Sunday, 30 January 2011

Yes, Bigot has done it again to save the day, and spared the blushes of under-fire selectors in the process. He is proposing for those players who never quite made the cut, to be considered for other prestigious awards.....some of which will be the envy of many. Awards that will come with big cash prizes thrown in. Awards that will be bigger than the Oscars.
So here then is his list of awards that will surely set the bridge world alight with both interest and fascination :
- THE FAGIN AWARD for the player who has picked more opponents' pockets than any other
- THE APOLLO AWARD for the player who has managed to shit on another from the greatest height
- THE HUMPTY DUMPTY AWARD for the player who cracked up so badly no one has been to repair the psychological damage
- THE NORMAN BATES AWARD for the player who has taken extreme retribution upon his partner, simply because she didn't match up to his dead mother's expectations
- THE TIM HENMAN AWARD for the player who never managed to win a big competition despite numerous early round successes
- THE ERROL FLYNN AWARD for the player who has won the " member of the year " trophy at his club for several years running
- THE TONY BLAIR AWARD for the player who likes to hide behind a Bush , whenever criticism comes his way
- THE LIBERACE AWARD for the man whose flamboyant dress sense has managed to deflect other players from recognising his gross limitations as a card player
- THE LADY MACBETH AWARD for the most devious back-stabbing bitch ever to have taken up bridge
- THE FRANKENSTEIN AWARD for the player whose head has never been properly screwed on
- THE SNOW WHITE AWARD for the one who, in the interests of the team, has willingly taken on the poisoned chalice of partnering the club's top but most disagreeable player
- THE TOAD OF TOAD HALL AWARD for the player who gets so beguiled by a new bidding gadgets that he/she always falls victim to them
- THE MAD HATTER AWARD for any member of the Boston BC committee who can turn a straightforward meeting into a total farce or an unbelievable tea-party
- THE HENRY VIII AWARD for the player who has gone to the greatest lengths to rid himself of unwanted partners

Saturday, 29 January 2011

AN IN-DEPTH STUDY OF A BRIDGE BULLY........ ( By Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
The dictionary definition of a bully is a person " who habitually acts in a cruel or overbearing way, especially towards smaller or weaker people ". However, whatever definitions are looked at , there appears to be one common theme : bullying is a form of abuse.
But when one enters the world of bridge, the bully usually takes on the form of a dominant male player, who has a major ego problem along with a serious superiority complex disorder. He is a person who can not stand to lose an argument. A person who is compelled to regain any lost advantage in an argument without delay. In order to do this he must raise his voice above the level of the prevailing conversation, but never to a height which could be defined as screaming.
In simple terms this vocal manoeuvre seeks to accomplish two objectives. Firstly, to convince partner, and secondly to inform others in close proximity, that certain boundaries governing arguments have been overstepped. These boundaries , as if laid down and ordained by God, simply endorse the view that no one should challenge the bully's superior knowledge and understanding of the game. Moreover, should any player be accused of making a mistake, he or she must accept this unpleasant truth by dutifully acknowledge their shame and guilt.
In situations where the bridge bully finds himself losing his way in an argument, he will begin to make statements, usually personal remarks to or about his partner, which rapidly increase in both the degree of incoherence and intensity of abusiveness. For example, he will make inferences as to his partner's hesitant, fumbling, confused and indecisive actions. These inferences cleverly avoid the reality and logic of the situation, where it was the bully's own incorrect bids, leads and signals which caused partner to become terribly perplexed, worried and unsure. The bully programmes himself only see his partner's mistakes and never his own.
This extremely disagreeable sort of player is nothing more than a blind, bloody-minded hypocrite, totally lacking in humility, forgiveness and compassion. He seeks to exploit other players' weaknesses in such a way as to confirm self delusions as to his superiority and greatness. To protect their bloated egos they must prevent other players from ever succeeding with a legitimate defence or point of view.
( Footnote : observing these odious blots on the beautiful landscape ( of our beloved world of bridge ) has been without doubt the most distressing experience of my life )
BIGOT PULLS OFF A MASTERFUL COUP..........................
During the mid-session interval of the Walnut Tree Allotment's major Swiss Pairs event of the year, Bigot had a pressing need to visit the lavatory. Having just seated himself down, he was amazed to hear that unmistakable whinging voice coming from the cubicle next door.
" Who's next door ? "
" Bigot "
" Oh thank God.....I'm in a spot of bother here......there's no bloody toilet paper........and I've got a rather sticky bum. Have you any spare ? ........I need about 4 sheets "
Bigot stared long and hard at his own full toilet roll before giving a negative reply.
So Percy tried once again.
" Well, do you have any Kleenex on you ? "
Again the reply was negative.
" Not even some cotton wool or a piece or two of scrap paper ? "
A long pause then followed the third negative, but eventually the silence was broken by the sound of Bigot rifling through his wallet.
" Listen Percy, what paper money do you have on you ? "
" Oh....just a £50 note I'm afraid "
" That's fine ......just push it through under the partition and I'll give you four life-saving £5 notes in return "

