Property tax bills are coming out in New Orleans right now. But this is not about that.


I finally beat my father-in-law at Scrabble. The key play for me: MILLAGES, a triple triple bingo for 158 points. This is a word I only learned upon living in New Orleans; it’s another word for property tax. Mike challenged it, of strategic necessity, and that sealed the deal.

I should note that Mike is a competitive Scrabble player who has been know to play in Division One at the national championship. It’s truly a pleasure to play against him because he’s so damn good. I’m so awestruck that I don’t mind getting trounced repeatedly, and I usually learn some new words.

We’ve played many, many games over the years but I don’t recall ever winning a one-on-one game with him before. It’s not unusual for him to play a triple triple bingo, as I noted back in 2004, but this may well have been my first.

I should also note that we were playing nine-tile variant, so this wouldn’t be considered legit in any sense by the tournament crowd.

Final score: 469 to 382.

Unfortunately, this means I can never play Mike again.

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