Sunday, 27 February 2011

BIGOT TAKES HIS FIRST ACADEMY BRIDGE CLASS........... ( The irrepressible Bigot-Johnson has now turned his hand to teaching those blessed with flair and potential to excel at the game. His first teaching goal though was to get across to his students the most essential skill that a bridge player needs. )
" Well've already had a look at the basics of bidding and card play, but this lesson is all about the importance of observation and recall.
You cannot afford to miss anything you see, or anything you hear. Take note of all the bidding. The inadvertent tells of your opponents comments, body language and facial expressions. Take note of the order in which they play their cards, their signalling methods, what suits they lead and what suits they don't lead. Every little detail and inference you can glean about a board enables you to build up the big picture of where the missing cards might be. You must overlook nothing.
So allow me to give you a little demonstration..................In front of me I have a glass of rat's urine. I see that it's yellow. I can detect its putrid smell, and no doubt the taste of it will be utterly revolting. "
The students gasped in sheer belief when Bigot proceeded to dip his finger into the liquid only to put it straight into his mouth. Then, without warning he suddenly pointed to a young man to join him at the front of the class.
" You sir must repeat exactly what I said and what I did ."
The poor distraught student was horrified at the thought of missing out on even the smallest detail, but he decided to give it his best shot. Remarkably, he remembered almost word for word Bigot's preamble but now came the finger tasting bit of the demonstration. He slowly and carefully dipped his finger into the liquid. Then in a flash he lifted it out, quickly plunging the dripping yellow stained digit straight into his mouth.
" Now " , smirked Bigot, " that was very interesting. Here I am talking about the importance of observation and recall, yet this idiot failed to notice something so glaringly obvious. You see.... I dipped my second finger into the urine, but it was my third finger which I put into my mouth. "

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Owing to a deluge of complaints under " reported abuse ", this now infamous blog has been told to publish a warning that some of its contents may contain traces of smut.
Therefore, if you are a reader with a delicate or sensitive disposition, then you would be well advised to desist from reading anything else on this blog. By taking this much needed advice, you will of course avoid the risk of encountering traumatic shock and distress.
The editorial riff raff responsible for the numerous " smutty " comments, crude double entendres, and random outbursts of toilet humour, do not accept any responsibility whatsoever if readers ( who choose to ignore this warning ) find themselves reviled and outraged by what they unearth. In fact we do not intend to apologise for any of the naughty stuff that we have launched into the cyberworld, because hell fire.......this is the only damn thing we are any good at.
Yes, we're quirky alright.......a tad risque .......a little of the wall.......but we certainly can't help it if we have a reputation for being queer. Folks always get the wrong end of the stick, as they did over Bigot-Johnson's first foray into writing children's books, with his inspired " Roger The Cabin Boy " adventure story.
REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.......................
Dear Rebecca,
For many years now I play with the same people, having a regular partner for each Thursday of the month. One of them is a nice enough player, but sadly his bridge has not moved on. Our results have gone from bad to worse to bloody awful, and he's not doing my overall average any good at all. I can't remember the last time when we came above half-way.
What I need from you is some advice on how to let him down gently , and move him aside for someone half decent. But so far, I have fonnd it very difficult to broach the subject of cancelling our monthly arrangement, knowing how much it would upset him. Any suggestions ?
Yours feeling lost and helpless, Sasha Coward
Dear Sasha,
What are you ? A woman or a mouse ?
Who cares if your partner ends up feeling slightly aggrieved. Just think of all the pain he's inflicted on you over these years, with his wooden play and lack of ability.
Cut that umbilical cord. Heavens above, ditching partners in bridge is common practice, and what's more you don't have to go through any divorce proceedings. Hell, I got rid one of my partners just recently. Despite being a reasonable player, he turned out to be a real needy type, constantly seeking attention and emotional support . It was always destined to be an ill-fated mixed parnership. I was human. He was a cling-on.
So why not take my lead and ditch the sad loser.
Yours as always ruthlessly Rood

