There has been nothing to report of late at the Cockseye Club as spring holidays, the travels and the preoccupations of the various members have lengthened out the spring holiday recess. I had thought that April would bring in both a return of a relatively busy teaching schedule and Friday evening mahjong. Well, up to a point, but what April also brought in was news that Mrs H has been promoted and is now a Great Professor of Sickness and Health or something.
Now, as I was accustomed to understand it, promotion = do less and get paid more. Apparently not. It seems that I was misinformed. Promotion to the lofty post of GP of SH seems to involve little in the way of extra lolly but a lot more of boning up on the mysteries of disease.
This has brought with it two unfortunate consequences. The first of these is that the house is filling up with a library of books full of ghastly photos of diseased bits that The Mrs pores over with the rapt attention of one of the Desert Fathers.
The second unfortunate consequence is that The Mrs has to disappear on study courses or lectures or something a couple of weekends this month, and that means that The PLC will be responsible for providing vittals for the Little “Uchi Benkei,” and that, in short, means no mahjong for me for a couple of Fridays this month. Old Eliot knew what he was talking about when he observed that “April is the cruellest month.”
Anyway, the PLC did manage to squeeze in one game of mahjong at the Docs’ during March. Happily, Dr M sr was back in good form and eager to play. As we had scheduled our game for the Spring Equinox holiday we agreed to start at 2 p.m. and played a solid eight hour session, during which the PLC gradually sank under the weight of Kirin beer and provender.
However, he did enjoy one bright moment, which sustained him for the rest of the afternoon, when in the first game his hand started with nine end tiles, winds and dragons. Now the PLC is not one of the chief pursuers of Kokushimusou, but on drawing a tenth tile for the hand, he decided to stick with it and ended up Tempai waiting for East, and with two already thrown it was reasonable to hope that anybody who picked up the third would promptly discard it. That honour fell to Dr M jr, who looked up in shock – and then dismay – when the PLC went out and revealed his hand. Sadly, the PLC was not the Oya and so had to make do with a 32,000 point pay-out, which greatly augmented his coffers while the hand burnished his rather tarnished image as a mahjong player!
It was the first Kokushimusou we’ve seen at the Docs’ – but it was also the last hand of any great moment for the PLC, who finished a little below the bar, largely due to Mrs M’s mid-game recovery; it had nothing to do with sinking under the weight of the Kirin.