By Tom Sloper

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Column #36

American (2003 NMJL card). It's Sunday. So we shall scrutinize the sad story of Sophia. We'd love to call this one "onomatopoeia" to rhyme with Sophia, but actually the proper term for that silly starting sentence is "alliteration."

Sophia's tale begins with (what else?) her tiles.

"There was a hand like this in last year's card!" she groaned. "Can we use last year's card for just this one hand?" The others either laughed in sympathy or chimed in with their own complaints. Except Wesley. He was the (not so) strong silent type.

She decided to keep tiles that went with Runs mostly. After the across, she had a pair of 8B. These suggested Run #5. Other tiles were suggesting Run #1.

The dragons were not living up to their potential (as was the case with Sophia's children as well). Unlike her children, though, Sophia could bear to part with a dragon or two. After the 2nd left, things weren't looking all that bad (all in all). Now she had three 8Bs, but she was thinking that they were no more proving their worth than had the Reds.

She threw one of them, and it didn't come back. After the Charleston, she looked at her first pick, 1C.

"Esther, when are you getting a set with some jokers in it?"

A little later, when she picked a 9C, she wished she'd never passed that 8B.

Run #1 wasn't coming in, and neither was Run #5. These tiles weren't suggesting anything else to her, and so she sighed.

Flowers seemed to be unpopular, so she threw hers out with the others.

Wesley threw 8B but Sophia couldn't call it (no jokers in this set). Then when Esther threw 7D, Sophia cried, "I want that." She punged it (a pung worked for both hands, fortunately).

Out with the Red. A little later, she picked a Joker. But wouldn't you know it, 5D went dead - 3 on the floor. So long, Run #1. She threw her own 5D shortly after. Rubbing more salt in the wound, Nora threw 9C, not just once, but twice in succession.

"Oy." Her misery had to be shared with her friends, after all. Especially with the source of it.

When she threw 3B, Wesley punged it. Soon she had a chance to expose 6D. Her next pick was 3B. She redeemed the joker from Wesley's exposure.

Then Wesley konged 3D. Now he had two exposures up.

He could be doing 369 #2 or 13579 #2...

Sophia picked 9C, threw W.

She breathed easier now. She was waiting for 8B or 9C. Her next pick was F. Always dangerous near the end. When she threw it, Nora took it for pung. She could only be doing 2003 #4 or Like Numbers #3.

The last tile went out. A wall game.

"I was waiting!" Sophia kvetched, as she showed her tiles. Nora was just as insistent that she'd been wronged too - she was doing 2003 #4, and only needed another flower.

"I had bupkis," Esther moaned. Wesley, the weirdo, just threw in his tiles with no word as to what he'd been doing. What is it with men anyway?

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.