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Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Elixer of Running

There is an unexplained phenomenon in mahjongg and its name is Running.  If you play long enough eventually you will know how it feels to be running.  It is unmistakable; there is nothing like it.

Last week I was kvetching about my little losing streak; breadcrumbs compared to other disasters that people lived through, but annoying enough to me. I broke it last week in an unorthodox way - I siphoned off the luck of someone who was running.  Don't look at me like that!  It's bizarre but true.  Let me tell you a little story:

A few years ago at the Mahjongg Madness tournament in Cypress Creek I was playing at the same table as the front runner.  She was the very definition of running; effortlessly winning hand after hand. She had an aura, an invisible current that surrounded her.  I wanted to see if it was tangible, so I facetiously asked, "Can I touch you?"  She said yes and I touched her wrist.  Let me tell you something, luck does rub off.  The next hand I picked five jokers.  I swear.

I've had a chance to be running myself.  It feels like Tinker Bell is on my shoulder picking tiles for me or as if I were a surfer carried on a big wave.  If you ask tournament winners they use this phrase:  "I could do no wrong."  Like Lola on her third run it all comes together by itself.

So last week I was not the one running, but I could see that Elayne was.  And I broke my losing streak by betting on her four times and she won for me.  It was so obvious that we joked about writing her name ten times in a row on the betting sheet. Other people had good starts, but, really, running trumps good hands, so why even bother to look?  

Elayne didn't notice, but as I was assessing her hand on my walk around the table,  I ever-so-slightly put my hand on her shoulder.  Guess who got her mojo back?

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