Bazzer was in toon…
A few weeks ago, when Bazzer was in toon, we happened to stumble upon Yasu in Mac bar; Yasu of whom neither hide nor hair has been seen for a couple of years or so, which is saying something I can tell you. I don’t think the inscrutable presence at the end of the bar would have acknowledged us had not Jaime pointed out to me who it was, and I not gone over and slapped him about a bit until he promised to come back and play mahjong at Kodama…
Yasu made good on that promise on May Day evening and was sat taking his ease over a beer with Noda at the table in the far corner of the parlour when I arrived.
Noda had been drinking after his missus returned home too late for their date. I mean, Noda had been drinking more than usual and seemed to be having difficulty getting a grip.
Jaime was starting Oya in the first game, and by the time he had finished he was on a comfortable +53, with nobody else going anywhere, and Yasu and Noda had committed a Chombo apiece.
Then David went all over the meadow a-gathering with gusto while both Yasu and Noda went nuts giving up many a blossoming bough so that he could bring home the May.
The Four-of-Coins was a particularly ripe morsel that Yasu gave up twice in a row to David’s one-tile waits. Noda got clobbered on David’s Ryanshi Double-Riichi on the West tile when Noda threw the Hatsu which David needed to complete Chitoi…
Yasu began to get restless, and the inscrutable facade began to slip. Checking his watch (for the game did extend over the two hour mark as David racked up 13 tenbou as Oya…), Yasu seemed shocked to find that it was already past ten o’clock, appeared anxious to be elsewhere and was heard from time to time to express the opinion that mahjong was “taigi”, as it can indeed seem to be at times…
By the end of the first game the situation stood thus:
Yasu bailed out, leaving only a few coins on the table… and David fondly supposing that he had popped out to fetch some cash.
So the Old Guard settled in for the rest of the evening, with the foreign parties quite expecting Noda to enjoy a mid-evening shochu-revival. Noda, however, had pushed the boat out a bit too far and the best he could manage was second-and-in-the-black in the third game, which Jaime won.
The games either side of that, however, went to David and by the end of the night the scores were:
David +217, +36, -22, +54 = +285
Jaime +53, +1, +20, -26 = +48
Yasu -152,* –, –, — = -152
Noda -118,* -37, +2, -28 = -181
* = Chombo
The result saw David catapult up to the top of the table, breaking this year’s best score and top score records. Jaime also continues to head upwards, with Japanese players sinking…