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By Tom Sloper
March 16, 2014

No. 597

American Mah Jongg (NMJL). I don't have a lot to say lately about American mah-jongg, because it doesn't make much sense to write about the 2013 card at this stage of the game. The 2014 card will be with us in two weeks. Nobody needs strategy tips about the 2013 card anymore. This is that time of the year when we're all playing the waiting game.

I Googled "poems about waiting," thinking I might find something I could use. I found a delightful new poem by Lena Nielsen-Mackley. At least I think it's "new." If you can believe what the website said, she wrote it on March 10. But I just checked again. Yesterday it said "5 days ago," and today it still says "5 days ago," so I have difficulty trusting the precise date. Anyway, due to copyright, I'm not reproducing that poem here. You can see it yourself if you Google "waiting lena nielsen-mackley" or even just "poems about waiting." It's quite lovely, and very apropos to our situation here in the near-ides of March. I decided to write my own poetry, instead. My two favorite poetic forms are the haiku and the limerick. So I wrote one of each. Apologies to the world of poetry - I am definitely no poet.

First, my limerick, then my haiku.

Waiting For The New NMJL Card
A limerick by Tom Sloper

In spring we wait and wait.
We wait for our unknown fate.
For the new card, we hold our breath;
What will it hold? Good luck, or death?
Oyvey, the postman is late!

Waiting For The New NMJL Card
A haiku by Tom Sloper

New card is coming.
I'm suspended until then.
Soon I'll be busy.

Until the new card arrives, I simply don't have anything else to say. My column has a self-imposed word/space format (not obvious here on the web), so to fill the space I'm just putting some filler words. You can stop reading now!

Able-bodied crickets devour elephant feet. Giraffes have index-jointed knees, like mastodon noses or porcupine quills. Relax, said the undaunted veterinarian, we'll X-ray your zebra.

All boys called Dave eat fairly good healthy ibexes; just klaxons like mayonnaise. Nevertheless, old people quietly resist soothing tendencies unless voting within noXious yellow zoos.

A burly conductor dares enter first, going home in Jacksonville, Kentucky, last. Make no open portholes; queens rarely see that underwear varies with foXy young Zulus.

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

Question or comment about this column? I often, um... intentionally... "miss" something; maybe you'll be the first one to spot it! Email and the discussion will be posted on the Mah-Jongg Q&A Bulletin Board.

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Where to order the yearly NMJL card: Read FAQ 7i.

Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3). Linda Fisher's website is the only website that describes American rules:

© 2014 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.