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Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Mah Jong Massacre

I mentioned previously that I would be accompanying Mrs. TSB to her weekly Mah Jong outing, but I've refrained from posting about for a variety of reasons. (Too damned lazy is number one)

After the Mah Jong parking fiasco of last month, I was delighted to note that this session would take place in the Cosmopolitan Club in Upper Hutt.

I need to explain what this club is to non-Kiwis.

Colloquially known as the Cossie club, it is a strange mix of an extremely large drinking and gambling den, mixed with social clubs and veteran's associations.

It is a huge building, with, fortunately, a huge parking lot, so the ladies can "park " their vehicles quite safely. I use the word park in its widest possible sense.
Try to imagine the "Dodgem" cars from old fairgrounds bouncing of kerbs, walls, other carts and the occasional drunk Māori.

The interior is like a huge barn, filled with tables, surrounded by extra-large TVs, pokie machines (one-armed bandits in UK nomenclature, I have no idea what they're called in the US) and for a Pièce de résistance, a ginormous bar running down the whole length of the building.

Strange events are arranged to attract the drinking clientele, like The Girls Marmite Wrestling Championships.

(To those non-Kiwis amongst you, Marmite is a yeast based product, extremely salty and sticky and is a favourite on toast in the UK, NZ and Oz.  Recently panic broke out in New Zealand when it was revealed that due to the terrible earthquake in Christchurch, production of Marmite would temporarily cease and that stocks of Marmite (The National Marmite Reserve (NMR)) were at an all-time low.)  Panic buying and near riots erupted at supermarkets around the country as desperate Kiwis tried to grab the last few jars.)
The Girls Marmite Wrestling Championships.
I really like Marmite.
Can I lick it off please?

Let me put it this way, there is no danger of dying of thirst in this place. Dying of alcoholic poisoning possibly, but definitely not of thirst.

My Beloved shoved guided me towards one of the small rooms at the side, where the coven ladies were gathering. 

I was allocated to a table and one of the experienced ladies, acting as a tutor came over and the games commenced.
The game I'd like to watch. All girl beach volleyball and line dancing nationals

I've never played before with these ladies, but my Beloved taught me the rudiments of the game while we were on holiday in Hawke's Bay and it wasn't too difficult to remember the basics.

For those who haven't played Mah Jong before, it's rather like Gin Rummy.
Instead of a traditional pack of cards, we use tiles the size of dominoes made up of 3 suits (Circles, Characters, Bamboo and plus the 'Royal tiles', dragons, winds and flowers.

I won.

I didn't just win once, I won every game apart from two.

It was a massacre.

I enjoyed it.

I got a Big Robert, a Triple Knitting, an ordinary Mah Jong (twice), a 5 odd honours and finally, a Windy Dragons.

The ladies were not amused.

To cap it all, at the break time, when they were all imbibing tea, coffee and vitriol, I nipped out and had a couple of handles (pints in Kiwi Bar-speak)  of Speights Old Dark Beer.

Much refreshed, I returned and carried on with the massacre.

I've not been invited back.

I think it's because I beat the cr*p out of them at Mah Jong.

I don't think its got anything to do with the sustained farting episode after the 2 beers.

I won.

As an aside, I came across this work of genius.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not an artist, nor am I very knowledgeable about art, but I know what I like.
And this is without doubt the finest work of art created with beer bottles I have ever seen.

It might not be in the best of taste, but, WTH, this is TSB's post, so here goes. (I also use more commas than anyone else I know)


  1. very funny. I can just imagine the frost covered pursed lips as you yet again pung a kong off a rusty shed roof at 100 yards.
    probably just as well though that you won't be invited back. I imagine discussion of knitting needles, hysterectomies (no...not related), funeral plans and wayward husbands would pall a bit after a while.

  2. TC: So true. Knitting needles give me the shudders. Discussion of Hysterectomies make me go deaf.

    Wayward husbands?
    i no not of which you speak.

  3. No-one likes a winner. I like the sound of the bar. Draught beer in NZ? Well I never!

  4. looby: everyone likes a winner. Just ask Kim Jong-un. Everybody loves him. By law (or decree, the difference is a bit fuzzy) This bar has over 20 draught beers, but not as you know them.

    Think Watneys Red Barrel, think Tennents lager, think Youngers Extra fizzy heavy. Think that no one knows much about real ales.

  5. I'm a big fan of Mah jong and play most weekends with a couple of friends. Three handed is much quicker than four. Strip mah jong is even more fun. Just kidding.

  6. nursemyra: It was actually a bit of fun, and I've been invited to go to another next week. Not strip Mah Jong, but forfeit mah Jong. I've got to drink a large whisky for every 40 points I score. Sounds like fun.

  7. I love computer mah jong, but you must approach it with caution because it is addictive.

  8. BTW, congrats on your 300,000 page visits.

  9. In the US we call them "slot machines."

    Now it is time for you to go on the 麻将 circuit.

  10. Patience_Crabstick: I've played computer Mah Jong, but it's much removed from the real game. It is fun though.

    Thank you for the positive comment.

  11. Laoch: Thank you 洋鬼子, I'd forgotten that name.

  12. Dear Twisted - Well, I did not know about the great Marmite Shortage but now I do. This is what comes of being a New Zealander - had you migrated to Australia you would have been perfectly fine and happy with adequate supplies of Vegemite. I wonder whether Mrs T is telling her Mahjong buddies that she taught you everything you know about Mahjong. Linda

  13. Dear Linda: Yep, the whole country went into a state of mild/severe panic. TradeMe even sold of a giant bucket of Marmite for $2115.

    Vegemite has its supporters even over here, but lacks the true salty savouriness of the genuine product.

    We actually thought of Aussie as a destination when we came over from Scotland, but preferred shepp to spiders and snakes. I suppose the only thing you've got to worry about in Chile is feral Llamas.

    Mrs TSB doesn't want to talk about the Mah Jong Massacre, so I'm not really sure what was said after I left.


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