Friday, 28 January 2011

THE NIL DESPERANDUM SMOKESCREEN .......... ( Article by Johnny Supremo )
There are many times when your role as a defender is to throw up a smokescreen instead of throwing in the towel. Why just the other day I single-handed defeated a 6D contract ......yet my unobservant partner had the audacity to offer " bad luck " condolences to the shell-shocked opponents rather than acknowledging my little coup. The deal in question can be seen below.
North : Q9xxx....Jxxx......K9x.........Q
South : A.........Ax...... AJxxx....AKJ10x
Sitting East, I had opened the bidding with a weak 2 hearts on my 3-6-2-1 distribution. My Q10 doubleton in diamonds looked particularly sad. Partner's wretched 4-1-3-5 distribution did however include the stiff queen of hearts, which provided him with an easy choice of opening lead.
Declarer took the trick with the Ace of hearts, and played a small diamond over to the king in dummy. So I naturally dropped my queen under it in order to to create a smokescreen, and a possible chance for the defence. I knew that this card-counting declarer might well assume that West could be holding 4 diamonds to the 10. If he believed this to be the case, his best plan would be to play West to hold a minimum of 3 clubs, given his shortage in hearts. Now he could rattle off 3 clubs winners, by first playing dummy's queen, and then getting to hand with the Ace of spades. By continuing with clubs, two losing hearts at least could be lobbed away from dummy. Then on the 4th round of clubs, West would be fixed.....and no doubt obliged to ruff in with the 10 of diamonds. But this would enable the remaining heart in dummy to be discarded. Even if West played back a trump, dummy's 9 of diamonds is still there to safely take care of declarer's only losing heart.
Well, the smokescreen did its stuff, with declarer losing his way, and electing to play the hand as I envisaged. And God, was he mortified when I ruffed the 3rd round of clubs with my diamond 10 ......only to play the king of hearts next for the setting trick.
So yes, as a defender with little in the way of ammunition, a little bit of deception ( such as the improvised smoke bomb ) might do the business ........a weapon any one of us is capable of making in the nil desperandum mind laboratory.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The other day Dr. John walked into the bar at the Cardinals BC only to be accosted by a rather distraught and worried looking woman. She bore all the hallmarks of a player suffering from severe panic attacks and delusional visions.
" Dr. John, you must help me " , she pleaded " this bloody game is causing me to lose my mind. I'm beginning to believe that this zit on my face is so huge........that growing from it is a spreading chestnut tree with picnic tables and chairs planted all around it ".
" No...... please don't worry my dear ", said Dr. John in a calm and reassuring voice, " can't you's only a beauty spot ".
REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG...................
Dear Rebecca,
As an outright and committed feminist, how do you look upon men who play bridge ?
Yours would love to know your thoughts on this matter,
Wanda Pritchard
Dear Wanda,
As you know when it comes to men I can happily suck them in and spit them out by their bootlaces. Men who play bridge are just as vulnerable. As to how I look upon men................ it would be far more appropriate to use the word " down ". Anyway my views can be summed up best by the following quotes, all taken from a variety of bridge books written by the fairer sex. Indeed, all the writers are renown for their insight, wisdom and perceptive observations, having that wonderful gift of being able to see the light.
- It may have taken millions of years to make men out of monkeys, but in the world of bridge it takes only a few minutes to reverse the process
- Male prejudice against women players is so astounding, because women must do twice as well even to be thought of as half as good
- For a man his local bridge club is his castle on the outside : on the inside it is his nursery
- Male bridge players are like eggs - occasionally fresh, but more likely to be rotten or hard boiled
- Many men are far too fond at dishing out puerile advice : they do this if only to console themselves over their inability to give good examples of the finer points of bidding and play
- There is no greater fury on earth than a man's scorn towards his errant partner
- Bridge , indeed, may bring out the fury of a man's passion, but never a desire to mend his ill-temper
- To most men saying or doing something unpleasant to their partners or opponents is more of a duty than a weakness
- Bridge clubs are one of the last bastions of male chauvinism : not only do they discriminate against women they also discriminate against each other
- Despite the vast amount of time men can spend together developing a perfect system, their contact rarely goes beyond the world of bridge : a limitation which tends to make their partnership nothing more than a shallow, unsatisfying and meaningless friendship
- Bridge has a knack of turning a man into a black and selfish monster, who undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being
- Men always want power over their new partners if only to avenge the crimes committed by their former ones
- When I see the lengths some men will go to to win at bridge, no wonder they call women the " fairer " sex
Yours enlightening as ever, Rebecca

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Currently visiting ( incognito of course) all the major bridge venues and clubs in USA and Canada is Dr. Ophelia Bhoem, who is using her sabbatical year from Boston University to undertake a major investigation into what bridge does to players' minds. Olivia ( as she now prefers to be called ) is particularly interested in the psychotic effects of playing social mind games, and why bridge players in particular seem to suffer the worse. Initially horrified by what she first casually observed , she felt a far greater understanding of players' psychological disorders could be gained by learning the game, and being there at the table. This way she could study her " subjects " at close quarters. Her current ranking incidentally is advanced master.
Born in Filzmoos, Austria she migrated to the USA in 1977, after a scandal involving a leading politician, kinky sex, gimps, and instruments of torture. Very soon she became more and more fascinated by the insidious habits of competitive bridge players, especially when such behaviour provided evidence of warped and twisted minds. She has written for many years about the way bridge players have willingly allowed themselves to fall victim to psychosis and paranoia, in the relentless pursuit of victory. Sponsored by the WBF in conjunction with leading USA Health Authorities in an unprecedented move to promote the welfare and interests of ordinary players, Olivia is well on track to meet her publishing deadline. The world waits with bated breath on her forthcoming, ground breaking research paper : a qualitative study provisionally entitled " Are you really the person that you imagine yourself to be ? "
Not surprisingly, she has perceived Dr. John's articles as a valuable data base and source of inspiration. She vehemently objects to any suggestions that this caring and dedicated professional is simply having a good laugh by poking fun at the various stereo-types that frequent the bridge club scene in Britain. Olivia originally anticipated being on tour for just three months, but this has now been extended to one year, because of the alarming number of "disturbing and unique qualities "( her words ) that so many bridge players seem to possess.
Happy to have Dr. John on hand for advice, she is hoping that this research might lead to ways of altering players' mind-sets. This could be done by pumping into the air an hypnotic-inducing drug which makes all players in the room completely and utterly " suggestible to instructions ". These will appear as calm reassuring messages displayed upon every club door and wall, not to mention being repeatedly whispered over the intercom. Olivia is almost ready to implement this revolutionary mind control technique ( MCS ) on unsuspecting club members in Vegas........although she is acutely aware that her critics will claim that such practices fly in the face of medical ethics..
However one person she observed convinced her completely that some drastic form of " mass conditioning " was necessary. For when she attended one of matches involving the USA team taking on Bigot-Johnson's All Conquering Heroes, she thought it would be a good idea to interview the man himself, given his reputation of being a " raving psychotic ". She gave very generously of her time , only to conclude that the label fitted him to a tee, and that he was indeed " a most fascinating and complex individual " .....but one who let bridge affect his mind to such an extent, he was now incurably insane.
( By the end of the year Olivia hopes to get all her work published in The Lancet, but for copies of her monthly progress reports and findings e-mail her on imalumbarquack @ )

