By Tom Sloper

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Column #32

(Taiwanese) Dr. Phil says, "You have to have a plan, otherwise you're just messing around." That's all well and good, but sometimes the plan goes astray. So, as Lee Marvin says, "Adapt. Improvise. Overcome."

Mr. Dong's initial deal looked really good for a clean hand (dots).

He got rid of the craks but couldn't pull in more dots to save his life. He kept getting bams. He did get a chance to chow a 2D for 123, and then started hoping for a dragon (Pure Straight - some call it snake). He passed up a chance for a pung in order to stay the course with that plan. Soon everybody had exactly one exposure.

A few turns later, Mr. Dong's heart sank when Miss Wu threw 6D and he couldn't chow it. And to make things worse, Samantha punged it. So much for Twins. Shortly, Miss Wu punged 8C from Samantha. When she threw 5D, Mr. Dong got impatient and called it, killing the plan. "Pung."

He was cheapening his hand considerably and he knew it. He discarded, and Miss Wu discarded same. Her little smile showed her gratitude for the news that that tile was safe to throw. Norman punged 2B from Miss Wu, and now everyone had two exposures.

It was getting very dangerous now, but Mr. Dong wasn't ready to give up. He threw 3C. Miss Wu threw 4D and he punged it, throwing 6B so he was waiting for 5B or 8B for mah-jongg. Miss Wu threw the 5B, and Mr. Dong showed his hand.

Six points: two for mah-jongg, one for no honors, two for the flowers, one more since he was East. Miss Wu's expression was anything but grateful now, as she paid.

... Adapted. Improvised. Overcame.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.