.

Things started out promisingly enough for Adrienne, as she was allowed the double word score benefit of placing the first word, 'doves', on the board. However, she soon fell behind, a fact that was made all too clear when Mr. Graves earned 69 points from a single word by exploiting one she'd just added. "Noooooo!" and "Oh my God!" constituted the bulk of her reaction.

"We basically thought the game was over right then," Mr. Graves said. "I was very surprised when she made a comeback not too long after that."

It seems luck did not completely abandon Ms. Graves; it only stayed with her long enough to get her hopes up. "I couldn't even believe how I lucked out with those three letters," she said. "Both of us were convinced there was nothing else to be done, that there wasn't even anywhere else to put a word, and all of a sudden I notice that putting 'jig' [vertically] next to 'rope' [horizontally] makes an actual word, 'grope.' And I got 57 points out of it. Too bad I wasn't able to maintain my lead, though."

Indeed, despite an admirable effort on Adrienne's part, her language skills proved no match for those of her father, who eventually won the game. "It was a good game," he said. "We both used up all the letters, and the final score was only 265 to 276." Nonetheless, it is evident that "the Scrabble gods totally had it in for me," Adrienne said. "I mean, after a comeback like that, how do you still lose?! Sure, it's no match for that one-word 69-pointer, but that's just unnatural. What're the odds of getting a double letter score on a 'Z' and then getting a triple word score?! That's crap."

It seems the Graves family will suffer another Scrabble drought. "Dude, I'm never playing that game again," Adrienne reported. "That's bullshit."

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