Wussy Boy Wins It All, Part Two

Sunday, November 4, 2007

6:56, adjusted time. I wanted to make one final transition to Dreamland, but I willed myself to believe that I was caught up, and I started up Friday's episode, freshly-downloaded courtesy of the Wi-Fi connection at Front and Wall, of Friday Night Lights. It was more relaxing not to cut it so close, anyhow, and I had time to chit-chat at the new West Broadway and Houston store. I also had time to do some fresh blogging about a customer dissservice experience at a bagel shop.

The culprit was Gramercy Bagels. I pulled out a pocketful of change and started to pay for my bagel when the cashier, in Spanish-accented English, said "minimum of five pennies". I knew he must have meant "maximum" , but I've never been in a store anywhere that refused to take pennies as payment, so I switch to Spanish and clarify. Then I asked to speak to the manager, and he points to a short, insecure, man behind him. I'm still a little flustered and confused, so I start speaking in Spanish, and when the manager doesn't appear to understand I asked if he speaks English, though I meant to ask if he spoke Spanish. He must have thought I was insulting him, because he says "no, I speak French", and he walks away. Customer service violation #1. His associate, a taller man who speaks excellent, though still accented, English, is more polite and explains something to me about how the store doesn't charge tax. I don't understand the rationale. The manager comes back over and tells me to take the pennies over to the subway, or maybe to Subway, and they'll take them. So now he's being condescending, too. Customer service violation #2. I ignore him and explain to the associate that in all my years I've never encountered a store that refused to take my pennies, and that the customer is supposed to be always right. The tall associate says not always, but politely. He says not to take it personally, which I wasn't. Meanwhile, the manager is still muttering on, saying stuff like "you're crazy" and "get out of here." Customer service violation #3. Needless to say, I won't be back, and I hope everybody avoids Gramercy Bagels at 246th 3rd Avenue. Phone # 212-388-0080. Feel free to call them and ask why they won't take more than five pennies.

Had to lose a little time altering my route out of the city because of the New York Marathon, but that wasn't a problem because I was, for once, extremely early. For some reason I thought the start time was 10:00 AM, so when I arrived at 9:50 I was extremely surprised to find just one car in the lot.

I caught up on sims and blogging while I waited, and at some point a player who I didn't know started looking at my screen over my shoulder. He must know have known who I am, or he would have known that peeking over my shoulder is a no-no!

My first game against Robert (Bob?) Kerr. Hard to get a read on his skill level because I managed an easy early bingo and then the board tightened up. When he got down HeADGEA(R), a good find, I had RESILES for a bunch more points, and Robert could not recover.

After our two-point game, Michael Klaveki surprised me by deciding not to recount. Actually, he asked me if I could do the recount. I wasn't about to encourage him find a loss for me, so I said it was up to him to recount, and he brushed it off. Good thing, because had I lost, I would have felt really bad for letting him get away with REBALES*. I wasn't 100% sure, and I saw that he had E(N)ABLERS. Anyway, I would have lost the recount, by 3, based on three of my own scoring mistakes. I discovered this after the fifth round, but I wasn't about to go back and try to get the results changed. That would be stupid. How many games have I lost, I wonder, because I failed to do a recount. The lesson here--always recount!

Joan Kelly

Against Phil Polsky, I wasn't bad off. I was only down 11, and scoring 15 would have taken the lead. There was no reason to give up points with (T)OEA on the hopes that Phil didn't know the new S hook. In fact, that was downright stupid, and it almost cost me the game. Not only did Phil know the hook, but he had GUTtLES for 80. Had I stuck to my defensive play, yes, I would have had a crappy leave, but Phil wouldn't have bingoed right away. Fortunately, Phil missed his best endgame play, and I found two extra points in the recount to get me a tie instead of a loss.