At the Slaughter House BC Bigot-Johnson was creating for himself quite a reputation for completely losing his rag. As the self-appointed chairman and enforcer, the pressure of maintaining control was clearly getting to him. Often during a session he could be seen hurling bridgemates at his opponents, such was his exasperation over their stupidity, slow play, and unethical behaviour .
On one occasion, the bridgemate was thrown with such venomous force that it mercifully missed its intended target. However, the missile crashed through a large window pane , embedding itself in the trunk of a rather large oak tree.
" Damn and blast ", fumed Bigot who couldn't believe how he was able to miss such a huge fat obnoxious blob at such close range.
The TD was quickly summoned.....a young man renown for being a religious zealot and bible-basher. With Bigot still ranting and raving. the TD was clearly upset and annoyed by all his blasphemous outbursts. Unfazed by the fact he was dealing the club's founder and chairman, he decided that a stern warning was needed :
" Cursing and swearing is a cardinal sin ......for you know full well that such behaviour is not only vile and disgusting but it represents a serious breach of the club's rules ........and that more importantly.....God will punish you ".
" Bugger off ", snapped Bigot, " What the hell is Big G gonna do if I carry on swearing. .......send a thunderbolt down to destroy me ? "
Realising that this dreadful unashamed bully was impossible to deal with, the TD went away to write up a scathing report about him for the attention of the EBU. To every one's surprise, things settled down for the rest of the evening. However, just as Bigot was leaving the club by the front door, the TD approached him outside with a copy of the report. Just then , there was this almighty crash of thunder, and a huge shaft of fire hurtled towards the ground, missing Bigot by a matter of inches....but reducing the TD to a pile of dust.
" DAMN AND BLAST..... I MISSED ! ".................... boomed a voice from above .

Monday, 24 January 2011

SOME THINGS OFTEN LEAVE A BITTER TASTE................ ( Another nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
After a night of wild distributions, nasty trump breaks, and swinging boards, Percy Pantopod cut a very forlorn figure sitting at a table in an almost deserted bar. He looked down dejectedly at his full pint of beer, contemplating whether or not to drink it. Just as his hand reached out to pick up the glass......... in walked Bigot to snatch it from him, only to pour its liquid contents straight down his throat in one almighty gulp.
" Well Percy.....blow me if that wasn't the most peculiar tasting beer I've ever had...... BUT WHAT are you going to do about it ? "
" Nothing ", replied Percy sadly, " I should have guessed you would pull a mean, dirty trick like that. It's not been my night. First off, I managed to go down in 4 games and 2 small slams, which are making everywhere else. Then would you believe.... opponents kept bidding and making the most jammy contracts ever.... on nothing more than bloody tram tickets. Add to that 3 TD rulings, all of which went against me. And lo and behold to cap it all .... in an act of unbelievable stupidity...... I told my partner that if I went off in this 29 point 3NT contract, I would drink a pint of my own piss....
Well, 8 tricks was all I could make.....and so...... just as I plucked up the nerve to drink walked in !
LAW REPORT : R v. DR. JOHN ( 2005 )
( In a rare and ill conceived case, which should never have come to court, Dr. John was wrongly charged with professional negligence. The prosecution alleged that he gave out reckless advice that led directly to the death of a fellow bridge club member. This very short extract from the trial's transcript clearly established his innocence before both judge and jury. )
Prosecutor : Did you, Dr. John, on the night of Thursday March 19th enter into a short discussion with the 86 year old Andy Blewett, who was widely known to be struggling with his health.
Dr. J : Yes...
P: And did he approach you for some medical advice ?
Dr.J : Yes....
P : And were you aware that his medical problem related to his physical condition as opposed to his state of mind ?
Dr. J : Yes.....but there are many occasions where one's troubled state of mind can have a huge detrimental effect on one's physical health .
P : Yes....I am aware of all that......but here was a man with a serious medical problem, who was so depressed about that it he came to you for advice. Unfortunately, he clearly wide open to any suggestions that you thought could remedy or alleviate his condition. And as one witness who will later testify, you simply told him " Best you get yourself a hot mamma...... please be cheerful ".
At which point he set off in his car to the red light districts of Doncaster......only to be found in the early hours of the morning, slumped on the back seat of his toyota, half undressed, with a smile on his face.......having obviously died on the job from a sudden and massive heart attack.
Dr. J : " never said such a thing......because you need to know that this witness of yours has an acute hearing problem. You see ... what I actually said to him that night was : " Bet you've got yourself a heart murmur...... please be careful..."

Sunday, 23 January 2011

BIGOT GETS A RUDE AWAKENING ! ..........( A nearly true story byBridgemeister Gibson )
As Percy sat down to play in the north seat, his arch enemy was about to walk by. It was Bigot-Johnson. As he did so, Bigot calmly caressed his fingers across Percy's bald head remarking loudly :
" By Jove, Percy...........your head feels as smooth as my wife's backside . "
Percy, for once, remained passive and unperturbed. He too gently, but slowly, slid his fingers over his bald head, and replied:
" My're it does ! "

Friday, 21 January 2011

WELL, THERE'S NO ANSWER TO THAT................ ( says Bridgemeister Gibson )
It's a friday afternoon duplicate session at the Walnut Tree Allotment BC. Many of the players include newcomers, who want to do better are are very keen to learn. A hand has just been completed and declarer ( West ) has made 10 tricks in three diamonds plus one , chalking up an just-below-average score for the board. West is in the process of returning her cards into the slot, when she muses over the result and then poses a question to North. He was a vastly more experienced player, who could be relied upon to pass on some useful nuggets of advice.
" Do you think I could have done better ? "
" Yes ", came the immediate reply, " You have an excellent chance of making 3NT because of the known excellent diamond fit, and a spade lead up to your King would have guaranteed 9 tricks off the top. 3NT might also fail, but that is the problem about playing pairs. In order to get tops you need to take on a different bidding philosophy, opting for riskier NT contracts over the much safer ones in the minors . Sometimes you have to be in the wrong contract to get the best score ".
" Oh....I wouldn't know about that because we don't play Pears ".
" But you are playing pairs "
" Sorry, not so..........we play basic Acol "

Thursday, 20 January 2011

  • Leading From The Front......................................Van Garde
  • Partner ! Must You Keep Jumping Me ? .............. Fanny Flaggin
  • The Tell Tale Sign Of A Nervous Bridge Player......Neil Byter
  • Top Players Scare Me To Death............................Brian Staines
  • Please Partner, No More Clangers........................Belle Ringer
  • Why Do Other Players Think I'm A Puff................ Airey Fairie
  • In The School Of Bridge, I Came Top Of The Class....Ed Buoy
  • The World Of Bridge : Heroines And Addicts.........Poppy Fields
  • Who Just Trumped ?.............................................Otis Mee
  • Settling Differences With Ex-Partners...................Barry D. Hatchett
  • Partner, Go Easy On That Old Gentleman..............Dickie Hart
  • That Player Is Utterly Useless At Bridge...............Sasha Pratt