Friday, 25 February 2011

  • I Love To Drive Off With All The Prizes....................Laurie Lode
  • The SOS Redouble....................................................May Day
  • What the Hell Is Up With My Game ?........................Norma Lee O'Kaye
  • Sorry Partner, I've Been A Bit Pushy........................Dixon Tudeep
  • Bridge Is A Game For The Upper Middle Class..........Wyatt Coller
  • The One Player You Would Always Back To Win.......Evan Munny
  • I've Got A Recording Of That Match..........................D. V. Dee
  • Avoid Criticism : Find Yourself A Secret Place.........Heidi Hole
  • It's Time To Get Serious, Partner..............................Joaquin Hasside
  • I Owe My Success To A Lucky Sixpenny Piece..........Arthur Shilling
  • I've Got Nothing Left To Give, Partner......................M.T. Vessel
  • In Most Cases Shape Matters More Than Size............Ivor Bellend
In bridge the word bottom is used in so many different ways. The so called Devil's Dictionary has clearly failed to get to the bottom of all its possible meanings. But after much research Tabatha ( God bless her soul ) has come up with the following:
Bottom :
(a) the worst score
(b) the place from where partner's brains have been relocated, which helps explain why he/she was accountable for the above
(c) the most suitable part of your partner's anatomy on which to leave your foot-print
(d ) a character from Shakespeare, which your partner has clearly set out to emulate
(e) what lazy bastards like to permanently park on designated " sitting seats ", often securing the privilege under false pretences in order to increase their chances of avoiding a sit out
(f) a black hole, the deep abyss, or the pits, as in "rock bottom" , when a player experiences a sense of utter despair over his partner's failure to secure even an average score
Idioms :
1. To scrape the bottom - being obliged to partner a useless player because all the good ones have been accounted for
2. Bottoms up - a position that results from partner being asked to bend over in order for you to deliver a foot-print upon the exposed part of his anatomy
3. Bottom up approach - a standard manoeuvre employed by most gay bridge players
4. To touch bottom - an invitational bid used by one gay bridge player to elicit a response from another
5. Bottom line - the basic truth all useless players need to told about themselves
6. Bottom of the bag - the trump card all good players hold in reserve
7. Bottom out - the level to which all inept bridge players will sink to, destined to remain there forever
8. Bottom dollar - a wager a player will confidently make about his/her inept partner failing to steer home a difficult contract
9. Getting to the bottom of - a Spanish Inquisition into how and why your partner managed to go off in 3NT on a combined 31 count
10. Knock the bottom out of - to comprehensively invalidate any argument or excuse your pathetic partner puts up, when he attempts to avoid any responsibility for going down in 3NT on 31 points

Thursday, 24 February 2011

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG..........................
Dear Rebecca,
Is it possible to get good scores when up against top pairs in my club ? I never seem able to. They always manage to land in the best spots, and take the maximum number of tricks available. And in defence they are merciless.
Is there anything I can do to redress this great imbalance between my average ability and their infinite talent, skill and experience ?
Yours fast losing the will to play on, Joan
Dear Joan,
If top class players have the cards, they will usually end up in the best contracts. Armed with any information you provided them in the early rounds of the bidding, they will inevitably maximise their trick haul despite your best defence. Just keep quiet and give them little them as little information as you can, or better still provide them with misinformation if you are brave enough to psyche.
However, should you and your partner be blessed with all the high cards, then be prepared to pass the hand out. It will be fatal to bid. Firstly, any bidding by you will allow them to get in damaging lead directing bids, obstructive weak jump overcalls, and bids showing highly distributional two-suited hands. Often you will pushed up to a level which is just too high, or perhaps persuaded to sign off in an inadequate or inferior contract.
Moreover, every bid you make simply provides them with information they will use against you in finding that killing defence. So you will be amazed at the number of occasions your complete silence will result in above average scores. And remember also that " passed out " hands free you from all that fear, stress and tension you will experience, if you insist on wanting to play out hands as declarer.
Yours knowing out to shaft anybody, Rebecca
THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY................................

