It has come to my attention that an alarming number of bridge players have an irritating habit of humming, while contemplating their next bid or play of the cards. Whether this humming is a deliberate or subconscious ploy to rattle and upset the opponents' equilibrium and composure , I just don't know ? In the majority of cases this constant need to hum would be written off as an obsessive compulsive disorder, one which tends to be so annoying to others because of its tuneless and toneless nature.
However, one particular client of mine had a more melodic variant of this disorder, which had moved it into the realms of a syndrome. Indeed, I had seen this disorder several times before when I attending bridge congresses in Cardiff and Swansea. Somehow I knew why this poor man was unable to stop himself humming at the tables, despite the incredible number of savage looks and death threats which had come his way. He tried to explain that it helped him to think better, if he hummed song titles that popped into his head. Whenever this need to concentrate harder intensified, he felt compelled to hum classic hits like Mama Told Me Not To Come, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Delilah, She's A Lady, and the Green Green Grass Of Home. Then, as he continued to rattle off more song titles, I instinctively recognised the particular syndrome he had.
" I am very familar with this affliction of yours....it's has a funny name........but it's incurable. "
" Tell me...tell me....If Only I Knew "
" You've got THE TOM JONES SYNDROME ! "
" What do you mean ? " despaired the man, "..... Is it a common complaint ? "
" Yes, I too have it ........It's Not Unusual......especially, if you've ever been to Wales. "