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

  • MUD : what most players will throw at others in order to blacken their names
  • Book player : defined by A.W. Drayton as " a safe player but not a very dangerous one "
  • Chance : a fine thing
  • Kiss of death : incurring a 200 plus penalty when the opponents could only make a modest part-score
  • Club : a situation most over-40 female members would prefer not to be in
  • Duck : a recommended course of action should a flying bridgemate be heading your way
  • Principle of preparedness : getting some practice in with a rubber or two in mind
  • Congress : a coming together
  • Phantom pair : something one associates with a female player who obviously wears a padded bra
  • Rags : an apt term used to describe the scruffy attire so often worn by impoverished student members, whose wardrobes consist only of T-shirts, torn jeans, and open-toed sandals

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

( then his famous Lincoln Memorial speech might have gone like this )
" I have a dream that one day this nation of bridge players will rise up and live out the true meaning of friendship and harmony : where people of all levels of ability and temperament can come together as one huge happy family, removing all traces of prejudice and ill feeling that has in recent times blighted this beautiful and exquisite game.
I have a dream that one day, even in such infamous places like the Slaughter House BC, the sons of Bigot-Johnson can sit down at the table with the sons of Percy Pantopod ......and play bridge in a climate of mutual respect and love.
I have a dream that one day every bridge club in the world will be finally set free, from the suffering and sweltering heat of ill-feeling, back-biting and oppression, becoming instead an oasis of equality, camaraderie and fun.
I have a dream that future generations of players will not be judged by who they are, or by how many trophies they have won, but by their overall contribution to the promotion of sportsmanship, and mentoring initiatives, so essential for the game to survive and prosper.
I have this dream today..... "
( Adapted by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )

Monday, 17 January 2011

( After an eventful night, Sylvia Swamp noticed Primrose Pantopod in the bar area and descended upon her to have a chat . )
Sylvia : Can I tell you what happened to me tonight ?
Primrose : If you must ........
S : Well, three rounds in and who should come to my table next ? ..... Yes, Bigot's bruiser of a partner, Mungo know..... the one whose arms are covered with hideous tattoos........each one depicting a huge playing card.....of kings and queens together in all kinds of unusual positions !
P : No way......
S : every way. I can tell you I was shocked. And then he said to me " I hear you're partial to big bottoms.....and that's what you're going to get from me. So before this big ape could sit down, I kicked him firmly in the crutch with my silver-pointed toecap shoe .................
P : You didn't ?
S : I did. So naturally I said to him " If anyone is going to kick butt on this table it's me.......the last person who felt my wrath was seen running to the toilet desperate to change his pants...."
P : You actually said that ?
S : Oh yes....... but after I whopped him good and proper on the first board, he then has the brass cheek to lean over and snarl " Hey, scallop just got lucky that time ! "
P : He didn't ?
S : He did. Then....... on the next board, he just sat there and starting picking his nose while he contemplated his opening bid. So I said to him " Leave them bogeys alone and get on with the bidding. I'd rather be at home doing my verrucas than sitting here looking with you ".
P : You didn't ?
S : I certainly did, and so when he finally managed to stumble a weak 1NT bid, I looked at my 8 point 7-3-2-1 distribution and thought " time for some fun "...........and so I stuck in a vulnerable 2C overcall........which was meant to be natural.
P : You didn't ?
S : 'Fraid so. .....and it was music to my ears when the Bigot thumped down a double. Then, when the bidding got back to me, I volunteered 2D which got the same treatment.....followed by 2H .......which also got whacked. Finally, I bid 2S praying for this to be doubled.....which thankfully...... the big oaf couldn't stop himself from doing. And guess what...... this contract came rolling home with a trick to spare.
P : It didn't ?
S : Hey, you're right.....I just played safe for 8 tricks to net a plus 670 score. Anyway, by now Mungo was blowing a he stood up...... and bellowed at the top of his voice " You scheming bastard ........ I want you to come outside ".
P : He didn't ?
S : He surely I told him there and then.... I happen to like my sex indoors !
P : You didn't ?
S : I did .....and guess what happened next ?......he took of his braces and threatened to whip my arse....
P : Good gracious me....what did you say to that ?
S : I said " Don't waste your time or energy..... 'cus last night a regular punter did just that, and there's nowt to it....."
P : You didn't ?
S : I did....and not surprisingly the oaf man walked off with his tail between his legs....
P : What metaphorically ?
S : No for real.....the silly sod's trousers had fallen down
P : Well, I never........
S : And so with a few minutes to spare before the start of the next round , I decided to have another scrape at my earwax.....
P : Oh yes..... I couldn't help noticing a huge pile of it close to where you were sitting.....
( Just then a loud peeping noise could be heard from outside )
S : Sorry.........must taxi's arrived.........bye
P : Bye ......

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Well, 0nce more Johnny enthralled the kibitzers
with another fine exhibition of intelligent play. Sitting South, he sensibly elected to rest in 6S, given partner's succession of weak responses.
Had the spades split 2-2, and hearts 3-3, and the diamond king onside, there were 13 tricks to be made.
But Johnny decided to play the contract allowing for the diamond king to be wrong, spades breaking 3-1, and hearts breaking 4-2. Now just making 12 tricks required a bit of thought. On the 10 of spades opening lead, Johnny took the trick in hand. Cashed the AK of hearts noticing West petering. On the third round of hearts, West wisely ruffed with the 9 of spades, forcing declarer to over-ruff with dummy's jack. Back to hand with a club ruff, the maestro calmly volunteered a 4th heart........which well and truly shafted West.
Not surprisinly West elected to ruff the trick with her 8 of spades, allowing declarer to pitch a losing diamond away in dummy. Then when Johnny got back in with another club ruff, the established 5th heart provided another opportunity to pitch a losing diamond away from dummy. So with one precious trump still opposite , the queen of diamonds could now be ruffed. Slam made by virtue of 6S, 3H, 2 ruffs (H/D) and the Ace of D.
( If West had declined to ruff in front of dummy with the 8 of spades, Johnny would have ruffed the 4th heart, to re-enter his own hand with a second club ruff to draw trumps, cash his 5th heart, and give up his only losing trick to the king of diamonds. )
Such a beautiful game to watch when kibitzing the experts.
Let's face it, bridge blog readers are blessed to have
write-ups about the way Johnny performs at the table. He is without doubt a man of pure logic and reasoning. Nothing then illustrates his amazing ability to accurately read and assess the situation....... than the hand shown opposite.
Many declarers found themselves in a doomed 4S contract, but wiser declarers sitting South settled for 3NT, which was making all over the place......except where Johnny was sitting. Having opened the bidding ( as East ) with one diamond, his partner had no problems finding the 9 of diamonds lead. All the declarers were inserting dummy's 10, with most Easts adopting the knee-jerking play by covering with the queen, which of course was allowed to hold. Although diamonds could be continued, declarer was in control. Spades could be attacked in the knowledge that if the missing honours were split, West had no diamonds left in his hand, once he was in with the King. This enabled declarers to scramble home with 3S, 2H,2D, and 2C.
But did The Man cover the 10 of diamonds with the queen ? Not a chance ! He too pinned his hopes on getting West in again to lead a second round of diamonds. So when declarer led the queen of spades at trick 2, West steamed in to take the trick with his King to quickly fire back the diamond 5. No matter what declarer did now, Johnny had beaten the contract by taking 5 tricks in all : 3D and 2S.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

