Interview with Downtown Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is a very smart and sassy young lady.  She personifies sass.  She used to live in Charleston, Illinois where she pretty much ran the Study Abroad program at Eastern Illinois University. She played in our Scrabble Club. She is pretty much perfect except for her unreasonable attachment to the Cleveland Indians, who, by some crazy fluke, are doing well. 

Can you tell us how you came to play Scrabble? Did you play as a girl?

I played many clandestine games of “Cuss Word Scrabble” at sleepovers with my cousin Teresa.  We played words like “shithead” and “penis” and shushed each other when we giggled too loudly.  (Yes, “penis” was a cuss word.)

 Unfortunately, this later worked against me, as I played the word DUMBASS* in a game against your husband.  To my chagrin, he successfully challenged it and then proceeded to tell everyone in the Champaign-Urbana Barnes and Noble that he challenged my dumb ass right off the board.  The barista at Starbucks nodded politely.

 When I first met you, I thought you were a really sweet, gentle person.  That all changed when I first played you in Scrabble. Just kidding.  Kind of.  I still thought of you as sweet and gentle, but I also saw this determined “I am nobody’s bitch” side to you.  Am I projecting?

I have a hyper-competitive nature, which is kind of embarrassing, particularly since I have a vagina and I’m told that people with vaginas aren’t supposed to be competitive.  I have to really rein it in at baby showers, and outwardly I think I do a decent job.  Internally, though, I’m screaming, “Hands off that plumeria-scented lotion, bitch! That’s going to MY house after I own all of you in the name-the-celebrity-baby game!”

 You’ve moved up quickly in the Scrabble ranks from the time you played all those phonies against me.  I suspect performance-enhancing drugs.  Care to comment?


I know this may sound trite, but do you have favorite words?  Favorite anagrams?

My favorite word to play is “yon” because my husband’s name is Yon.  My stomach gets all aflutter when I can play “yon”.  In fact, sometimes I even play it when it’s not the best play.

My name anagrams to Slow Brain.  That’s pretty special.

 What do you remember from your first tournament?

I remember being in awe of people rated 1000.  It’s kind of like when you’re three years old and 21 sounds really, really old.

Tell us about your wonderful husband.  Does he play Scrabble?

My wonderful husband thinks Scrabble is a horrendous waste of time.  “You’re a wonderful writer!” he says.  “You could be writing a book!  Instead, you sit around with your friends saying, ‘Oh, look, I played P-A-B.  That’s a word.”

What I should say: “Honey, you’re right.  I’m going to quit Scrabble and get started on my novel.

What I actually say: “No, P-A-B isn’t valid, but it does anagram to B-A-P, which is valid.” Obviously, my husband is much smarter than me.

If you could play Scrabble with any person in the world, living or dead, who would be your choice and why?

I would totally play Scrabble with Jesus, but I’d make it Cuss Word Scrabble because Jesus doesn’t cuss, so I’d win.

 What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

 Injera.  This is kind of a big deal.  It is impossible to purchase injera in northeast Ohio, so we just stocked up when we went to DC a couple of weeks ago.  My Ethiopian husband is cooking tonight, so that injera is soon to be in my belly.

 Speaking of which, whenever I mention injera on Facebook, some smartass Collins player (probably but not definitely Chris Lipe) always posts INJERA# on my status.  STOP IT!  If a lack of injera hasn’t caused me to move out of my state, it’s also not going to cause me to move out of my dictionary.

 Rumor has it you’ve traveled to every country in the world. Do you have a favorite?

Certainly Canada as it’s the only country to which I can travel and still play TWL.  Best part of playing Scrabble in Canada: at the end of a game, I sometimes get to hear my opponent say, “13 and oat!”  It’s so adorable, I almost don’t even mind when my opponent goes “oat” while I’ve got an X and a V on my rack.

 If someone wrote a biography about you, what might the title to be?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling.  Then maybe someone would buy it.