gravity always wins

Anne plays a lot of Scrabble, and she’s really good. It’s not uncommon for her to score between 270-350 in a two player game, and she hasn’t even mastered the art of sneaking fake words past a challenge, memorizing word lists, or counting how many of a certain letter are left in the bag to work out some complex probability game theory thing.

A few weeks ago, she called me from her friend’s house. I picked up the phone while I poked some coals around the fireplace.

"Hello?" I said.

"Wil! I got venereal!" She shouted.

"WHAT?!" I dropped the fireplace poker onto the hearth.

"Venereal! I got venereal as my first word, and scored –"

"Anne, you can’t just call me up without warning and tell me that you’ve ‘got venereal.’"

She cracked up. "Oh, sorry about that."

"It’s okay," I said. "If you don’t win this game, I’ll be very disappointed."[1]

"I’ll do my best. I have to go. I love you."

"I love you, too. Bye."

Score: Anne – 1 Wil – 0

Today, she called me from her salon and told me about this thing she’d heard about called The Miracle Ball. I guess it’s some pain management, muscle fixing hoo hah that one of her clients swears by. Anne and I are doing the marathon again this year, and I still have pretty constant pain in my right hip that nothing is curing. Massage, acupuncture, yoga, cursing, deals-with-the-devil . . . nothing is working. So Anne suggested that I try the Miracle Ball, which she could also use to help her back and neck.

Before I can run, I need to walk at least thirty minutes a day for the next three weeks or so, which means that I’m not driving myself many places right now. I put on my walking shoes, grabbed my nano, pulled on my ultracool San Andreas jacket, and walked myself over to the bookstore, where I found the Miracle Ball book in the fitness section.

After I paid, I pulled out my cell, and sent her the following text message: i have your miracle balls

I wish she was a farker, so she could send back something like, O RLY?

Alas, she is not, so the score is currently: Anne – 1 Wil – 1 There’s a lot of time left in the game, though, and she still has all her time outs.

This is probably 800% funnier to me than it is to anyone reading this. Welcome to my world.

[1] She went on to win with something like 450 or 490. Insane.

37 thoughts on “gravity always wins”

  1. I’ve got these. While I can’t comment on the exercises, I can vouch that lying on them really helps pinched nerve problems. I have a bulged disc in my lower back and I went from a high-caliber volleyball player to “can’t walk a mile without back spasms” over the last couple years.
    Still have spasms, but using the miracle balls helps calm things down.

  2. Haha, thats funny because my mom just brought those things home a month ago. I haven’t done any exersizes with them, but she says they are good.

  3. Constant pain in the hip sounds a lot like sciatica, which is often caused by a slipped or ruptured disc. Go see a neurologist. Seriously. At least see your GP about it so he can decide if that might be the issue. If it is a back problem, my understanding is that running can make it worse.
    I say this because I just had a similar problem that was apparently “cured” by a couple of epidural steroid injections. Sure beats a lifetime of pain, numbness, and loss of strength.

  4. My freshman year of college, I played Scrabble against a very smart young woman who fancied herself a poet.
    No, wait, sorry, that was Pink. She fancied herself a pinball wizard.
    No, sorry again; that’s Tommy. Scrabble genius, she thought she was (and she was, and is, very good).
    My first word was SWATTER, and we had a spirited argument about whether that was a word unto itself, or only counted as part of FLYSWATTER and similar combinations. (I believe a dictionary was consulted before I was allowed to keep my points.)
    Next turn, I got three As in my rack and hit on AMARANTH, thanks to having read Speaker for the Dead shortly before. My opponent was completely disgusted. It was awesome.

  5. Hey Wil,
    PLEASE follow up on how well the miracle balls work. They have received nothing but 5 star ratings on Amazon and I’m up for anything at this point. I cannot afford acupuncture and am looking for that “miracle pill” that will help out with this lower back pain. Shoveling snow sucks a**.

  6. Wil – I frequently get a pinched nerve in my lower back leading to massive muscle spasms which contort my body in a way that makes a pretzel jealous. Last year I discovered this bath stuff:
    The green one on the left. My physical therapist friend says the eucalyptus in it has healing properties. All I know is, the last time I threw my back out I soaked in a hot tub with this stuff and I was up and walking the next day with nearly no pain (a far cry from being stuck on the couch for two weeks!) Sombra is also an excellent cream to use:

  7. Hey, a few hours ago, I was watching ‘I Love the ’80s 3-D’, too.
    Anyhow – Scrabble. My fondest memory of Scrabble was playing it in Spanish class in high school with my friends. We forfeited on spelling words in Spanish and spelled dirty, perverted words instead. Those friends bring out the worst in me. It was fun, though. True, it was immature and not original. Needless to say, the teacher did not approve of our board. Oh well.

