Once upon a time four well known Christmas characters sat down to play a game of rubber bridge that was to end up with little goodwill and even less seasonal cheer. It was December 1987 when Santa Claus teamed up with the inebriated red-nosed Rudolph. Their opponents as always were Snowman and his partner the mischievous Tree Fairy.
" What are the stakes going to be then? " queried the Tree Fairy.
" Why not some big dough for once ! " replied Santa. "
" Yes....I like the idea of playing for big bucks ", chirped in Rudolph.
" Ok then.." said Santa, " ....let's make it £1 a point. "
" I agree... "
And so the match began.
After the first ten or so deals the Snowman was flying high, having bid and made 7 frigid games on the trot. Poor Santa had make the mistake of thinking Snowy was still a harmless nobody, but now he realised what a cold and calculating person he was.
But then for no apparent reason , Snowy's partner, The tree Fairy, suddenly decided to take uncharacteristic flights of fancy.......bidding exceptionally frisky contracts on a whim. Had she gone barking mad.....or what ? She seemed completely unable to twig the extent of the damage she was doing to their partnership. Phantom sacrifices and light-weight pre-empts had already caused the Snowman to go a deathly white. Santa was in for the kill, sharpening his claws, and ready to pounce.
" Let's slay'em, Rudolph " he thought to himself, hoping to rein in even more juicy doubles.
" Well done, Santa " beamed a happy Rudolph, trying as always to fawn his way into his master's affections.
Indeed, the Snowman was really beginning to feel the heat, as his early winnings were rapidly melting away. Yet he froze with fear at the prospect of the Tree Fairy leaving her senses completely. So when he caught her atttention, he hit her with a cold icy stare that would surely chill her to the bone.
Initially, the Tree Fairy was rooted to the spot. She was stumped as to what he was so upset about, but as luck would have it her next wild and random bids all paid off. Santa's doubles of part-scores started to hand them fortuitous games. He seemed to be handing out gifts left, right and centre.
Now, it was the turn of Rudoplh to despair at his partner's ill-judged bids. Appalling decisions that were getting right up his nose. As far as he was concerned Santa was on the verge of being given the sack. His roof for once was about to cave in.
" Santa, " he screamed , " why the bloody hell double them in 2S when you had a huge red suit of your own ? You're a bumbling old fool. In fact, I've had enough ......and I'm going outside for a late night glide.... "
" No...don't...it's looks as though it's to going to rain, dear " pleaded Santa.
" Very funny....not ", snapped Rudolph.
" Heaven's above ", exclaimed the Tree Fairy, " I'm finding all this ill-feeling sapping my enthusiam to carry on."
And on that note, the match came to a rather abrupt and unexpected ending.
Rudolph, however, was already at the door.
" Where you going gliding off to ? " asked the Snowman
" I've got a stag do to go to..." came the sharp but apt reply.