Thursday, April 13, 2006


I ought to shoot OM, because she's entirely too clever for her own good.

As for why, she ran this cartoon on her page today from the admittedly pretty funny Savage Chickens website. However, she didn't explain to people why it's funny, or at least traumatic, for me.

Now, I'm sure there are people wondering why I'm suffering trauma over a vegetable. Did my mother force me to eat lots of them when I was a child? Was I mugged by someone welding an arugula? Did I suffer a severe allergic reaction to one?

Nope. The truth is stranger. Arugulas beat me at Scrabble.

Allow me to explain.

About 10 years ago I was teaching English in South Korea. It did not go well and at one point, after fleeing my job, I crashed with two of my friends who were also teaching over there. They are Chris and Lisa and they graciously put up with me when I was not in a good mental place for far longer than they really needed to.

Still, they were good friends. And one of the ways we would kill some evenings (other than drinking and torturing me with hot, unavailable Scottish women. Another long story) was to play Scrabble. Now, I'm not bad at Scrabble. I'm good enough that Cathy won't even think about playing it with me (She also refuses to play Trivial Pursuit against me because "You have entirely too much useless shit in your brain." Which, you know, is true). But Chris and Lisa are really, really good. They're the kind of good that involves owning a Scrabble Dictionary and memorizing vast swaths of two letter words that you've never heard of or used in a sentence, but are legal to use in the game.

I never beat them. I could beat one of them, but never beat both of them at the same time.

However, there is one time when I was kicking their ass. I was getting all the right tiles, coming up with good words. I was beating them by about 100 points with it coming down to last tiles.

This is when Lisa has a small brainstorm, slaps down the tiles and screams "Arugulas!"

To which I respond "Arugulas!?"

And then there was much screaming of the word "Arugulas", both as an inquiry, a curse word and as an exclamation of joy. It was the only word said in the apartment for several minutes. The Korean neighbours undoubtedly thought the crazy white people had finally lost their minds.

Because not only did she get seven tiles out and the 50 point bonus, she got them out on some bizarre triple word score combination. She ended up with something like 200 points on "Arugulas." I nearly lost my mind.

I also nearly challenged it because I had never heard of "arugulas" before. And I was winning God damn it. Arugulas was cheating me of my victory.

I let it go and Lisa won. To this day I still curse on arugulas. God damn vegetable.

Cursed vegetable

Now, before any of you get the bright idea of screaming "Arugulas" the next time you see me, it won't work. What sets me off is the exact tone of voice both Chris and Lisa used. Their specific manic pitch and glee. Only close friends of theirs know it and can successfully replicate it.

To this day I have never eaten arugulas. I suspect I never will...

Currently Playing
Blink the Brightest - Tracy Bonham


dups said...

That's funny... a couple of months ago Corey and I were in the grocery store together and we happened upon some arugalas, at which we both looked at each other, remembered the story and exclaimed "Arugalas" :)

Arugalas... Arugalas... Arugalas...

Anonymous said...

CW: Arugulas!? That's not a word! What the @@@ are arugulas?

LP (deadpan): It's like lettuce.

CM (deadpan-"er'): It's like lettuce.

towniebastard said...

Speak of the devils...I didn't think you guys could check out this blog, stuck behind the Great Firewall as you were...

Then again, nothing is coming from China according to statcounter...I wonder where you're being routed though...Qatar?

Owen's Mom said...

The comic genius of the story is not the specific events - also, I wasn't there, I really didn't know the exact sequence of events until I read you post.

It's Chris and Lisa's paRticular *way* of saying "arugulas".

And the fact that every time I have seen you and them in any social setting since that time, two things are ALWAYS mentioned from your time crashing illegally on their couch- yogurt chewing and arugulas.

And it's the vein that starts to threaten to pop in you forehaed every time the word arugulas is mentioned around you.

Oddly enough, tho' - I always associate that story more with Lisa then either you or Chris. Perhaps that's because there are so many other stories about you and Chris, but Lisa usually seems to be the counterbalance to Chris, rather than the instigator of the comic events.

This one is truly hers tho'.


Anonymous said...

Chewing yogurt?

regards, cat`

towniebastard said...

In my defence, I would like to state it was the kind of yogurt that you mixed in nuts with it. So I could "chew" the nuts so they became smaller and easier swallowed or I could have let them be, gotten then caught in my throat and asphixiated, forcing Chris and Lisa to do a Heimlich on me.

Or I could have died, which I'm sure would have been equally inconvenient and annoying.

Mireille Sampson said...

Too little too late, I don´t think that s on the end of arugala is correct. It´s like saying basils or oreganos.

towniebastard said...

I told this to Cathy...she's still in the bedroom laughing... suck, Mireille...

Mireille Sampson said...

Glad to be of service;)