Top : something a player blows when his/her partner gifts one to the opponents

Misdirection : a term used to describe a situation when

( a) players at the start of a tournament are assigned to the wrong seats

(b) when TDs fail to explain to an aggrieved player, who has fallen victim to an opponent's irregularity, all the options he/she has available, or recites a whole load of incorrect ones

(c) when money, after being generously bequeathed to a bridge governing body, say for instance the ACBL, to finance a project in the deceased's name, ends up either being spent on different things, or not spent at all

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

BRIDGE ADDICTION FROM DOWN UNDER......... ( a nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
Old Joe really loved his bridge despite being a player who, after 40 years of trying, still never managed to pull off a big win. But on one this one unbelievable occasion, he suddenly found himself on a roll, securing one top after another. Then all of a sudden he felt a sharp bite on the back of his leg, only to keel over onto the floor writhing in pain.
A doctor was immediately summoned.
" Bugger me, Joe, " he sighed, " you've been bitten by the deadliest spider around . You're a goner. "
" Strewth ", said Joe, " how long do you reckon I've got ? "
" I'm sorry to tell you cobber.....but I guess around 5 minutes . "
" Strewth.... "
" Listen mate, let me get your wife on the phone......... you've got this one last chance to say goodbye ........and a perhaps few tender loving words ? "
" No bloody way......just help me back into my seat............I've been dealt a ripper of a hand..... and there's no way I'm missing out on this one ! "

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


  • Bare queen : a transvestite player who finds himself the victim of an elegant stripping procedure
  • Pole position : an essential prerequisite before embarking upon an entry making manoeuvre
  • Handicap : a name given to one's partner who is worse than useless
  • 4th highest : the smallest player at the table
  • Claim : a right that all obstreperous, territorially-minded, players impose upon others, with regards to a particular seat at a certain table
  • Handicap event : one in which every good player is obliged to partner an inept, error prone bumbledog

Sunday, 20 February 2011

( Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
It was the night of the Walnut Tree Allotment BC Swiss Pairs with big prize money at stake. The two top pairs now faced each other in the last round . Reporting on what happened was North, well groomed in the art of writing up bridge articles in the dark noir style of Raymond Chandler.
Six boards in with honours even. Everything now came down to this one last deal. My partner Max sitting South was in 3NT. The opening lead was the spade 4.
He could see that any who were in 4H were doomed to go one off, with two major suit kings to lose, a top club and a spade ruff. 3NT had real possibilities. Time for careful reflection. So he didn't move a muscle. And if he drew a full breath, it was a secret to all those looking on. Kibitzers sat motionless. nobody made a sound.
West, a sultry long legged woman, looked straight at my partner with her blue piercing eyes and smiled pleasantly. She had caressed this card running her soft delicate fingers over it several times, before exposing it on the table.
Opposite her was Sadie, a cold calculating woman, who for once gave way to a wry smile, as she carefully wound one of her lax curls on the back of her neck. Dummy played the 5, East the 7, and declarer the queen.
Then came declarer's Ace of hearts followed by 3 rounds of diamonds ending in dummy, with East discarding a heart.
Max paused for a moment for quiet reflection. He sat still, deathly still, with his chin on his chest. Suddenly, a nice touch of melancholy registered on his face. The queen of hearts hit the table and in a flash his Ace of spades disappeared under it !
West remained impassive. When a spider has a fly in her net, it is just a matter of time before the execution is carried out. She lifts the king of hearts delicately, gravely, before placing it on the table to smother the queen.
But now her cold disdainful expression set a shiver down my spine. Poor Max. She cashed the King of spades and the Ace of clubs, exiting with a low club.
My partner's eyes tried to focus on what was happening, but they were vague and empty, as if the lights behind them had died. He took hold of the arms of his chair, with his white knuckles straining with the fear of what was to come.
Sadie's dark red lips slowly parted as if to inflict the kiss of death. Max was in a sweat. And when she also played a low club , partner was ready for the ground to open up and swallow him whole. He was now end played having to lead his Q10 of clubs into the jaws of Sadie's KJ. Broken and dejected , he got up and slipped away from the table, with a poignant shrug of the shoulders. Then he sloped off into foggy damp of a cold dark night.
The kibitzers looked on some, lost in amazement others dumbstruck with admiration. The two deadly assassins now turned their attention towards me, but beneath the veneer of sympathetic condolences lurked a warm bitterness like poisoned honey.
" Your partner has much to learn ", Sadie purred, " people who underestimate the female species only do so at their peril ".
I nodded like an automata dog. I couldn't think of anything else to do.
A nearly true story of how a bridge addict came to meet his maker. When walking home on foot, he decided to take a short cut across some open fields. All of a sudden he felt a sudden but overwhelming urge to sit down ( there and then ) to read his favourite bridge book.
Photo supplied by Bridgemeister Gibson

