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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Breakin' up is hard to do

Oy - those earrings!  Remember them?  Anyway....

"I'll take that flower," says Susan (not you, the other Susan).
Why, I wonder.  There's only eight tiles left.  And she's putting it out with a joker? Sure enough, Frieda picks a tile, pulls a flower out of her hand, takes the joker and says, "Mahjongg!  Thanks, Susan, I thought I'd never make it."  Grrr....  The glares are going right over Susan's head.

Girls, fellas, whatever - there comes a time when you know it's over.  The last minute exposure will not help you one bit.  You blew it, you tried to go jokerless, three four craks went out, you tried to switch but you're way behind.   Or you're doing beautifully, just got set, only to see three three dots, four five dots and three seven dots on Terry's rack and you picked a one dot.  Eeeww.....

When is the right time to break up your hand?  When does the needle go from hopeful to hopeless and you know it isn't meant to be?  You've got to look at the table and count.  You don't need to be a math genius to know that the odds of your getting a pair of soaps diminish with every tile that goes out.  And as the walls get smaller and smaller your enthusiasm for your hand starts waning and leaking all over the table.  You can easily ascertain how many picks you have left by counting the tiles in the wall by groups of four.  Twelve tiles - three picks.  Do you think you're going to get two soaps in three picks?  You might.  But it isn't likely, is it?  So are you going to give Terry mahjongg for the sake of holding on to a dream?  Are you going to call that flower, expose it with a joker and hope you'll fill in the gaping hole at the end of your hand?  In three picks?  Or four?

Yes, breakin' up is hard to do, but oftentimes you must.  A realistic assessment may counsel for a switch from offensive to defensive play.  Giving up on your own hand gives you the freedom to see the bigger picture.  Are your tiles in that puny wall, or is someone saving them?  Who?  Why?  How should I react?

Look, it's not impossible that Brad Pitt will declare his undying love for you and acknowledge his mistake in marrying Angie.  But every day that passes makes that less likely to happen.  Far be it from me to tell you to  stop imagining the possibility.  But let's be honest, here.  Two soaps in three picks?  

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