( Bigot-Johnson and his partner were both summoned to attend this latest hearing to answer questions over their alleged use of a novel and unusual convention, which had never been stated on their system cards. Not only was it was unlicensed, but it was also illegal . Bigot of course was determined to refute any such allegations, and immediately took centre stage of the proceedings. An extract from the hearing's transcript can be seen below. )
Chairman : Bigot you are a scurrilous, devious, wicked individual who will go to any lengths to win. What on earth possessed you to use an unlicensed and illegal convention ?
B-J :'ve got it all wrong. My partner and I were playing a very basic system in strict accordance with what was on our system cards.
C : Not were using an undeclared convention so obscene it requires us to impose a very severe punishment indeed. This so called gadget of yours not only amounted to convention misuse..... but convention abuse. Never have I come across a more blatant example of cheating, especially given the way it cleverly exploits the rules concerning insufficient bids.
B-J : Now look here.....there is nothing inherently wrong with innocent or accidental under bids, especially when opponents are given specific rights and appropriate redress. If for instance I bid 1D after my RHO has opened 1H, the opponents can now decide to either let the bid stand or have me correct it.
C : Ah...but only you and your partner know that this insufficient bid shows a poor 5 card suit, because on the occasions you do come in with a proper overcall of 2D..... you always end up with suit which is far stronger. The fact remains that all your insufficient bids are deliberate....not accidental....attempts to convey the poor trick taking potential in that suit. Such is the way your devious and cheating mind works.
B-J : You can't prove any of this..........
C : Wrong....because here today we have your partner in attendance who has agreed to expose the use of this so called SCUD convention........ which we are led to believe stands for SUIT CRAP UNDERBID DELIBERATELY.
( At that point, Bigot , with rage and anger written all over his face, turned to stare hard and long at his petrified partner. )
B-J : Excuse me a minute....... while I have a quiet word or two with my partner in private.
( Then the two men walked out of the building and into the car park. Seconds later there was the sound of four or five heavy thuds , like a cricket bat knocking seven bells out a hard round ball-shaped object.......only for blood-stained Bigot to return alone. )
I'm sorry to say...... that my poor partner is now indisposed, and therefore is unable to stand a witness. But as for this outrageous interpretation of couldn't be any further from the truth.
C : Well, what the blue blazes then does it stand for ?
B-J : Well, for the time stands for SECRET CONVENTION UNDER DEVELOPMENT
C : Well, that leaves me completely speechless.....
B-J : Good....and if that is the case .....and you've no more to say ...... I'm buggering off home !
YET ANOTHER TRAGEDY IN BIGOT-JOHNSON'S TROUBLED LIFE........... ( A short nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
Bigot's gloom-laden face said it all. Sitting at the bar of the Slaughter House BC, he stared morosely into his glass of whiskey. Naturally, I felt so sorry for him as he seemed hopelessly trapped inside this self-made pit of despair, dejection and grief. With comforting words that embraced a tiny hint of empathy, I softly remarked : " Looks like you've got the whole world on your shoulders....."
A forlorn looking Bigot slowly looked up, and replied : " It's the curse of drink. When I get results like I've just had, I get angry. Real angry. The agony and torture I've just experienced this evening made me turn to the bottle well before the session was over. It was the drink that made me want to shoot my useless buffoon of a partner......but the real curse of alcohol is that it caused me to miss..... allowing the bastard to get away scot free......"
Well, there was no answer to that........

Friday, 14 January 2011

CAN YOU NAME ME A SPORT WHERE.......................................
- the referees hide themselves away from the field of play, leaving it to the players themselves to blow the whistle
- spectators have to remain quiet whenever they see foul play
- wholesale cheating can go on unabated, unobserved and undetected, and be completely ignored by the governing bodies
- only half the players are aware of the rules, and most of them only pretend to understand them
- minnows are allowed to swim at their peril, and always out of their depth, in shark infested waters
- rankings are determined more by quantity of appearances, rather than the quality of results
- bad behaviour on the field of play rarely if ever leads to a sending off
- the referees tend to base most of their rulings on the hearsay evidence of players they never like to offend
- the playing field is far from level, given the players' right to use whatever system cards they like
- a prized ability is one which involves counting up to 13
- players coming second are never happy or satisfied
- blaming team members will always take precedence over team bonding and support
- money can always be used to buy results, in that sponsors pay handsomely to be carried on the shoulders of giants
- final placings owe more to the performances of others on the field of play, as opposed to the players' own individual performances
- slow players are allowed to hold everyone else to ransom and get away with it
- the governing bodies who should be looking to make the game more appealing, make decisions that bring about the exact opposite
- most players, as soon as they set foot on the pitch, undergo a complete personality change......for the worst
- the more a player thinks about what to do next, the less likely he/she is to arrive at the correct answer
( Article by Carp )

