Hanging with Crazies

I'm a sucker for time-suckers. And being the owner of an iPhone, I have an (over)abundance of them right at my fingertips. (Words with Friends? Diner Dash? Sally's Salon? Scramble? Chicktionary? FruitNinja? Yes please!) Because, you know, I have soooo much time to waste while my kids stuff random things down the toilet and dump all the clothes out of their drawers.

Anyway, my latest iPhone obsession is a game called Hanging with Friends. It's pretty much like Hangman. You make a word, and your opponent has to solve it within a certain number of guesses. It's a really fun game ... until you choose "random opponent" and are matched up with some crazy win-at-all-costs chick whose driving desire for domination sucks all the enjoyment from the experience.

I'm talking about the person I've got an ongoing game with. And because I'm nice, I'll keep her username private ... but it ends in "Mom."

At first it was great. We could be friends, she and I - we're both mothers, word-game-loving iPhone owners, and even have the same avatar. And in the beginning, we played normal words: closet. Hearts. Voted. Panda. Gadgets. Bacon.

But then she saw too much of this, apparently:

The pressure of losing (repeatedly) must have flipped a switch. Because now? She plays these crazy words nobody has ever heard of. Here are a few of the most recent examples:

qat: a tropical evergreen plant whose leaves are used as a stimulant
kuna: the basic monetary unit of Croatia
loxed: okay, so I do know that "lox" is smoked salmon. But loxed? Does that mean, like, something with lox in it? WTF?
daube: a classic French stew made with cubed beef
saki: a tropical monkey with coarse fur and a long bushy nonprehensile tail

I repeat: WTF??

I'm a writer, y'all - I make my living with words. I have a fairly broad vocabulary and have even, on more than one occasion, been accused of being a "word nerd." So when there's a word I don't know? It's likely something very obscure.

... Like "qat" or "kuna." I'd like to know when she last used either of those words in conversation.

I highly doubt that this chick is some Ph.D.-holding linguist, so I'm pretty sure she's either a.) just arranging the letters until they form a word that the game accepts - which is fine in Words with Friends, but just plain sucky in Hanging with Friends, or b.) is cheating. Either way, she's obviously hell-bent on beating me.

Couldn't she just start throwing out some more-difficult-to-guess-yet-still-easily-understandable-once-you-guess-them words like "squid" or "nifty?" Or even some higher-level-vocabulary-yet-still-recognizable-without-a-dictionary words like "morose" or "decanter?"

Victory is sweet. Or, if you're this particular Hanging with Friends opponent, subjugation is remunerative.


  1. I'd offer to play Words with Friends with you, but I use words like "qat." You can blame my mom for that. She was relentless when playing Scrabble with me, so I memorized the dictionary.

    I actually just used the word "qat" yesterday while singing "The Crazy ABCs" by Barenaked Ladies in my car with my kids. It's in the lyrics.

  2. I do that thing in WWF where I just rearrange letters until it accepts something.

  3. A) I have decided that 'loxed' is what you yell after you slap someone upside the head with a smoked salmon - "you've just been loxed!" I plan to do this as soon as possible.

    B) Please please please play words with friends with me? no one ever wants to play and I love it. I'm lonek8 (bet you could've guessed that one)

  4. Sounds like that chick is pretty insecure. I'd find someone else to play with. (Unless she's, like, a stalker that you can't get rid of.) ;o)

  5. I'm hoping to get an iPad soon by selling some stuff ... so hopefully we can play together. :o)

    By the way I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I read "a.) just arranging the letters until they form a word that the game accepts - which is fine in Words with Friends". LOL!!!!!!!!!!!


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