By Tom Sloper

Friday, May 16, 2003

Column #41

American (2003 NMJL card). In Tuesday's column, Nora had stopped the Charleston. She was working on Like Numbers #2 (ones and dragons), a concealed hand. On her turn she picked 9C.

But who cares what she picks, if it isn't a one, a dragon, or a joker? Not Nora. And so, much time passed until she picked a 1B. At which time the soap became superfluous, and moved to the right of the joker.

Oh cruel fate, when a 1D was discarded about halfway through the wall! Nora continued to live one pick at a time, because that's the kind of person she is.
Before long, she picked a flower, then a joker.

There's a principle that says "better sooner than later," which would indicate that the flower ought to be thrown now. But the principle also applies to the soap in these early years of the 21st century. She threw the soap.
Glory hallelujah, she picked a Green a little way into the last long wall.

Time to throw the flower. There were none on the floor whatsoever. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis. Very dangerous move, but it had to be done.
And nobody took it. Crisis over.
For now.
She needed a One Dot. There was one on the discard floor. Two more in the game. But where?
She picked a joker.

"No wonder I couldn't get any Greens," Sophia exclaimed.
"You're the one who had my One Bams," Esther kvetched.
Wesley joined in the post-game chatter for once. "So that's where all the jokers were."
When you stop the Charleston, you'd better win!

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.