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4:23pm on Tuesday, 27th September, 2011:

Cards Dilemma


Back in the mid-1970s, we had a TV series on in the UK called The Water Margin. It was set in China but made in Japan (much to the annoyance of China). Anyway, it was a big hit at the time, and I was one of its fans (and remained so — I got the DVD boxed set for it a few years ago). Ah, Lin Ching, Hu San-Niang, Lu Tah, Sung Chiang, wicked Kao Chiu ... weird, all-over-the-place plot, but still, it was character based.

Anyway, last week I spotted some Water Margin cards for sale over the ol' Internet, so I bought them. They arrived today. There's a hand-written label on one side saying, well, take a look:

The seller figured this meant they were bought in Xian in 1982, which I guess is reasonable enough.

This is what the rest of the box looks like:

I don't know what the Chinese characters say, except for the third one down (which means "person"). I can't make the others out very well, but I think the first two probably are the ones for "water margin". The last one, well, who knows? It's probably not "playing cards" though, leastwise it looks nothing like what my Chinese dictionary says it should look like.

As for the cards themselves, ah, yes. There are two packs in the box, but they're both sealed. All I can see are the jokers. The jokers ae different. The chances are, both packs are different — there were nine dozen heroes in the Water Margin legend. I really want to open the packs to see the rest of the pictures, but being sealed means they're worth like twice as much as if they were unsealed.

Augh! Do I open them up to assuage my curiosity or do I keep them unopened to avoid the equivalent of burning a £10 note?

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).