Umpteeth round against Joe Bihlmeyer. He had failed to suck points from me the previous day in Bayside, but I've no doubt he was eager to try again. Unfortunately for him, he had not heeded my advice from the previous day about watching his time. He burned almost 7 minutes on his first turn, only to play a phony! I of course started pushing him on time, and he let me. I really wanted to stop the clock and tell him that time is equity!!! He needed to make a play in which he just threw some tiles down there, just to prevent me from being able to do my thinking on his time. Of course, time became irrelevant after my 149-point EN(D)ANGER. It would have taken a miracle for him to come back.

Next round, Kevin J McCarthy, Sr., whom I had not played in forever. I couldn't ever remember how long it had been. A Stamford, he said. Long enough for me to have developed a vastly increased vocabulary, in the form of EIDOLIC and SENSATE(S), and confidence enough in my 8s to challenge O(V)ULATeR*. Add double-double SPEN(D)ING into the mix, and there wasn't much Kevin could have done.

Final round, Polsky again, and a key play of the game was highly appropriate. (O)UCHED is exactly what Phil must have thought when he lost the challenge. I had a vague notion that I had seen the word in Quackle, or maybe OUCHING. Had I been wrong, Phil would have had a chance to nearly tie the game. But instead, I went up a bingo, and I drew the blank for TITLInG to practically ensure my victory. Coming back from that would have been really tough for Phil, and my constant scoring wouldn't allow it.

On top of a decent first place $125 prize, I won high game and high bingo for an additional ten smackers. Combined with $90 from Bayside, I really cleaned up. Of course, two first place wins and a 12.5/2.5 record weren't going to change the fact that I wussed out on the long drive needed to face the real competition in Cape Cod. Even if I had gone 15-0 in Bayside, I still would have felt unworthy of any commendation. Winning in such a weak field is a little like making out with a drunk sixteen year old at a high school party when you've brought the beer--it's just too easy to be worth much.


0 JI(V)E  
0.6 TRAIPSe(D)  
6.3 UNW(E)T  
4.8 Q(U)IT  
14.4 ARE(T)E  
0 BO(Z)O  
16.9 HERIOT  
26 FIXE(R)  
10 K(E)G  
0 A(NE)  
0 FICO  
2.7 QAT(S)  
0 GIG  
3 D(A)VEN  
0 (D)AY  
2 WIN  
0 ORT  
0 J(I)N  
5.2 MON  
1.3 VAG(U)S  
5.9 GOR(E)D  
11 SHE continuing to score keeps momentum
0 VE(E)  
0 IT  
0.8 SILD CLeRIDS (not best)
1.6 M(E)WL  
18.8 (A)RCO block (A)QUA
0* ZA  
19 TAuTLY  
0 (T)I  
3.4 GA(N)JA  
0 BROO  
0 QAD(I)  
0.1 VOM(E)R  
0 (B)ILK  
7 CR(E)DO  
11.6 (T)OEA  
12.4 WIT  
0 HA  
0 JI(L)L  
4.9 FARMS E(F) (prefer 34 pts to fishing)
4.4 Q(I)  
5.1 Z(E)E  
9.8 TIE  
0 WO(E)  
6.6* Y(A)WN  
0 DUCAT(S)  
14.2 EIDOLIC miss YOW hooks
2.5 GANE  
0 VIT(A)E  
0 (W)HO  
15.5 Z(A) EVZONE(S)
0* (V)ROOM  
8 QADI afraid to slot in 3x3
16 THY  
0 IN(T)ER  
0 P(O)RTED  
7.9 FU(T)Z  
14.9 JA(D)ING  
0 VI(E)WY  
2.1 AGEE  
0 REFS  
0 NOO  
0 O(I)  

1 - W - 9.8 (127.1)
2 - W - 3.4 (47.1)
3 - W - 6.8 (101.3)
4 - T - 5.1 (66.9)
5 - W - 3.3 (43.2)
6 - W - 4.3 (56.2)
7 - W - 6.7 (87.5)

Avg: 5.6

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