BRIDGE SENDS YOU CRAZY........( Article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
It is claimed that there are only a certain number of ways to make a sane man go crazy, and there are many different forms in which this " craziness " can manifest itself. Most of these forms are listed in the psychologist's bible " The Diagonistic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, currently in its 4th edition. Along with the psych-ward greatest hits like schizophrenia and depression, this wonderful book lists some rather unusual, less-than-common, conditions.
Not surprisingly, nearly all of these are bridge-related. Indeed, my research is beginning to establish beyond all reasonable doubt that the most effective way to go crazy is to take up bridge . Once anybody starts down that loose marble road, then in no time at all they fall victim to some bizarre and amazing mental disorders, some of which Dr. John himself has yet to come across.
First off is the condition known as the Othello Syndrome, which is also known as delusional morbid jealously. Bridge players who fall victim to this affliction behave like men " possessed ", utterly convinced that their partners are cheating on them in some way or another. Crazy notions enter their tortured and twisted minds that their partners are secretly seeking out, and courting others, as their first and favoured choices. Merely talking to another player plunges victims into fits of jealousy and anger, such is the severity of their paranoia.
Then there is the internet addiction, which ironically starts out as a " craze " but very quickly turns its victims into " screen crazies ". The main attraction of course is the inexpensive, interesting, and comfortable world it offers. Once victims get totally hooked, they will spend an absurd number of hours either reading or writing bridge blogs, or playing hand after hand of bridge on one of many of the free game-hosting sites, with people who are just as crazy about bridge as them.
Brain fag is another common type of disorder associated with crazy bridge players. Victims convince themselves that the mental demands of bridge really " hurts " their brains. This conviction is either an irrational desire for constant sympathy, or an advanced excuse for a pending disaster, when they next botch an attempt at bidding and/or playing the cards. Victims will claim they have symptoms such as blurred vision, to perhaps excuse them for diabolical bidding. " Sorry partner, I got my clubs mixed up with my spades! ". They will also allege that they have acute neck and head pains, as a consequence of experiencing too much stress and pressure elsewhere in their lives. Where they lose touch with reality is believing that brain fag accounts for their poor performance, rather than accepting the unpalatable truth about themselves.....this of course being........ they are, and always will be, crap players.
So yes, bridge does something to sane men that no other sport or recreational game ever can do. It heaps upon them all kinds of mental disorders, which in most cases are both progressive and uncontrollable. To visit any bridge club is to walk in and witness a bizarre world full of deranged and troubled souls. God help every one of them.