Tuesday, 15 September 2009
DR. JOHN'S CASE NOTES........................................................................... Bridge players have provided psycho-analysts with an endless stream of material on which to write articles, research papers, and books. The countless disorders and afflictions that bridge players seemingly suffer from have provided so much work for these highly skilled head-shrinkers, not to mention a lucrative living from therapy sessions they offer this cursed and beleaguered group. When poor unfortunate bridge-playing clients walk into my therapy room, my heart is often overwhelmed with pity and sadness......but then stoical professionalism takes over. Where would my bank balance be without them. However, the most awkward cases involve those who have fallen prey to a psychological disorder known as MUTAS IGNORAMIA. In a non-bridge world, a person with a hearing loss, who elects to communicate by gestures and/or signing, would be cruelly labelled as deaf-mute. And because this handicap was real, criticisms about their inability to understand and receive mesages were both unfounded and out of order. However, in the cut and thrust environment of bridge clubs, victims of this particular disorder also display "uncommunicative traits"........despite having no hearing loss or speech problems whatsoever. No matter how hard other players ( usually their next opponents ) try to engage them in friendly conversation, their efforts are always in vain. Sufferers seem oblivious to the standards of politeness expected of them. Their display of sullen silences and dismissive grunts can only be classified as ignorant behaviour and unacceptable rudeness. This disorder often turns its victims into pariahs within their own club. Extensive research has been carried out linking the condition to a morbid reaction to incurring poor scores on successive boards, whereupon dark clouds of depression suddenly sweep down to completely overwhelm them. Some psycho-analysts believe that most victims are born with a genetic predisposition to behave this way, which is then nurtured and brought on by exposure to other forms of unpleasant behaviour displayed by others in this highly competitive world of bridge.