Friday 2nd November: Irish Famine

Ray came into town from the sticks tonight and joined us at the table of conviviality. The first two games were played by him, Noda and Jaime. David arrived towards the end of the first game and already the foreign players had a gloomy air about them. David ordered yakimeshi and passed on the second game so as to dedicate himself to the cause of dispatching his repast with due decorum. By the time both dinner and the second game were over Noda was on +125, Ray on -58 and Jaime on -67. Unsurprisingly the foreign party strongly requested that the seating arrangement be changed. The result was that everybody moved to the seat on his immediate right, but Jaime and Ray’s luck remained unchanged. David won the third (his first) game, and he and Noda were assisted by winning a Double Ron off Jaime. Noda, of course, finished in the black too. With things looking bleak, Jaime adopted the Hurley-strategy of drinking more beer. It worked!The fourth game served as a bridge between between the early and middle games as Noda emerged the only winner. What became evident in the fifth game was that luck had swung away from David and over to Jaime. Ray’s descent and Noda’s ascent continued unabaited. David was stuck with his Yakitori on the table.There was another change of seats and suddenly Jaime started winning and retaining his Oyaship at the expense of the two players who claim some degree of descent from the Emerald Isle. Their game had suffered the blight, David’s to the tune of -136, Ray’s a deeper -60.In the sixth game Noda registered his only loss for the evening, a mere -7 to finish his evening on +201, closing the gap on David’s now precarious-looking position at the top of the Grand Accumulated Results Table. David didn’t help his cause when he committed one of his more absurd Chombos at a point where he thought he might have turned his game around. He had not declared Riichi and was Tenpai on Chiitoi (7 pairs). He took a tile and promptly dropped it on the floor. Jaime jokingly claimed that it was a “Chombo“. David picked it up and discarded it and then Ray immediately discarded the 7-Coins, which David claimed while laughing at Noda and Ray who added their cries of Chombo to those of Jaime. David, continued to count up his supposed score until it was pointed out to him that he had already thrown the 7-Coins! That mishap emptied David’s larder of the last morsels of luck and he registered his second Yakitori of the evening. Meanwhile, Ray “recovered” by only dropping six points. Jaime was the only winner and was now back in clover on +51 points.Noda departed and the three foreigners played much of the rest of the night away. With Ray’s Scourge was out of the game the famous last act of an evening with Ray, “Ray’s Revival”, was anticipated, but never materialized. Indeed, Ray continued with his outstanding loss of form, adding a third (his first) Yakitori penalty to the scorecard in the seventh game. However, at the end of the eighth game a mighty cheer resounded around the mahjong parlour as Ray registered his first postive result of the evening. Jaime won the game, but Ray finished on +4. That proved to be significant because he went on to perform a last game losing finalé, finishing it on -66 and his evening on -263. True, that is the worst evening’s performance of any player so far this year, but nevertheless, that precious +4 point victory preserved Ray from the greater ignominy of registering the lowest total for the year. Ray now sits on the bottom of the table on -326, but that does not displace Kenyon’s low-point score of -327! However, there is plenty of time for records to be broken. Last year’s worst score was registered in December during David’s dive to the depths of -646.Rays unsatiable decline enabled David to struggle back to the minor negatives for the evening and preserved his place at the top. Although David was not favoured by the seating, being sat to Jaime’s right and Ray’s left, whenever Jaime declared “Riichi” David was able to pluck a safe tile from his hand and then happily shelter behind Ray’s outlandish discards. So, Ray breaks the “worst result” record, drops four places and hits the bottom while Jaime moves back into the black and up to 4th place.Noda +44, +81, +22, +47, +13, -6, –, –, — = +201Jaime -40, -27, -21, -1, +83, +57, +9, +33, +32 = +83===David –, –, +45, -19,* -36, -45,*** +27, -1, +34 = -21 Ray -4, -54, -46, -27, -60, -6, -36, * -32, -66 = -263** Chombo* YakitoriDavid Hurley