Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A Scrabble judge


The satirical site The Spoof this week reportedriot police being deployed in Wolverhampton as crowd trouble broke out during the Scrabble match between bitter rivals Ted Hankey and Scott Waites but it was certainly no joking matter back in those tennis playing days when Mungo McCallum was taking on the now Sydney film critic Evan Williams, Harriet Swift (then Valerie Binns) and myself in our weekly games.
If the judges of the Indian High Court had been present then back in the 1970s they would surely not have made their finding this weekthat Scrabble was just a game. Their honours were considering whether Scrabble should be subject to excise duty. In their wisdom they decided that it was, because Scrabble was “not a toy, not a puzzle but a game”, and hence not exempt from excise duty. They clearly had not been advised of how Messrs McCallum, Williams and Binns used Scrabble as a way of impoverishing a friendly host who thought, like their Honours, that Scrabble was a game.
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