( Almost a decade ago , a most strange and unusual case came before the High Court in Manchester where the captain of a losing team, Percy Pantopod, filed a lawsuit against Bigot-Johnson and his team of coffee housing cheats. Percy made allegation after allegation concerning Bigot's " unprofessional, erratic and outrageous conduct ", which had forced the plaintiff to concede the match, despite being in a winning position. The staged theatrics were designed to undermine the opponents' focus and concentration, and to give them misleading and incorrect information at every opportunity. A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below, with Bigot of course conducting his own defence. )
Prosecuting Counsel (PC) : Yes it is my contention that you Bigot won this match by foul play. Your underhand, cheating tactics were clearly designed to disturb, rattle and intimidate your opponents, who were all of a delicate, fragile and sensitive disposition.
B-J : Let's face it..... this bunch of namby pambies have got no backbone..or bottle...to play a high pressure game like bridge. These whinging cry babies even freaked when I even heaved a heavy sigh, pointed my finger, and squinted my eyes. They're nothing more than a pathetic rabble of highly strung, over-reactive, over-sensitive losers, who can't stand the heat of battle...
PC : But your behaviour went so far beyond the acceptable bounds of table eccentricity it was unrelentingly off putting and unnerving....
B-J : You're having me on ? You're pulling my chain....aren't you ?
PC : So what then do you call slamming your hand down in disgust ( with its apparant lack of points ) only to start fidgeting about on your chair, and cursing God at your wretched misfortune
B-J : I only like to be dealt big hands....
PC : And please explain why you felt the need to pick your nose, scratch your groin area, strum your fingers on the table edge. and hum in an grossly impatient manner every time the opponents had a difficult decision to make ?
B-J : These actions were all necessary........ behavioural ploys which have always enabled me to retain my composure and cool at critical moments.....hell....aren't I entitled to think carefully about what to do next ?
PC : But what about the time you pulled out of your inside pocket a packet of Viagra tablets, only to swallow the whole lot and then rush off to the toilet like a man about to explode...
B-J : Yes....I thought they were my calming tablets but then.... a certain member pointed out I had taken the wrong pills !
PC : And what about the so called seizures....one of which had you keeling over onto the floor gasping for breath and frothing at the mouth
B-J : Those fits were piques of rage at my partner's lunacy......and according to my doctor, stress and anger tend to affect my balance and bring on my acid reflux
PC : And is it proper for you and your team mates to be all putting on hand puppets ?...... all of which then engaged in mime, gestures and funny animal talk , deliberately engineered to pass over misinformation to your opponents , but with precise albeit unauthorised information flowing freely in the other direction
B-J : Those puppets were our lucky mascots......especially my penguin....... and what ever they discussed was between themselves and had nothing to do with bridge ....... any way there is nothing in law under which we can be sued.....Percy can't claim damages against us....... because we have not committed any civil wrong
Judge : Well, that's where you, Bigot, are wrong. In negligence you owe a duty of care to your neighbour....and your neighbour is any person you ought to have in your contemplation at the time you were about to engage in an activity , where it was reasonably foreseeable that harm would come to that person as a result of a careless act or omission. Indeed , your repeated acts amounted to both reckless and deliberate attempts to harm your neighbourly opponents in a devastating and psychological way........ clearly with an intention to deprive them of possible glory and any further progress in the competition. You were in breach of a duty of care to act in accordance with the rules of the game.....which I might add..... include rules regarding fair play and best behaviour.
Therefore, I intend to award Percy the full amount of damages he is claiming.....plus more
B-J : Bugger....