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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Claiming a Discard

A couple of years ago, I received an e-mail from a player who said her teacher had told her that if she picked up or merely touched a discarded tile she had called, she was obligated to take it.  I did not believe that was correct and wrote the League for clarification.  I received the letter above, which states:  You are committed to taking a discard when you have either exposed tiles from your hand or placed the called tile on top of your rack.

This got me thinking about the difference between a call and a claim.  The call signifies your intention to claim the tile, and the League has clarified that you must verbalize your call.  The tile is claimed when you have either exposed or placed the called tile atop your rack.  The League states in "Mah Jongg Made Easy," - the "call" or "take" has become the claimant's turn. (1984, 2018)

There's been some brouhaha going on about this being conducive to "aggressive" play.  After all, if one is committed to taking the discard, it precludes the player next in turn from waking up and saying, "Oh, gee, I wanted that flower."  The argument is that someone who is paying attention and ready to call will "slam" their tiles atop the rack in a display of sharklike rudeness.  Poppycock.  Why would this be more likely to happen than an alert player snatching the discard from the table and slamming it atop the rack? 

Here is an analogy:  In scenario A, a person orders printer ink from Amazon.  She pays by credit card.  It's delivered to her door the next day.  In scenario B, she goes to Staples for her ink, which is kept behind the counter.  She tells the cashier what she wants.  The cashier hands her the ink and takes her money.  In both scenarios, she owns the ink. 

An exposure is the price you pay for a discard.  Does it matter if you pay in advance (expose first and then take the discard) or take the discard first and then expose?  I say no.  In either case, the tile is claimed.  The player next in turn is TOO LATE.  (2013)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Where's My Card?

If you are a mahjongg player, you know the 2019 card has been released by the National Mah Jongg League.  The League sends over 300,000 cards to the membership beginning in the first week of March. A second shipment goes out the first week in April, and third shipment is released the second week in April.  After all the members get their cards, a shipment is made to retailers; Amazon, Hallmark stores and the like.  

As stated in a previous post - if you ordered your card in January or the first two weeks of February your card was mailed out the last week in March.  If you ordered after that, your card will be mailed out in a later shipment.  

This is the time of year the League is inundated with phone calls from members who have not yet received their card.  The phone is ringing off the hook and even with extra help on the phones, it may take a while before you get through.  Before you call, however, there are other ways to find out where your card is.
  • If your payment was received by the League, you would have an e-mail confirmation with a ship date.  Remember, the later you pay, the later it is shipped.  The second shipment has just been released, which would include cards purchased from mid-February to mid-March.  
  • If your payment was received by the League, you would have a canceled check or credit card receipt.  If you do not have either, it is possible your payment was not received.
  • If you gave your payment to a person who sent in for a group, check with that person and see if everyone has received their cards.  If you are the only one who hasn't, have the person call the League.
  • Have you had an address change since you purchased your card?  Check to see if your mail has been forwarded.
  • Are you certain that you ordered from  Check your credit card receipt to see who the charge is from.  The League does not charge tax or shipping for card orders.  Remember, online retailers will not get their cards until the member orders are caught up.  If you pre-ordered from an online store, they will send the cards to their customers after they receive them from the League.  Retail stores will get them at the same time as the online sites.
Cards are sent by U.S. mail and delivery times can vary.  A card can be delivered any time up to two weeks after shipment, even in places close to the League office.  It is not unusual for one person to receive a card but not her neighbor.  Before you call the League in a panic, make sure your order was received, and that you have given sufficient time to pass from your ship date.  The League will take your call Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  The office is closed from 12:30-1 pm for lunch.

Everyone is anxious for their card to come - and for good reason!  Yours will be in hand before you know it!