For the past month or so, I have been addicted to the internet game “Word Twist.” I’m not sure why I like to play Word Twist so much—I mean, it’s basically unscrambling letters to form words. Whoo hoo. And yet, when I start playing, it’s like I just can’t stop. I don’t know; maybe it has something to do with the fact that I can’t seem to get anywhere close to beating Sfoofie at Word Twist. She is the Queen of Word Twist, and my competitive side just wants to dethrone her so bad.
Plus, it’s a really really good way to avoid exercising or doing anything else remotely productive.
Anyway, last night I played a game that’s even BETTER THAN WORD TWIST.
How could it be, you ask? How could there ever be anything more exciting that unscrambling letters to form words? I know, it’s hard to believe—but it’s true.
The time was 7:30 PM, and Iwanski and I were visiting my parents in my itty bitty hometown of Hilbert, Wisconsin. My Dad mentioned that my Mom had a new computer game that she played all the time, called “Book Worm.”
Okay, I thought. If there ever was a title that screamed “Exciting!”—then it had to be “Book Worm.” But I thought what the hell, I’ll check it out. I mean, it wasn’t as if there were lots of other exciting things to do on a Sunday night in Hilbert, Wisconsin. So I followed my Mom into their den/computer room.
My Mom started the game, and within the first 5 minutes, I realized two things:
1. Book Worm is very similar to Word Twist, except that it also involves strategizing to make sure you’re using the right letters at the right time. It’s kind-of like a combination of Word Twist and Checkers.
2. I can never EVER own the game Book Worm, or I will never EVER do anything but play Book Worm. I’m seriously afraid I wouldn’t even remember to go to work if I had this game. I would be standing in the unemployment line with my laptop, playing Book Worm.
Oh, and one of my favorite parts of the game is that there’s actually a cartoon worm that not only eats your words, but also belches periodically throughout the game.
Anyway, my Mom and I started playing the game together, and a few minutes later, Iwanski and my Dad joined us. So there we were, the four of us, huddled around the computer and shouting out words.
The highest score my Mom had ever gotten in Book Worm was just above 200,000 points, so we first tried to beat her high score. An hour later, we had crossed the 200,000 point threshold and were heading to 300,000 points.
An hour later, we reached 300,000 points—and now our new goal was 400,000 points. When would it end?
So many times, we were sure we had just lost the game—but then one of us came up with a new word that the others hadn’t thought of—or a new strategy that the others hadn’t thought of.
Then, yours truly almost made a mistake that cost us the whole game. I was spelling a word that ended in an “e,” but I almost picked the wrong “e.” God forbid! Immediately Iwanski, my Mom, and my Dad started yelling “NO! NOT THAT E!” I swear, they acted like I almost cost them a million dollars. You should have seen the looks on their faces! I started laughing hysterically—and of course, I then chose the correct e. Because if I hadn’t—oh my God, Lord only knows what would have happened!
Another hour later, we had reached 400,000 points. At this point, I wasn’t sure whether we’d be playing Book Worm all through the night. We just kept on laughing at the belching worm and at ourselves, at how seriously we were playing the game.
And then it happened. We got stuck in a Book Worm situation that we just couldn’t get out of, and we finally lost the game. Bright lights flashed across the screen, proclaiming the end of the game, and we all headed into the living room to try to settle down and relax before bed.
On my way to the living room, I saw my Dad lining up four wine glasses on the kitchen counter. I guess he figured we all needed a glass of wine to help us relax from all the excitement. (I think he was right!)
But despite the wine and the relaxing conversation that followed the game, when I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking of new words to spell.
But mostly I was thinking about my Mom and my Dad and Iwanski, and how lucky I am to have shared such a fun evening with three people I love very much.
Update: I have just discovered that there is a free online version of Wordworm. I'm in trouble now!