Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Last night I dreamt that I was being chased by giant Scrabble plaques that had inexplicably come to life in order to taunt me. “Z” and “Q” were rather nasty characters but at least they confined their antics to chasing and yelling; “J” was throwing paintballs. I was running at top speed, racing the ticking clock but it was no use. “Q” and “Z” caught up and circled me. They were shouting and making lewd gestures, so I covered my ears and sank to my knees, squeezing my eyes shut to avoid their steely ten point glare when I felt myself being shaken rather violently—my worst fears were realized; the letters were going to kill me.

I woke up in a cold sweat to find my wife standing over me. Apparently she was awakened by my shouting, “ziti,” “quiz,” “qat” and “zebra” in my sleep. The time has come for me to face the cold hard truth…my Scrabble addiction is officially out of control. My family refuses to play with me, claiming it’s no fun playing with Mr. Wordsmith. I pretend to be offended by the nickname, but the truth is, I’m flattered. Lately I have turned to the Internet to quench my thirst for seven letter words. I found a fantastic website called Scrabulous.com filled with like-minded word aficionados and it has become my second home. Yesterday I found myself playing for hours against a terrifying competitor who calls himself Q-meister. I later found out my nemesis was actually a twelve-year spelling bee champ from Nantucket. Trust me, losing nine straight games to a sixth grader is a humbling experience I don’t care to repeat anytime soon.

After having the same nightmare five nights in a row, I promised my wife I’d quit since she claims that my dreams are interfering with her beauty sleep. As much as I value her good looks, I’m not sure that I can keep that particular promise—the love of words is in my veins. My therapist suggested I use substitution since quitting cold turkey could cause painful withdrawals. He recommended Sudoku, which is kind of like crossword puzzle with numbers. I’m not at all convinced it will work but I do think the popular game would make an excellent giveaway at a company picnic, annual dinner, or tradeshow. It features five levels of difficulty with 100 different games on each level. Don’t forget to put your name on it.

I’m off to practice my opening speech for the Nantucket Annual Spelling Bee. Q-meister and I decided to place a wager on our last game—and I don’t have to tell you who won. Until next time, remember, “Numbers may be necessary in life but words are the lifeblood of language.”