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Tuesday
Apr242012

[FiPS Was There...] the 5th annual Scrabble for Cheaters

We here at FIPS spend a hell of a lot of time out and about in Brooklyn, attending outdoor concerts, comedy shows and various other events. So [FIPS Was There...] is where we're gonna' talk about all this shit.

When you play the game of Scrabble you win or you die. And by "die," I mean "have some pizza while trying to rub shoulders with celebs." That’s right: this past Saturday was the 5th annual Scrabble for Cheaters, which was held at Park Slope’s own Brooklyn Super Hero Supply Company. As per usual, the tutoring center fronted by a cape emporium managed to stock the pond with some mild to major public figures. The most titillating of which was no doubt Mr. Peter Dinklage

But I am getting ahead of myself. I should start by explaining how this version of the game works. The thing that sets this kind of scrabblery apart from any other is that players can use money they raised from gullible friends and family to buy cheats. That's right. Cheating is encouraged. And that’s where things get interesting. 

Yeah, some of those aren’t words.

Some of the cheats include:

* The Passport ($50) --  Play a word from any language other than English.

* Add Q, X or Z ($150) -- Add a Q, X, or Z to any word you'd like.

And the big mama:

* Invent a Word ($500) -- If you can pronounce and define it, it's a word. Invented words may not be rejected.

John Hodgman (left) not only cheats at scrabble, he also stole Jack White’s facial hair!

Besides the Station Agent, the game was attended by Deranged Millionaire and PC-Park Slope resident John Hodgman, Baxter Michael Showalter, and a playwright who I pretended I knew, but who I really did not know, but have every intention of getting to know in the future, Jonathan Marc Sherman.

The winners.

Over $42,000 was raised for the not-for-profit center, which provides after school tutoring for kids from ages 6-18 as well as amazing unique learning opportunities -- like classes on how to a write a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and a series where kids make original films and then show them at a film festival held at BAM. 

Basically, they provide kids with the kind of opportunities that you never had, and maybe if you did you wouldn’t be working as an investment banker. But honestly that’s a pretty selfish way to look at it and you should be ashamed of yourself.

The winning team was a decidedly not famous duo, Craig Austin and Mehal Shah. Not only did they manage to raise more money for the center than anyone else, thus enabling them to buy the most cheats, but Mehal is apparently an internet famous dirty fightin’ scrabble master, so it is easy to see how they took home this handsome trophy.

All in all it was a fun day of tile slamming.

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