From time to time my husband and I have been known to indulge in our Scrabble addiction in public places — restaurants, coffee shops, hotel lobbies, park benches. Unlike conversing or reading a book in public, a Scrabble game seems to be everybody’s business, always calling to mind the old joke, “How do you contact civilization if stranded on a deserted island? Start playing solitaire, and soon someone will come along and instruct you to move that six on top of that seven over there.”

The same works for Scrabble. Countless passersby invariably stop to ask who’s winning. Any women present will root for me, while any men will roll their eyes in sympathy or find some other way to silently encourage my husband. (They rarely support him out loud lest they receive a sharp elbow in the stomach from their wives.) Without fail, some stickler will stop to inform us snootily that we are not to use the dictionary when playing Scrabble, that it’s against the rules. Another kinder, gentler meddler will give us hints which would earn half the points of the plays we end up using. We thank them all for their concern, smile politely, and go back to our game.

Despite our propensity for playing in public, we never break out the board at home. It simply never occurs to us, and even if it did there are far too many distractions.

And then this evening, the following note dropped into my lap. I looked up to see my husband waiting hopefully for a response. In a flashback to middle school, he had folded it into a cute little shape (then gave up and taped it closed when the folds wouldn’t hold).

Note: If you have trouble reading it, click the note for a closeup version.

Scrabble Note

I ask you, how could I say no? Game’s on in T minus seventeen minutes.

Now you know one of our obsessions. What do you do for fun?

Update: People are already asking, so here’s the lowdown. Hubby won, 445 to 334. He rocked the board with three bingos (words that use all the letters in the rack). Go hubbs!