I have been afflicted with a change-of-season lethargy, which might be akin to what Mr. Lightfoot refers to as the collywobbles.
I pack most of my teaching and consulting or whatever you want to call it into as little of the week as possible – Tuesday evening to Saturday lunchtime. Last week, I spent most of Friday falling asleep on the job so to speak.
Now, I have always been an advocate of sleeping on the job and waking up just as the lesson comes to an end and the students are leaving the room. The whole point of teaching English in Japan is that it is such an easy job that you can do your sleeping in class and feel refreshed in your free time. Unfortunately, an attack of the Summer Collywobbles causes that most distressing of conditions, “Free-Time Lethargy”. I was overtaken by a leaden numbness and betook me to my bed. No mahjong, no games night, no football, no golf, and no account of the last time a game of mahjong was played…
Three days of lounging at home seems to have done the trick, although now we are back at the beginning of the busy part of the week again…
Anyway, here is my report of the last game of mahjong, played on Friday 16th May.
Noda and Kenyon were joined by David, who started off in good form and won the first game. Kenyon replied with a win in the second, and Noda, who was now in negative figures for the evening, won the third. Kenyon came back again to win the fourth, but was still the only player in the red, although nobody was far above or below zero. There had been several big hands, but they had been shared around, and two games had gone into the West round.
Kenyon informed us that we would be joined by Hide, hide nor hair of whom had been seen since last year. Indeed, Hide’s name had recently been removed from the Grand Accumulated Results Table as it seemed as if he had given us up.
At some stage in the evening Kenyon received a phone call, and his serious, even conciliatory, tone led us to suppose that the matter must be work-related. It turned out however that he was being admonished for taking liberties and going so far as to request the pleasure of our esteemed and expected guest player’s company. Uxor amici nostri was not amused at being bereft of company on a Friday evening if you catch my drift.
However, despite that interruption, which (in the older usage) “prevented” the arrival of our guest, his arriving, although delayed was not (in the modern sense) prevented and, in short, he escaped from sotto il pollice della moglie and arrived.
After just one game, Hide was vying for second place on the Grand Accumulated Results Table, despite finishing on minus seven. After two games, he was definitely in second place, despite finishing once again on minus seven!
What had happened was that Kenyon won the fifth and Noda the sixth game, causing David to slip into the red both on the evening’s score sheet and on the GAR Table. The sixth game was remarkable in that David filled up his tray with loot early on, but gradually, or less than gradually gave it away through the rest of the game as the other players also won big hands.
Noda relinquished his place at the table on +25 for the evening, not his best result, but still making progress towards the +1,000 mark on the GART.
David was also ready to finish but since Hide had barely warmed the bottom of his seat David agreed to stay, and continued to lose. Hide won the seventh game and Kenyon won the eighth, which, being the last game, he won on the biggest score of the evening to finish top.
So, for the second week running Noda finishes in the black but not top… Is his run slowing down??? Of course, nobody is actually closing the gap because the evening’s winner one week is the evening’s loser the next… Only Noda has showing any positive consistency so far this year.
Kenyon -52, +40, -33, +28, +58, -5, -17, +60 = +79
Noda +6, -26, +54, -19, -14, +24, –, — = +25
Hide –, –, –, –, -7, -7, +19, -55 = -50
David +46, -14, -21, -9, -37, -12, -2, -5 = -54