Friday 23rd June: How Noda Disqualifies Our Excuses…

When you find yourself in a losing streak, such as my losing streak this quarter, you search around for excuses… Unfortunately, as this latest mahjong session amply demonstrated, all excuses are invalidated by Noda.

Excuse no 1: I got drunk.

The Noda Disqualification: Noda regularly wins while drunk…

Excuse no 2: I am knackered because I have had a busy week…

The Noda Disqualification: Noda’s working day starts just as early as yours, if not earlier, and today it included a business trip by car to a city three hours drive away from here…

Excuse no 3: It’s the World Cup…

The Noda Disqualification: Noda got up at 3:30am this morning to watch Japan get eliminated from the World Cup by Brazil. Then he went to work etc….

Excuse no 4: Mahjong is simply a game of chance and I have been unlucky…

The Noda Disqualification: If it were simply a game of chance then Noda would stand as much chance of going into the red as the rest of us, but he has been in the black all year and in either second or first place, mostly first…

Mind you, even Noda has his losing periods, as in the last quarter of 2005…

Ah yes! The Hirohurl Law of the Quarters! Omnia Tempus Habent. To every thing in this transient life there is, as Solomon sayeth, a season, and this is not the Poor Little Cypriot’s season for mahjong… In Q1 I did well; Q1 was my quarter, but in Q2 I have suffered loss upon loss and none has given me quarter. Roll on Q3!

The first game was entirely Jaime’s affair. Noda did enough to get rid of his Yakitori but over in the Poor Little Cypriot’s seat absolutely sod all was coming together and his Yakitori remained glued to the table.

The first game was the only one that Jaime won, but it was enough to keep him in the black and help him progress up the table.

The PLC eventually won a game but that was not enough to redeem the evening’s losses.

Despite all that it was a thoroughly entertaining evening. Perhaps for the first time ever, each game produced just a single winner, and that tells a story in its own right…

Games won: Jaime 1, David 1, Noda 4.

The last three of those games went on to the West round so things were not as one sided as the results suggest.

The PLC was sunk chiefly by three events – the Yakitori in the first game, Jaime’s Kokushimusou in the second game, completed by Tsumo while the PLC was Oya, and the PLC’s stubborn discarding of the 6-Bamboo rather than break up a Tenpai hand while Oya when both Noda and Jaime had declared Riichi. That was a reckless play which proved to be costly when both players declared Ron!!

Shortly after the PLC had got stung Noda threw out a tile (I forget which) and was stung by double Ron himself – so the PLC got some of his cash back and managed to finish the game on +40.

Jaime and Noda committed a Chombo each during the course of the evening. Jaime had declared three open Pon only to discover when he went to draw a tile on his next turn that he already had five tiles in his hand.

Noda’s Chombo was just as farcical but I forget the details… It was almost certainly induced by the Japanese alcohol he was imbibing at a steady rate throughout the evening….

…which reminds me, there was a spectacular off-table “Chombo” committed by Jaime who had bought a beer on the strength of his first game victory and then sent it flying off the side table and smashing to the floor with an Italianesque elbow jab.

We changed seats twice using Noda’s esoteric tile-shuffling formula. This was followed up by Noda’s comical inability to count up to one when he cast the die and supposed that Jaime was the starting Oya…

Having had a late lunch, David did not order his usual yakimeshi. As the “potato salad incident” of last week intimates, it is not always necessary to do so as Mama sometimes serves up some pretty substantial side dishes when you order a drink. Tonight’s treat was cured pork on a salad bed. Ah well, lost mula at the table but saved mula on the grub front; a score draw, lost on penalties!

Noda -30, +33, +28, +34,3 -30,4 +16 = +51
Jaime +84, -24,2 -13,3 -10, -10 = +14
David -54,1 -9, -15, -21, +40,4 -6 = -65

1 Yakitori
2 Kokushimusou
3 Chombo
4 Double Ron payout

David Hurley


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