Neil’s Birthday Mahjong Bash…

Neil, a former Lang Education Center English language teacher who now works as a roving Japanese translator and resides in the nether regions of Kyushu, emerged from his self-imposed exile and returned to Hiroshima to celebrate his thirty-somethingth birthday with a night of mahjong at Kodama jansou.

L to R: Nobu, Neil, Jaime, Noda

Noda held on to the starting Oya of the first game long enough for David to finish his chow and take the fourth seat. Noda rampaged through the first game scattering all opposition.
Nobu joined us in time for the second game, which Noda also won while Neil seemed to be suffering from mahjong collywobbles and turned into a serial tile-snatcher and then forgot which tile he’d taken out of turn and was awarded a special birthday Chombo.

As well as bringing along his 2009 Mahjong Duck Nobu had got himself a natty plastic miniature year-of-the-tiger tiger in a “lucky” sake box which sat on display alongside the duck on the corner of the mj table for the duration of Nobu’s game (see photo above). Nobu declared his determination not to end 2010 on the bottom…

So how did Nobu do?

  • Nobu finished the first game with his Yakitori tessera stuck firmly to the table.
  • Nobu finished the second game with his Yakitori tessera stuck firmly to the table.
  • Nobu broke the “lowest score” record for the year so far.
  • Meanwhile, Tim joined us and  he and David (who sat out of the second game) chewed the fat about the virtues of the Amazon Kindle.
Neil concentrating on being lucky…

Noda won again and called it a night on +152 – the best result so far this year.

Seats were reallocated for the third game, and with all parties in the mire it seemed an appropriate moment to present Neil with his birthday present, supplied by Jaime. It was a Carp baseball team official’s happi jacket, reputed to bring good luck to the wearer. Or was that what we told Neil to persuade him to try it on? Anyway, he popped it on and began to concentrate on getting lucky (see photo)…

The result was disconcerting at first as he pretty quickly managed to commit a second Chombo for the evening. He didn’t carp and from that point on his luck was markedly happier, but just as the old text says that it is better to give than to receive,   

beatius est magis dare, quam accipere

and that the ox should not be muzzled as he tramples out the grain,  

non alligabis os bovi trituranti
Nobu grimaces at his unhappi luck.

So it proved tonight as Jaime grazed to his heart’s content for much of the rest of the evening.

The chief victim was Nobu who bore up well for the most part, but was gutted to get trapped with a single tile wait – I mean he only had one tile left in his hand after ponning all the triples – only to see Jaime win another big hand at his expense!

David also completed his worst performance so far this year so Noda goes back on top, with David still in the black on +19 for the year so far. Neil came in on a creditable -9, while reduced his deficit and opened up a gap of 109 points between himself and bottom-placed Nobu.

Noda +99, +53, –, –, –, — = +152
Jaime -34, -12, +63, +23, -16, +25 = +49
Neil -27, -12,* +31,* -5, +37, -33 = -9

David -38, –, -39, +1, -21, +8 = -89

Nobu –, -29,** -55,** -19, –, — = -103

* Chombo
** Yakitori


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