by Marinka on June 7, 2014

The other night I won three games in a row at mah jongg, improving considerably my 2014 record of winning zero games in a row. The thing about me and winning is that for reasons that science cannot yet identify, once I win, I become completely intolerable. The wonderful, kind person that you’ve come to adore is transformed into a wonderful, kind person who cannot stop boasting about what a winner she is and lets you guess what exactly that means for you, you huge loser. Some people don’t like it. Who knows why, there are a lot of psychos out there.

So I won three games in a row at mah jongg, and after I made sure that my mah jongg group bowed at my feet, I decided to take my boasting outside the confines of the group. And not just because the group asked me to leave. Politely, of course, but there was no mistaking their ugly jealousy. Ugly loser jealousy.

I called a friend of mine to let him know the good news.

“Guess what!” I said and before he had the chance to guess incorrectly, I told him about my winning mah jongg three times in a row.

“What’s mah jongg?” He asked, probably because as a way of buying time to come to terms with what a huge winner I was.

“Mah jongg is an ancient tile game that’s based on skill and good looks,” I explained. To be fair, I’m not that great at explaining what mah jongg is. I’m much better at winning at mah jongg. It’s sort of my thing.

And then this friend said something that was so hysterical that I still tear up thinking about it.

He said- oh, excuse me, there’s something in my eye. He said “I can master this game and beat you at it.”

Now I don’t know if he has some sort of Tourette or some other condition that makes him blurt out inane shit, but I just laughed merrily. I won thrice, after all. Which is practically the Triple Crown, except no one was going to make glue out of me. Probably. Hopefully.

But then he mentioned it again, and you know what? It sort of started to chafe at my three games in a row win. Like the only reason I won (THREE TIMES) is that he, the Gary Fisher of mah jongg, wasn’t there throwing tiles. So I said, GAME FUCKING ON.

So few days ago, some (loser) mah jongg friends and I gathered to teach him the art of mah jongg. I was confident in my prowess as a mah jongg champion, but because it never hurts to have a little help, I suggested to these friends that we make a few “mistakes” in teaching him. Mistakes that would lead to confusion and most importantly, losing. This is what we refer to as “insurance” in the industry, but apparently my friends had recently became Jehova’s Witnesses because they were all “why would we lie?” and “why would we cheat like that?” And look, I don’t mean to be all judgmental, but there are people who understand exactly why you’d lie and cheat and I’m sorry to say that these women were not in that category. And I didn’t have the energy to explain it to them.

“Well, obviously, I don’t want to do that,” I lied while stuffing a few tiles in my bra. “I just wanted to throw it out there in case you guys wanted to!”

We said no more about it and trained this guy. Unfortunately, he was a quick study and without my insurance policy, he soon won the first game.

We call this “beginner’s luck” and cross-file it under “Fuck it, where is the justice in this world?!”

“I won my first game,” he said.

Personally, I don’t understand people who boast like that. But I guess some people feel better about themselves when they do it.


Ever wonder what winners read? I’m over at Alpha Mom, discussing “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell.

One year ago ...

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

marlu June 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

You write so “funny!” I love it and laugh and enjoy your blog. I just wanted to let you know.

Faithful Follower.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes June 10, 2014 at 3:23 am

As it happens I find your description of Mah Jongg very acurate. But then again which game isn’t based on skill and good looks…


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