Recently, I set readers a domino quiz.  My hand was six-five; six-four; six-blank; five-four; four-deuce; five-deuce; double-four. 

Jimmy Hunchback posed double five.  The house rules were double-six posed first game; thereafter the holder of double-six posed whatever he wanted.  My partner, Gene Autry, played five-ace to which Jimmy’s partner, S. Blank, countered ace-six.  The quiz was:  What was my play?  The answer: six-blank.  Why?  Because my other sixes were protected so nobody could easily force me to give Jimmy his double-six.  To have the best chance to “kill” double-six, get that unprotected six out of your hand in a hurry.

Now, suppose, instead of five-four and five-deuce, I held three-deuce and three-ace.  Should I make the same play?  As usual, the answer appears at the end (no peeking) but first come with me to Apocrypha, that fairytale land beyond the clouds where political enemies are friends and that eminent PhD in logic, Oma D’unn, bright like a moon (only in the dark), solves political dilemmas by parable.

This time, it was Prime Minister PoorShe Simple-Muller forced to seek Oma’s sage advice.  She’d just spoken to Russian President, Nevawear Put-In, who invited her to Russia to help him quell a riot. “Riot?” Oma asked. “Yes” said PoorShe, “the line was bad but he sounds troubled by a strange riot.  Him sey only a female P.M. can advise him and the others are too busy.”

“But, you not busy?  Yu neva tell him yu working, working, working?  Wha’ kinda riot dis?”

“Bwoy, me neva hear ’bout disya riot inna me life.  Me hear ’bout gas riot; Rodney King riot; labour riot; but dis one ya beat me.  It name Pussy Riot!”

“What?” Oma exclaimed.

PoorShe continued “Him is having trouble with Pussy Riot.  De phone keep cutting in an’ out but I sure I hear him sey Pussy Riot because dey don’t know what to put in.

“Yu mean dem don’t know what to do with Put-In?” asked Oma “A him dem a riot ’gainst.”

“I t’ink him sey the rioters were singing ‘Put-In love him Mother’ in Sochi while de Olympics a gwaan.  Police use horsewhip to try stop Pussy Riot.”

“So, why you?” Oma queried.

 “Me not sure.  Me t’ink me hear him sey one a de rioters name Marry Alocksman and anodder Nahdoit Turningover so him need an Apocryphan Prime Minister help.  But how me fi tell Apocryphans me a go travel to Russia to stop Pussy Riot?  Me jus come from China and Ethiopia.  Wha’ Pollmess a go sey now?” 

“So, what you tell him?”

“I tell him sey is fe him owna fault because him always shirtless in public.  What him expeck but Pussy Riot?  I tell him to ship dem off to Bangkok and concentrate on the Ukranian problem with President Ickfor Yankoff and opposition leader Vital Clitanco.”

Oma told her to try motherhood which magically converts its victims into problem solvers.  He told PoorShe the story of a son, named John, and his mother.

John invited his mother for dinner. During the meal, his mother couldn’t help but notice how John and his roommate Julie exchanged intimate looks.  She was convinced they were lovers.

Reading mom’s thoughts, John volunteered, “I know what you’re thinking, but Julie and I are only roommates.” His mother gave him a knowing look and said nothing.

A week later, Julie said to John, “Ever since your mother visited, the silver gravy spoon is missing. You think she took it?”

John replied, “No but I’ll ask her.”

He e-mailed Mom: “Dear Mother, I’m not saying you ‘did’ take the gravy spoon from my house, I’m not saying you ‘didn’t’ take the gravy spoon but the fact remains it’s been missing ever since you were here. Love, John.”

Next day, John’s mother replied:

“Dear Son, I’m not saying you ‘do’ sleep with Julie.  I’m not saying you ‘don’t’ sleep with Julie. But the fact remains if she were sleeping in her own bed, she’d have found the gravy spoon by now. Love, Mom.”

Oma closed triumphantly “See? By introducing Pussy Riot to Motherhood, the oxymoron, it solves the problem whichever one they tek. They’ll have other things to focus on.  And you won’t have to travel.”

The answer to the domino quiz is use six-five to go “two-sixes” (thus giving poser double-six) with a view to using sixes to pass him later on.  This time, you’ve TWO unprotected sixes so trying to kill double-six is too risky a proposition.

Peace and Love


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