Planet China

Dangerous game

“He who laughs last, laughs longest” is an English idiom, warning against gloating too soon about success over others. Evidently a grandmother from Wuhan city had never heard of this expression. Her jubilant celebration – after winning a big hand in a game of mahjong – is said to have been cut short as the sudden exertion caused her to turn blind.

According to the Wuhan Evening Paper, Grandma Li had been engaged in a marathon game of mahjong with her friends for three days during the spring festival period, resting only a few hours each day. When the playing tiles finally aligned in her favour, she was unable to contain her glee. But after her laughing fit she was unable to see. Her friends rushed her to the hospital where an ophthalmologist explained that Li’s high blood pressure had been exacerbated by the tension of the game. Reportedly, as Li held her breath during play, the pressure slowly accumulated, until her blood was suddenly forced back into circulation by her laughter. This caused a haemorrhage in her eyeballs, disturbing her retina.

Li has since received treatment and her eyesight has returned. But it sounds like it might be some time before she returns to the mahjong table.

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.