By Tom Sloper


April 25, 2003

American (2003 NMJL card). Today Sue was reminded of the importance of defensive play.

Her usual habit of kvetching about her deal fell by the wayside when she saw her tiles. Her friends were too busy kvetching to notice, though.

She passed Craks and Bams to the right, hoping to get more Dots, but got bupkis. By the second across, she had an unwanted pair of 8C to go with her 7B, which gave her a new idea.

Only problem was, this was a must-across, and she had to give up on one of the hands.

She counted. "Even."

"It's always even," Nora said. She wanted her across, already.

Then Sue looked at it from a different angle. If she went for the three-suit run, she could call anything. If she went for the one-suit run, she had her pairs but would have to pick well. She passed 4D 7D 8D. After the courtesy the 7D was back, but she was no closer.

A few turns in, Esther discarded 6D and Sue called it. A few more turns, she picked 8C and discarded F. Esther konged it and threw 7B.


"Is this a private calling fest?" growled William.

"When do I get my turn, already?" asked Nora.

After Sue threw 7D, she picked 7D again. "Shoulda gone the other way," she kvetched. Out with the second 7D. A number of turns passed uneventfully. Still two away.

When Sue got a South, she threw it instantly. If she'd looked at the floor first, she'd have seen that there were only two Easts there. Not hard to figure someone was playing Winds. It was Esther.

Sue had been so absorbed with her hand, she'd neglected defense. After that, Sue looked before throwing.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.