While my husband and my 14yo were in New Mexico, they played a lot of Ghost. Have you ever played Ghost? It is THE BEST game for travel. I love it so.
With Ghost, you create a chain of letters that could turn into a word but that is not yet a word. So if you and I were playing Ghost, I might say "a" and you might say "a-b." I couldn't say "c-a-b," because that would be a word. I couldn't say "a-b-z," because as far as I know that sequence of letters is not part of any common noun and you're not allowed to spell Abzug in Ghost. If I said "a-b-z" you could challenge me. Maybe I would be trying to spell "abseil"; maybe I would be making something up. In either case, I'd get a G. If I lost the next round, I'd have GH. If I got all the way to GHOST, then I would lose the game.
Perhaps it was a sign of our long-lasting compatibility that my husband and I had so much fun playing Ghost when we were dating. We still shake our heads about particularly memorable rounds: the time that "dhp" stumped my husband ("jodhpurs," natch), the time I was astonished to learn that "hijinks" was a legit spelling of "high jinks." We were riding our bikes across Iowa with 10,000 other people. When we got to a little town, 9,998 of those people would go in search of bananas and water. Elwood and I would go in search of a dictionary. Who needs food when you have just toppled a worthy opponent with "a-b-a-t-t"? (He thought I would be stuck spelling "abate" when he gave me "a-b-a-t," but hahaHA I was not stuck at all. Let's hear it for abattoirs!)
Tonight at dinner Joe and Elwood were talking about their trip to Philmont, where Joe was the Ghost champion among the Scouts. I nodded to my husband. "Our work here is done," I said. The boys decided we should play at the table. "A," said Joe. "A-O," I said. "Hm," said my 16yo. "Hmm."
"Maybe," said Elwood, "when we play with the kids they could vote on whether or not they know the word you're thinking of if you get challenged." I said, "What?!" I said, "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game!" I said, "It doesn't matter anyway, because I have read each of them a book with an A-O word in it more times than I can COUNT!" Alas, they did not remember the lovely little book with a baobab tree in it, they had never heard of kaolin clay or the aorist tense, and they thought it was perfectly acceptable to give me a letter based on a mid-game rule change. They thought it was hilarious, in fact, when I became a little indignant about their mid-game rule change. When the vote was over and someone said, "Oh, yeah, there's also aorta!" my 11yo literally rolled around in the floor laughing at my sorrows. Is that sportsmanlike [inquires the person who just called her family mean cheaterpants geeks on the internet]?
This made me say a most emphatic HARRUMPH. But it also made me say a teeny whispering little "My work here is actually pretty close to done."
P.S. The sink is fixed and it wasn't expensive, the wanderers are back at my dinner table, and Elwood offered to wash the dishes so I could jump on the trampoline with the kids. Life is good.