What the dickens you may ask is the main difference in style and attitude between those members of a bridge club that display etiquette, and the mere ordinary riff raff who don't.
Well, let me answer that question by giving you an example from my latest experience at the local bridge club. I was partnering the Right Honourable Lady Felicity Fortesque, who to all intents and purposes is a virtual aristocrat. Who I am to refuse the £200 sponsorship money she offered me for my services ?
It wasn't long before we came across a rather uncouth male pairing, whose grumpy and aggressive behaviour knew no bounds. How they manage to hold onto their membership beggars belief, given their appalling dress sense and lack of manners. Typically, when it came to doubling poor Felicity's reckless overbid, the penalty card hit the table with such force there was no mistaking its malevolent intent.
Clearly, all that etiquette required was a soft and gentle placement of the card upon the table, done with an air of embarrassed necessity and heartfelt regret. An unpleasant bid made in a relatively warm and friendly way.
There in a nutshell, dear reader, is the difference in style and attitude between well bred and refined bridge players and the hoi polloi.
If the beleaguered bridge world wants to re-establish the proud standards of yesteryear, then there is no place whatsoever for the oafish, ill-mannered, obsequious types who pervade and dominate the scene today. For if the good Lady is driven away by their unsavoury antics, then heavens above I'll be £800 a month worse off.
Yours always impeccably behaved, Rebecca Rood