Scrabble Confesses to Being ‘No Fun’

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Philadelphia, PA – Ever since its first mass distribution by Macy’s in 1952, Scrabble (named for a word which means “to scratch frantically”) has been a source of mystery for the millions who play it repeatedly despite the fact that they receive no joy from the experience. Why so many of the world’s families and friends should subject themselves to an evening full of intense concentration and open tension by playing a game designed to make you feel stupid has never been clearly understood, but yesterday saw the first attempt on record to bring relief to the confused masses. In an unprecedented event, an anthropomorphic Scrabble board called a press conference to acknowledge that is not a fun game.

In a speech littered with interesting words that feature rarely used letters, Scrabble admitted to being a frustrating game. “There are people of a certain ilk (7 points),” the board game explained,” who will try to fub (8) the group with a piece of invented xenoglossia (19) or what have you. Even the most lilliputian (13) thing can become so vexing (17) that you’ll want to take a zax (19) to the throat of your companion when you feel you’ve been bamboozled (26). I know of a family that no longer calls me ‘Scrabble”, but ‘Squabble.’ I would simply like to apologize for miring the perfectly natural, quintessentially human instinct to fraternize (22).”

For those of us present who had dictionaries on our cell-phone, the impact of Scrabble’s words was immediate. Several members of the press – a notoriously hard-boiled, Scrabble-loving crowd – broke into tears of relief.

“I’m just so happy someone finally said it and that it came from Scrabble itself,” said Malcolm Rose. “I’ve been trying to impress people with my Scrabble game since my grandpa used to spank me if I didn’t get at least 250 points as a kid. I mean, eventually grandpa was right: I did get into college, but the pressure is still just way too much for me.”

True to its own spirit, Scrabble tends to speak with obscure, questionable words that twist its logic in roundabout, scattered directions. During the Q & A – where it did not have the benefit of a tightly edited script – Scrabble’s responses became cryptic. When asked whether or not it was advising people to stop playing Scrabble, Scrabble had a hard time focusing its anecdotal answer:

“As I’m sure is common knowledge,” began Scrabble, “I am deeply interested in the auk, a bird from the Alcidae family which is strikingly similar to a penguin. I was waiting one day for a cee, by which I mean a study of the impact a proposed activity will have in the Antarctic region. I had been informed that this cee had a section in it concerning the auk and I was quite jazzed about it. As an aside, I’ll mention for all you lucky double Z holders that ‘jazzed’ is a perfectly legal word to use in Super Scrabble. Now, I knew this cee was to be delivered by dak, referring of course to mail transported by horses through a relay of mail stations, so it was probably going to take a while to arrive…I’m sorry, what was the question?”

Eventually, Scrabble made it clear that it was not asking people to stop playing. Scrabble explained that while it was speaking without the consent of Hasbro, it was not trying to damage the company in any way; it just “felt really guilty about all the people who were misled into thinking I’d be a great bonding experience.” Scrabble encourages people to play, but to keep in mind that Scrabble is “about learning how to use words and cleverness to dominate and humiliate other people, not have a good time.”

Bryan Pilfen, a spokesman for Hasbro, said that Scrabble in no way spoke for Scrabble. Pilfen said that the public should rest assured that Scrabble has always been a fun game.

“I consider myself a happy person,” said Pilfen, “and I don’t think that’s entirely because of the great amount of money I make. I play Scrabble five nights a week and I find it a relaxing way to spend time with my family that fosters a spirit of intellectual curiosity.”

Hasbro issued a statement immediately following Scrabble’s press conference saying that the company does not believe in supernatural board games assuaging their guilt in the public eye. The company intends to charge “whoever staged this prank” with slander, and has launched an investigation in addition to hiring a crack team of magicians to figure out what spells might have been used to imbue the game board with speaking abilities. Regardless of whether the talking Scrabble board turns out to have been a prank or not, it remains interesting to see who will have the zyzzva (“last word”, would theoretically be worth 39 points) in this landmark case.

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