The whole family is in the kitchen trying
to find something to eat. I just got my driver's license and we thought
Mom was going to make dinner fo us, to celebrate, but everyone wants something
we don't have, so she makes herself a Scotch and water. I settle for Velveeta
cheese. Dad has Mint Chip ice cream. Marc tries to make himself a slurpee
in the blender, but it's a lot crunchier than he expected, so he has nothing.
Mom knows she disappointed us with dinner so she suggests
we play Scrabble. Dad and I agree immediately, because we always want a
chance to beat Mom. Marc hates Scrabble--he's not a words person--but the
only time I can win is when he plays: Mom and Dad make two and three letter
words that get lots of points and don't leave space to make anything but
more two and three letter words. Marc always sits next to me, and sacrifices
his turn with words like R-U-L-E-R which is only worth five points, but
pokes out in the board and gives me lots of good letters to work with. I
convince Marc to play by telling him I'll sit in his bedroom and listen
to the money clink on the Pink Floyd record. He says he'll play if I'll
also drive him to 7-11 to get a slurpee.
The only time we talk is to challenge. Dad challenges Mom on fi. "Dad,"
Marc says, "Don't challenge her. You know she's memorized the whole
"Dad, do it," I say. I kick Marc under the table. Marc and I can
only benefit from this challenge--either Mom loses a turn or Dad loses a
Dad looks at Mom, looks for signs. He can't read her, though. "Well,"
he says, "I'll just try it."
He looks up fi. Of course it is a word: a latin word.
"That'll teach you to challenge me," Mom says, and collects her
thirty eight points.
Mom wins. Now Mom's in the mood to make us all what we want for dinner.
But now Marc and I are driving to 7-11.
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