Thursday, 13 January 2011

( Asks Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
Of the 37 listed on Linda Lee's wonderful umbrella site under the heading of " The Bridgeblogging Bloggers ", at least 15 have failed to post a single article since June 18th 2010. Indeed, some had stopped publishing as far back as October 2007. Such a shame as many had a real talent for blogging.
So what can be the likely reasons for throwing in the towel on what can be a very cathartic, challenging and enjoyable experience ? Well, I can only surmise the following possibilities :
1. Inevitable loss of enthusiasm when the novelty wears off.
2. The soul destroying realisation that your blog is just one of many ( millions ) in a cyber-universe that is expanding by the day.
3. The lack of interest shown by readers when the comment box remains empty time and time again.
4. The not knowing if huge numbers are reading your blog on a regular basis, or just a few once in a blue moon.
5. New priorities and interests which require you to give up your blogging time.
6. The immense amount of time and effort needed to create and find new stuff to write about.
7. A developing fear that the whole process is all a complete waste of time and energy.
So what then makes Howard Bigot-Johnson carry on with his blog like there is no tomorrow ? Well, I put that question to him and his reply mentioned several motivating factors :
- Vanity..........the need to make a name for himself
- A sense of duty to fulfil a quest : to expose the bridge world as it really is
- Hedonism over altruism
- Spite
- A voyage of self-discovery.....where his " other selves " were free to roam ........once the strait-jacket of conformity had now been removed
- The love of bridge.....but the hatred of those who not only seem to be destroying the game, but who selfishly continue undermine a player's ability to enjoy the experience
On hearing all this I genuinely felt the man was a crackpot with a truly warped sense of humour. Yet there was so much about him that intrigued me. How long he will manage to keep his blog going.....who knows...... but this complex man of multiple selves........ has all the right credentials for producing multiple posts.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

  • At Long Last Bridge Is Making A Comeback .....Renee Sance
  • What I Really Like About My Partner...............Sue Paddick
  • So What If I'm Loose With My Ethics................Ima Trollop
  • He's A Dangerous Player When He Comes From Behind.....Ria Dorman
  • Partner, It Does Pay To Squeak A Bit More.......Rusty Hinges
  • You Can Tell Which Bridge Players Have B.O....Farrah Mones
  • Old Bridge Books ? Neither A Borrower............Nora Lenderby
  • Partner, No more Clangers Please !..................Belle Ringer
  • Spring Congress Finally Comes To Life.............Teresa Green
  • My Ears Are Hurting , Partner !........................Danielle Soloud

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

This particular disorder is so common within the bridge fraternities across the world that it seems incredible that the scale of the problem has yet to be recognised or acknowledged. Indeed if every bridge club was a ocean then it would be overrun with small insignificant fish, simply there for consumption of others.
These minnows are the Jonahs of the bridge world, who are swallowed whole ( time and time again ) by the predatory sharks and monster whales that lurk in the deep. As a result they quickly develop this rather disturbing complex. Thankfully, at the end of every session all the small fry players get ejected and spat out from the bellies of these deadly hunters.......only to return as fish fodder the next time they choose to enter the water.
The Jonah Complex is in effect an extreme type of inferiority complex, where victims ( just like Jonah in the biblical story ) see themselves as being fearful, inadequate, non-achieving players..................ordinary, humble, men and women of no significance, cursed and overwhelmed by their defeatist attitudes. The refuse to believe that it is possible to compete against heavy weight opponents, by adopting a mind set based on confidence, determination and measured aggression.
However, unlike Jonah who managed to fulfil God's wish and become a force to be reckoned with, these modern day Jonahs seem more than happy to keep on swimming against the tide, and straight into the mouths of those lying in wait . Their ability to be sucked in so easily has astounded my profession to such an extent, we feel that if bridge players read the bible more often they just might well see the error of their ways. The Jonah story is one of self-discovery after adversity. It should not be used as the basis for a psycho-analyst to seek out a suitable label for a very serious and distressing disorder.
BIGOT'S ULTIMATE TRIUMPH................ ( A nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
Bigot as usual was giving Percy Pantopod a really hard time at the Walnut Tree Allotment BC. For months he had been plaguing him with hate mail, poison pen letters and verbal insults. And even when poor Percy left the club to walk home through the woods, Bigot was stalking him from behind with malice aforethought. Suddenly, out of the shadows popped a small genie.
" Percy ", said the genie, "......... you can go first to make two wishes........ which I guarantee will come true . "
Percy thought for quite a while, removing Bigot completely from his mind.
" Well...first off.....I would like to have such amazing sex appeal that I become irresistible to women. And secondly....I would like the only other bridge players in the world to be young gorgeous looking females. "
" Done..." replied the obliging genie, who then turned his attention to Bigot-Johnson.
" Okay's your turn now......what two wishes would you like to make. "
As it happened, Bigot had been closely listening in to the conversation between Percy and the genie. So it didn't take him long to realise what answers were needed.
" For my first wish I would like Percy never to be a dealt a decent hand, and my other wish is for him to turn into a raging puff ! "
( The following is a little snippet from a murder trial in which Bigot-Johnson was eventually found guilty of manslaughter, after his lawyer successfully established a defence of diminished responsibilty. )
Judge : Will the defendant Bigot-Johnson please rise........You sir have been found guilty of unlawful manslaughter after throwing an opponent out of an upstairs window to his death...........just because he successfully bid and made 7 spades. So before I pass sentence, is there anything you would like to say to the court other than " bugger " ?
Bigot-Johnson : Yes your honour......there is something I need to mention in my defence, which my arsehole of a lawyer managed to completely overlook. What would any sane rational man think if put in the same situation, when an arrogant and obnoxious opponent manages to pull off a 7 spades doubled redoubled miracle on a combined 5 count ? ...... Well, I felt quite justified in taking the view that if this smug bastard can walk on water..... he can certainly walk on air !

Monday, 10 January 2011

( Another short story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
Two gay bridge players decided to go away for a camping weekend. One was an all-seeing expert at the game : the other was a blinkered academic who thought he could play. During the night, the expert turned to his partner and said : " I'm a little perturbed.........I want you to look up into the sky, and tell me what strikes you as obvious ? "
His narrow sighted partner thought long and hard, such was his desperation to impress his friend with his all round knowledge and intellect.
" Astronomically, there has to be millions of galaxies, and potentially billions of planets. "
" Yes...."
" Theologically, there has to be a God who is great, and that we as human beings are small and insignificant. "
" Yes....."
" And meteorologically, there are clear signs that we will have a cold night..... but a bright sunny day tomorrow. "
The expert was truly amazed at what he had just heard.
" Well ", he said " ....Yet again you have demonstrated what a complete tosser you are. Just as you always do at the card table........... you fail to see the obvious. "
" What other conclusions could I have possibly drawn ? " came the puzzled and whimpering reply.
" The one perhaps that some bloody arsehole has stolen our tent ! "
  • What To Look For When Protecting Partner.....Johnny D. Spencer
  • How To Reach Those Elusive Slams..................Wanda Bidds
  • The TD Really Upset My Partner..................... .Zoe Wentholme
  • The Art Of Exchanging One Loser For another....Bart Erin
  • When I Get excited, I Wet Myself......................Lee Cage
  • TDs To make Up Their Own Rules......................Candice B. A. Laud
  • Where's God When I Need Him ?........................Agnes Tick
  • These Two Opponents Might Well Blow Us Over....Gus T. Wynns
  • Excuse me ! That Seat Is Mine............................Terry Torielle
  • That Bottom Needs To Be Checked.....................Seymour Brown
CAN YOU READ MY HAND............. ( A short story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
With her husband now working in the far East , Sylvia Swamp was immediately on the look out for an active replacement. So when this 58 year old Mae West lookalike plonked herself down at the table, the two young men present had just cause to be worried. After removing the cards from the first board, Sylvia studied her hand very closely. Her face was now a picture of delight.
" Whoever can guess what's in my hand, you can have rampant unending sex with me for the next few months. "
Not overly thrilled at the prospect, both sensibly said nothing. A minute passed by, but still no one answered.
" Come on ", she urged, " Just make a guess. "
" Okay..." sighed her reluctant, but extremely polite opponent, " I'll have a wild stab.................. it's a hand with a 10 card spade suit, with three outside Aces . "
Everyone laughed, but then the slightly off-put Sylvia looked closely at her hand once more. And seconds later she was smiling again. Slowly but surely she moved towards him. Then, with her lips pressed against his delicate ear, she gently whispered : " Not quite right.......but close enough...."