  8. Wil, dude, you rock. Seriously. i’m sitting here in a silent computer lab, and you’re making me laugh and snort and just plain piss off everyone else in the room. Sure, they’ll say it’s because I’m making noise, but we all know it’s really beacuse they just want to be as entertained as me. And they could. They just don’t read your awesome blog. Like me.
    Rock on, man…hope those miracle balls work out for you and Anne. [snicker snicker]…

  9. I thought it was very funny – especially the phone conversation with Anne. If it was 800% funnier for you, maybe it was one of those you-would-have-had-to-been-there things. 490??!!?? Anne must have an amazing vocabulary….

  10. Hi Wil, Your hip symptoms sound a lot like my husband’s hip problem.
    There is a blood test that can be performed for this condition called “Alkylosing Spondylitis”.
    I shit you not, that is the name of the disorder. If you have it there are treatments available, if you don’t then even cooler.
    Sciatica is more a radiating or shooting pain usually accompanied by periods of numbness or tingling, as is a slipped disc.
    I hope your miracle balls do the trick, Anne probably likes wielding them :)
    Best of luck!!

  11. I’ve got titanium rods screwed into my spine, so I get frequent back pain. I’ve been using a set of sand-filled balls for a few years, now, and they’ve really helped out. Whenever I would get pinched nerves (and even the time I pulled my ITB), I laid on the floor with one or both of them under my back and/or hip, and it’s really helped.

  12. Dude. My mother-in-law is also a monster at Scrabble. My wife and I aren’t chumps, either, but it’s not uncommon for her to earn as many points as the two of us combined when we play three handed, something in the 450-500 range. Just brutal.

  13. bwa-ha-ha. Thats awesome.
    reminds me of why I always pick my friend stacy (an OB/GYN) as a pictionary team-mate. Last game, our words for the other team included “perineum”.

  14. WIL,
    Don’t wait until it is to late to get that pain checked out. We are men and history proves that, some of us, are slow in this department. You are not less tough for getting a medical opinion.

  15. LOL. Funny stuff, Wil. Seriously. Let us know how those ball thingys work out. I seriously need something less destructive than Motrin to fix my back pain.
    So, about Scrabble. My mom and grandmother were Scrabble freaks when I was growing up. Needless to say, I hate the game. I’m not very wordy.

  16. I think it’s so great that whenever something hilarious, or beautiful, or amazing happens in your lives, the first person you want to share it with is each other. I think that’s exactly what love should be like!

  17. Wil, that was probably the funniest thing that I’ve read in AGES!! Venereal! Now that is damn funny!
    It reminds me of the time that my friend Dave called my friend Tracy (who works in a doctor’s office) and left a message on her machine saying “Trace, I need Valtrex! Please get me some samples from work, I’m dying here!”
    We listened to that message about sixteen times, laughing our asses off every single time.
    When she called him back, she asks him “Uhhh, Dave, why the fuck do you need Valtrex?” He answers her with “Because I have some kind of sinus infection and I need antibiotics!” Tracy busts out laughing again and informs Dave that Valtrex is for people who have Herpes.
    Long pause. Then Dave says “Well what’s the name of that antibiotic that you only have to take for 5 days?” Tracy busts out laughing again and says “Zithromax, Dave.”
    To this day, we still call Dave and leave messages on his machine saying “Dave, we have some Valtrex for you!”
    Now that is probably 800% funnier to me than it is to anyone else, but what Anne said definitely was funny as shit.

  18. lol – you two sound a lot like my Melanie and me sometimes! We play a lot of WordBox (Boggle) on our Palm device, and after one game Melanie exclaimed that she got herpes! I just replied that I got penis. :)

  19. If you’d like to keep Anne off the streets occasionally, you may want to consider pointing her toward her local Scrabble club. will have more details. If she’s scoring that well now, imagine what she’ll be like with a word list or two in her. :)

  20. Being married to a scrabble nerd can be very trying at times. Has Anne played Literati? It is on Yahoo Games and my husband can’t get enough of it. Maybe you shouldn’t tell her, actually:)

  21. Hey Will, just want to tell you that Anne is hilarious and hopefully your “balls” work…I’m chuckling as I write this. Too funny….

  22. So I’m zooming along los internets picking up the random shiny object and I come across this unexpected voice. He looks like that goofy Crusher kid but he sounds like his own man.
    You have interesting things to say, Wil, and darn if I don’t keep coming back to hear the news. The thing is, this voice…it’s yours. And if you spill it out on paper and send it to a publisher and they crap up the publicity on it, well live and learn–but it’s still yours.
    I don’t think that the window is closed on it. Plenty of authors do the majority of their own publicity and you seem to be well placed in that regard, what with being a) of celebrity status, b) all famous in the blogosphere, and c) a pretty engaging fellow.
    You have so many hooks it’s not even funny. You can reel them in on the Trekkie angle…but wait, there’s more! You can reel them in because you’re intelligent. And funny as hell. You can reel them in because you’re outside the box that people expect you to live in. You can reel them in because you’re a great writer. You can reel them in because that’s what you do.
    You do it every freaking day on this website. And we love it, man. We can’t wait until you throw another one out.

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