Tuesday, 23 February 2010

PUN'S FANTASY BRIDGE ........( A story based on an unseen film clip from the Wizard of Oz )
Dorothy Gale breezed into the games room and immediately sat herself down into the recently vacated East seat. The moment had finally arrived for the big rubber match winner-takes-all showdown. She would be partnering The Cowardly Lion in the first of 3 sixteen board sessions, and although he was renown for his timid bidding and over-cautious attitude, she was confident that they would do well. Her opponents were the brainless Scarecrow and Nick Chopper, the whisky drinking Tin Man. Each had put in $4000 into the pot, and once they had all partnered each other, the player with the highest aggregate score would be deemed the winner.
Dorothy thought sessions 1 and 2 flew by with easy contracts being bid and made by both sides. All four were still in contention, but Dorothy was narrowly in front. However, she was now to partner the Scarecrow, who was very rigid and wooden in his bidding. After four relatively poor boards, he carelessly binned a simple 4H contract on board 5. Dorothy thought to herself " This is the last straw........I've got no bloody chance.....I've blown it ! " Then on board 9 he did it again. Her opponents, who were clearly relishing these unsolicited gifts, were more than happy to see the puff taken out from her sails. But now she rallied herself ....."Gale....force the bidding a bit more, and push them into going one level too high".
Then came the penultimate board. The Scarecrow had passed without a moment's thought. The Cowardly Lion thought for a while and passed also ( all indications suggesting a poor 12 count ). Dorothy with nothing more than 8 diamonds to the queen decided to open 4C !! The Tin man who had been waiting all night for a hand like this elected to bid 5C, which resulted in a final contract of 6S ....doubled and redoubled. Scarecrow dutifully lead a small club from three, gobsmacked to see dummy coming down with AKQxx in that suit. " Goodness gracious me.....what sort of dotty 4C bid was that ?" The bid was not "dotty" at all, as evidenced by her smartly taken club ruff. Sensing the opponents were also missing an Ace, Dorothy found the heart switch for Scarecrow to top declarer's king, only to be given another priceless opportunity to ruff a second club. Plus 1000 to the good guys.
This result caused the Tin Man to really flip his lid. Drinking like a man with hollow legs, he now had the look of someone who was well and truly canned. As he made his way to the bar for another double whisky, he was clearly wobbling all over the place. Scarecrow ,oblivious to the effects of alcohol, queried whether or not he was suffering from tinnitus.
Still seething about having been done over by a psyche and threatening to kill, The Tin man eventually managed to sit down at the table to play the last board. "Have a heart " said The Cowardly Lion, " She's only a little girl. She was well within her rights to make a bid like that. Anyway, you should have doubled first with a hand like yours, and I would have left the double in. Even if she pulled it, they were at least 5 off vulnerable." These remarks really rattled The Tin man even more.
On board 16, The Cowardly Lion at last plucked up courage, and by stretching his hand somewhat, opened 2S. He tried to mimic the exuberant cavalier bidding of the players from the roaring 1920's. Playing opposite The Tin Man was completely different to the No Fear bridge he was use to back home. All the bridge lions there took pride in their respect for the feelings of others. But now, he felt stronger, braver ....a person who was prepared to take risks. Despite being labelled as a man with no balls, The Tin Man decided nerves of steel were called for, and so he had no hesitation in jumping straight to 6S, with his guaranteed four trick hand. Scarecrow, who had always played his bridge in very large fields, had sufficient nous to double this contract with his QJ109 of spades. This vulnerable and overbid slam also failed by two tricks. The good guys again enjoyed another big penalty handout.
The Tin Man was still complaining at the finish about the 4C psyche, which effectively saw Dorothy walking away with the prize money. " I'm appealing to the grand wizard to have that result scrapped......because of her disgraceful tactics." In a rare moment of inspired wit, the Scarecrow replied: " Like me, Tin Man.....you haven't a leg to stand on. Taking on Dorothy Gale over this issue would be like pissing against the wind ". And as it happened nothing more was said.........and so they all set about their journey once again along the yellow brick road.

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