Friday, 7 January 2011

( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson )
In a recent division 4 intercity league match, I was declarer in 6S, and on receiving an awkward seven of hearts opening lead I felt compelled to go up with dummy's Ace.
Well, there I was in a 22 point slam, but my erroneous thinking led me to believe the contract was there : 2 outside Aces, 3 club ruffs in dummy to go along with my seven trumps. However, my intended line of play completely exposed my blindness to the obvious........and what happened at the table.
At trick two, I played the king of spades. Both defenders followed suit ( or so I thought ! ). Then came the Ace of clubs, followed a low club which was ruffed in dummy. Now back to hand with a ruff of a heart. Oops...... my 9 of spades was over-ruffed by my LHO's queen, and a diamond return sealed my fate.
Now I had to report back to my team-mates about my reckless loss of 13 imps, bracing myself for the flak that was surely coming my way. But lo and behold, it emerged that an opposition pair had arrived at the same contract only to misplay the end as well. Unbelievably ..... it ended up a flat board, with little happening in the way of recriminations. It was left to me to contemplate my own demise.
However, the trigger was effectively pulled when my partner astutely pointed out that there was a much better way of playing the contract on the lead of the heart. All I had to do was play of two rounds of trumps ending in dummy. Then on the play of the heart queen simply pitch away my losing diamond. It matters not a jot which opponent takes the trick with the heart king. Whatever suit the is returned, I take the trick knowing that two trumps in dummy are there to deal with 2 club losers, with the established jack of hearts to dispose of the third club.
Why I didn't see that line of play at the time I just don't know.
Someone hand me that gun after all............................
RECOGNISING THE BEST LINE OF PLAY...... ( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson )
Some players have a natural gift for quickly recognising the best line of play, when 3 or 4 options are open. This was a particular hand in question :
North : K10......Kx............AJxx.......Qxxxx
South : AQ.....AQJ109x....Kx.........Axx
One of the top players at my local club was asking a few of us in the bar, how we would have gone about steering home a small slam in hearts , after receiving a spade lead.
At his table, his errant partner chose to take the spade in hand, draw trumps, and then play the K/A of diamonds before ruffing a low one in hand. If ( as hoped ) the queen fell in three rounds, then a small losing club could be parked on the established jack. However, by putting all his eggs in this one basket he ended up with egg on his face, when an opponent turned up with queen to four. One off.... with a glum face to boot.
So my offer was to play a low club at trick 2 away from the Ace, with the intention of playing low from dummy if the king did not appear on declarer's left. This line of play caters for a stiff king or doubleton king in either hand. However, should the king of clubs fail to appear when the Ace is played next, then the diamond finesse still offered a good chance of securing 12 tricks. But this answer failed to impress the maestro. Why I do not know, for it takes a brave defender on declarer's left not to play the king from Kxx, in the belief that declarer also intends to play low from dummy !
Well, apparently, it is technically correct to try clubs first, by leading low towards the queen. If the club king is to the left all your problems are solved, whether it is played or not. If however, the king is sitting off-side ready to pounce on the queen, then again it is back to the diamond finesse. This line of play gives declarer a 75% chance of making.
LAW REPORT : R v. PUN ( 2011 )
( For a second time Pun was brought before the Crown Court to face charges, relating to his obscene publications on the infamous Howard Bigot-Johnson's Bizarre World of Bridge blog. Having survived the first case by the skin of his teeth, this latest attempt to avoid a custodial sentence was to prove a much sterner challenge......and there was no Baroness Gloria Leveridge ( formerly Stitz) to help him out. So having decided to take a leaf out of Bigot-Johnson's book on court room tactics, Pun decided to defend himself. An extract from the trial's transcript appears below. )
Prosecutor : I put it to you Pun..... that thousands of bridge blog readers have been outraged by your lewd, depraved and disgusting double entendres. You have created hundreds of suggestive book titles, using fictitious authors whose names have the most explicit sexual connotations. Your material is both vile and disgusting, having little or no reference to bridge whatsoever, causing readers to be both astounded and reviled. So many of your unsavoury sexual innuendos have led to a deluge of complaint letters to various censoring authorities.
Pun : I'm innocent....I'm not depraved in any way........all my double entendres appear accidentally........I just can't help just keeps slipping out every now and again.........often taking me by surprise
P : But surely as a writer you are capable of editing your own work before finally putting it to print ?
Pun : Bigot, my boss, is an axeman, and he doesn't allow me any time to make corrections. He always asks me at the last minute for articles, setting impossible deadlines, and threatening me to do with in with his immense chopper if I fail to meet them.
P : Really Pun......using such words like've put yourself into a right big hole....
( Suddenly, a ring tone from a mobile echoes around the courtroom )
Pun : Excuse me.....I need to answer this urgent call.....something big has reared its head ! It's I'll need to take it outside.......
( Pun exits the courtroom only to appear several minutes later )
Judge : Who the hell have you been talking to ?
Pun : It was my distressed girlfriend......I don't like to leave her behind I've arranged to get across to her as soon as this trial is over. She desperate for me to get started on her front.
Judge : What the blue blazes are you on about.....I need to get to the bottom of this.
Pun : No problem....I'm more than happy to fill you in.....You see..... it's her husband.......he doesn't want me on this job. So now that he's out, I'll have to call round at the house, and come in through the back door. She says it's always safer if I use the rear entrance.
P : Your honour....can't you see he's even prepared to use filthy, crude, vile double-entendres even in this hallowed courtroom !
Judge ( laughing ) : I'm sorry ...I quite beside myself...his language tickles me pink...
P : Come again........?
Judge :'re as bad as he is........but before proceeding further, tell me Pun......why have you turned up to this hearing in just your tatty jeans and T-shirt ....
Pun : Well, that's because the job I've been asked to do is a filthy one.......laying down tarmac on her front....
Judge : Will there be any left over.....I could do with some ?
Pun : where you like your hot asphalt ?
