"Cry and you buy" is an old mahjongg expression. It means if you are having a bad day, not getting jokers, not making your pairs, your tiles are going out left and right, if you start to whine the mahjongg gods will hear you and send you a joker. Some people cry in a subtle way; "Are there jokers in this set?" they say. Others say "oy, vey, I'm not picking any jokers!" Some make an open appeal: "Please, please, send me a joker!" Sometimes when you say these things the next tile you pick is a joker! Sometimes, however, it isn't.
Last night it wasn't. I was so cold last night I almost went pie with four players and a $7 purse. Can you believe? Just when I thought I was set up, the pairs would go out 8 bam, 8 bam, 8 bam, like people were reading my mind. And I got the stupidest combinations - four 1 bams and 3 seven craks, for example. Like, duh, what do you expect me to do with that? That's almost as bad as 2's and 9's.
So I decided if I wasn't going to win, nobody was going to win. Screw 'em! I bluffed my head off. I put up four seven craks with nothing to back them up. ooooohhhh...people got scared! Wouldn't throw a 7! Wouldn't throw a flower! Heck, I was crying but not buying, so why not? I kept every conceivable hot tile. I wasn't going to make it, so I had nothing to lose. She had four eight craks and four nine dots? No seven bam for you! We had quite a few wall games, and the sentiment was expressed that mahjongg is not about being nice to people. Or to put it another way, "there are no friends in mahjongg."
Another way to think about it is even if your hand is lousy, you can still make a difference in the outcome, so never give up. I've always been told mahjongg is not always about your hand, but the big picture, just like so many other things in life, right?
But here is something I've noticed and question: How come the same tile will stick around all night? I just couldn't get rid of those 1 bams no matter what I did. I couldn't use them, but I kept picking them. Maybe the mahjongg gods were telling me something? Food for thought.