I had a pleasant brunch with J today at the new Bloc 11 cafe in Union Square. Bloc 11 is run by the fine folks who own Diesel cafe in Davis Square, and is housed in a former bank building. You can even dine in the vault. Besides enjoying egg and cheese sandwiches, we had excellent soy drinks, a latte and a mocha chai, both with artistic foam illustrations. And we found a scrabble set in the game vault and set down to a match.

Amazingly, we both drew bingos on our first plays – DOILIES and WEBSITE – although I’m not sure if the latter is an accepted scrabble word, but we had no dictionary and played on. The game was close to the end, but I got shafted with the Q and ended up losing 289 to 327. But towards the end, when the bag was empty, we started to realize that we were not playing with a full deck, so to speak. When the game was done it was obvious that we were missing at least a P and a blank. We counted up and found only 94 tiles out of the regulation 100. Further examination revealed the exact contents of the deficit:

A E O P T [blank]

I guess that’s par for the course for a public scrabble set. We wrote a warning note on a coffee cup sleeve, put it in the box and returned the game to the vault.

I like scrabble. I like coffee shops. I like coffee shops that have their own complete scrabble sets. So I decided to do something about this. But where do you go to get just six tiles? Six particular tiles. Ebay, of course! Oddly there were no short sets for sale, only lots of 100 or even a couple of hundred tiles at a shot, many of them listed as “for crafting.” If bidding goes my way, in a few days, I will have a full set of tiles and will set about topping up all the damaged scrabble sets I can find.

And after that, I’ll make earrings and cuff links from the rest and sell those on ebay to recoup my investment.