P : That's it.....I've had enough of all this vulgarity......I'm tossing off somewhere quiet.... to calm down.....
Judge : Well, if that is the case, I'm treating the trial as over. Case dismissed.
Pun : Thank God for that....I'm off now to see to my woman.......she's lives near Bawtry
Judge : Are you intending to go all the way ?
Pun : Yes I am .....why ...are you after a lift in that direction ?
Judge : Indeed I am....what a fine upstanding member of the public you are. You have a true gift with words. I'm willing to blow your horn anyday.....
Pun : Wow....there's no flies on you m'lud...
Judge : Oww....what a cocky little man you are....
Pun : Hey, you're even better at these double entendres than me....
Judge : Come now.....that is pushing it a bit too far....
This remarkably common disorder is named after Idis, the wife of Lot who was turned into a pillar of salt. According to the bible she suffered this terrible fate because of her disobedience........ which resulted from her longing to return to the past. The story goes that Sodom and Gomorrah were about to be destroyed, but Lot was told By God to flee with his family to a place of safety. The angel in fact warned everyone " not to look back.....lest they be consumed ".
However Idis did look back because of her longing and regret. Her mind had not moved onto the future, being totally fixated on the past. Her retrogressive state of mind clearly affected her judgement. Therefore by choosing to disobey a clear instruction from above, she was made to pay the ultimate price.
Today we see disorder affecting large numbers of bridge players. Their retrogressive state of minds cause them to look back at previous hands with a real sense of longing and regret, rather than focusing on the hand in question. The previous hands are still preying on their minds. They long for the chance to replay them, wondering whether the mistakes they made could have been avoided. Despite being told by partner " to forget about it and move on ", they can't. Victims of Retrogressive Idis are compelled to dwell on the past, and in doing so decide to ignore their partners' wisdom and advice. Unable therefore to focus on the " here and now ", further mistakes at the table become inevitable, which really cause their partners to consider violent retribution. This of course puts victims into a heightened state of fear, where body paralysis sets in. So to those looking on victims seem completely transfixed......with heads locked in a turned position.
Without doubt this particular affliction is very self-destructive, belonging to a dangerous group of obsessive compulsive disorders. Bridge players who succumb to this affliction can not stop themselves dwelling on past hands where their mistakes brought about a succession of bad scores. The irony is that this overwhelming need to look back becomes the very reason why further bad scores will follow, providing them with even more mistakes to reflect upon.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Carp : Thank you Dr.John for granting me a few minutes of your precious time.....such a privilege and honour to meet you.
Dr.J : My pleasure....
Carp : Well, may I begin by getting down to this claim of yours, which is voiced in the title of your new book " Bridge Players Aren't Normal "..........that anyone who plays bridge is therefore, by inference, abnormal.
Dr. J : No, what I am alluding to is that once a normal person sits down to play bridge they soon display aspects of abnormal behaviour. You must recognise that psychological definitions of abnormality revolve around a handful of generally agreed-upon criteria. These have been classified as the 4Ds : distress, deviance, dysfunction and danger.
Carp : what you are saying is that these behavioural indicators can be seen in abundance inside any bridge club one cares to visit ?
Dr. J : Yes, without doubt. I've witnessed the distress of many players whenever they have registered bad board, or have failed to live up to their own, or partner's, expectations. I've seen the deviant methods and lengths some players will resort to in order to obtain a top. Players who can't cope, or keep control of their emotions. Then, as dysfunctional behaviour becomes more acute they can turn themselves into hideous and dangerous monsters.
Carp : My God....I see your point.....but tell there any other evidence to support your claim ?
Dr. J : Why yes.....abnormality generally involves pain and suffering, one aspect of which is acute and chronic personal suffering. You only have to look at the tortured faces of bridge players, as they play on through a session, to see the agony and distress whenever a poor, or mediocre, score is recorded. The quest for perfection creates for them an intolerable burden, where the stress and strain encountered becomes psychologically damaging. Any failure, no matter how small, causes them to sink further in the abyss of abject despair. However, this despair can manifest itself into real anger, which necessitates them to either beat themselves up....or their partner !
Carp : And are there any more dimensions to their abnormality ?
Dr. J : Glad you asked that....yes...there is one very common criterion, which is irrationality. Bridge players almost immediately adopt bizarre, illogical beliefs about the world they find themselves in. They develop persecution complexes where everyone is out to get them. The devil has somehow fixed the way the cards have been dealt. Dark forces conspire against them. Partner has become the enemy. Such is the extent of self-denial, their mistakes at the table have to be explained away by a whole host of external factors, many of which are the product of their over active imaginations.
Carp : Fascinating stuff..............
Dr. J : But what really proves my claim is that abnormality has a moral dimension, and the sad truth is that many bridge players develop a habit of rejecting moral values, they normally hold dear. In pursuit of tops they will look to break or circumvent rules, and dispense with ethical considerations which might restrict the way they want to bid or play the cards. They will violate moral standards, disregarding social etiquette in the process. Not surprisingly, illegal, immoral, and undersirable behaviour.........all aspects of abnormal behaviour .......becomes commonplace.
Carp : But surely there are all sorts of problems dealing with any definition of abnormality. Who is to say what constitutes normal behaviour in the first place ?
Dr. J : Yes, to an extent, I accept that there is a problem here. However, you have to remember that bridge players outside their world of bridge behave in a very sane and rational way. What is happening when then sit down to play bridge is nothing more than the Jekyll and Hyde effect. They change....dramatically. So much so the distiction between normal and abnormal becomes clearly obvious. Ancient Greeks saw abnormality as the onset of a general malaise.....they were right.
Carp : Well..on that note I think we should adjourn for a coffee break....
Dr. J : Yes, that's alright with long as you're paying....