By Tom Sloper


April 20, 2003

American (2003 NMJL card). Esther's first deal had fives and fours, with one joker.

Esther decided she could try for Like Numbers, Run #4, or 13579 #6. She passed 7B 8D 9B to the right. She picked up flowers and more fives in the next couple of passes. As she picked up her first left, she warned the others to hold the second.

Esther was now faced with three possibilities: 13579 #6, and Like Numbers #1 and #3. Her announcement that she was stopping the Charleston was met with much groaning and kvetching. She courteously offered one measly tile to William.

He gave her another 5B for her 4D. Now it was Esther's turn to kvetch - she had to make a decision with her first discard. Not having any pairs, and having a joker, she cautiously decided to cut off the 13579 hand. She threw 3B.

Several turns later, she finally got a chance to kong a 5D.

She threw 3C and waited for another five (which would tip off her hand). It wasn't long before someone threw 5C. She snapped it up, causing a group "Aha!" as everyone now knew what was what. She threw 1C.

Shortly after, Nora threw a joker. Esther moaned, "Oh! I wanted that!" and took a sip of her iced tea to cool her nerves.

The tension increased when William also threw a joker. Esther merely sighed this time. Since she was exposed, a joker was her best hope, and here everybody was throwing them away. Oh the unfairness of life!

Then Esther picked the 5B herself. "Fifty all." Even before Esther showed her last fives and flowers, Nora and Sue had their tiles up on their racks, telling their sob stories, much to William's consternation. "Verify first!" he cried.

As usual, William's protests were in vain.

Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.