Thursday, 27 August 2009

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.............................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, I don't know what to do to get my partner to play "proper" bridge. I've tried all sorts of things........repeated ear-bashings, giving him written reminders to attach to his convention cards, T-shirts with key bits of advice printed on the front, private lessons ( at a reasonable price , I might add ), dressing-downs you've never heard the like of, not to mention insults that would make even dead men squirm.......and all to no avail. I'm beginning to wonder whether I have psychologically damaged him in some way. Would " tough love " be a more effective approach ? Yours Howard Bigot-Johnson
  • Dear Bigot, From my reading of your letter, you seem worried that you might well inflict even more psychological damage on your partner, if you continue with your current motivational methods. You query whether or not a new slightly softer approach might do the trick ? Well, try to see the situation in this way. Can you chop down a tree that's already keeled over in the wind ? Can you kill a horse that is already dead ? Can you prick a balloon that is already deflated ? Can you contaminate an apple that is already rotten ? I think not.
  • The sad fact is your partner is well and truly beyond recovery. Psychologically, you have already destroyed him, and since he is now bereft of any self-confidence or self-belief.......poor bridge will follow him wherever he goes to play. Ironically, the good news for you is that he is now incapable of coming to any further psychological harm. Indeed, he is in effect completely immune to any further treatment you might have in store for him. And so to answer your question, there seems no point whatsoever for you to change your ways.......because firstly, your partner cannot change.....and secondly, the motives behind your methods are clearly designed to satisfy your highly inflated ego and sadistic tendencies. Praying I never come across anyone like you at the bridge tables............... yours almost lost for words, Rood

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