Saturday, 19 February 2011

A SOULFUL LOOK INTO HOW ADDICTIVE BRIDGE CAN BE......... ( By Bridgemeister Gibson )
There were 3 men and they all died in a car crash and went to hell. When they got there the devil asked them all in turn a question.
To the first he said " What were you addicted to on earth? ".
" Well, I have to admit ", the man replied, " I was very much addicted to alcohol ".
So the devil showed the man to a room full of alcohol of every type and description and he put the man inside and said, " see you in 100 years ".....and locked the door.
To the second man he asked the same question and the man replied, " Oh, I was addicted to sex with any woman who was up for it ".
So the devil took the man and showed him to a room full of hundreds upon hundreds of gorgeous and beautiful naked woman. The man ran inside and the devil said " see you in a 100 years......and locked the door.
The third man's answer to the question was " Oh...I was completely addicted to bridge ".
The devil looked surprised, but nevertheless he showed the man to a plush room packed full of card tables, with the most amazing gathering of top class players in attendance. The man went inside and the devil locked the door after saying " see you in 100 years".
100 years later the devil came by to let the three men out. He opened the door to the first man's room and found a man, albeit sober one, collapsed on the ground in terrible distress. " That was hell....please, please .......I beg you......don't ever let me near another alcoholic drink again ! "
The devil opened the 2nd man's door, and a physical wreck of a man came running out screaming " That was bastard....and let me tell you from this moment on I intend to be celibate ".
Finally, the devil came to the third man's room and opened the door. Sitting at a table with 3 others, the man was clearly struggling to read the faded images on the grubby, dog-eared, tatty looking cards in his hand. " WHAT.....BACK SO SOON........but hey, while you are here, earn your keep and go fetch us a box full of new packs................and throw in a few extra scorecards and pencils as well ".
A nearly true story of what happened to a mate of mine, who foolishly chose to put a bridge match ahead of taking his wife out on their wedding anniversary.
( Photo supplied by Bridgemeister Gibson )

Thursday, 17 February 2011

IT'S A FACT : BRIDGE PLAYERS ARE AN ODD BUNCH .......... ( An extract from Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber's latest research paper )
There's no escaping this unpalatable truth.....bridge players are ODD. All my research has shown that, in the main, male bridge players are simply children but of a larger growth. Playing games even in adulthood is the pastime that still gives them the most pleasure. Yet strangely, the pleasure doesn't come from the sublime and abstract beauty that one associates with bridge, but from the opportunities that the game gives them to behave like a child.
This retarded development is often the result of an Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Usually associated with children, especially those in the " terrible twos " and the " early teens ", victims become hell bent on defying authority at every turn. Sadly, for many bridge players this odd and disturbing behaviour has never gone away. Bridge simply inspires such behaviour to resurface...... but with a vengeance. Indeed, the adult form of ODD is so serious and so damaging, some sufferers have been compelled by the courts to attend anger management courses.
So what are the classic symptoms of ODD ? Well, from weeks of observational study I can reveal the following aspects of their childish, petulant and uncooperative behaviour :
- throwing repeated temper tantrums
- refusing to play to an agreed system card or listen to partner's pleas
- flouting all the club's rules regarding best behaviour and acceptable codes of dress
- telling TDs what part of their anatomy they can stick their rulings up
- excessive arguing ( especially with those who possess superior knowledge and/or status )
- ignoring all requests made by opponents for bidding information and adherence to table etiquette
Quite a list, wouldn't you say. But as for the causes of this odd behaviour, I tend to support that school of thought which believes that it is all down to the defects and injuries to certain parts of the brain, often present at birth through the genetic inherited genes from family members, with a history of mental illnesses. These illnesses often involve severe mood swings, extreme anxiety and personality disorders, exacerbated of course by social and environmental factors such as the dysfunctional family, and a lawless neighbourhood.
My theory as to why so many bridge players display odd behaviour stems from the fact that bridge clubs are nothing more than theatres of the absurd. Places where every one is participating in a play, which without a script or competent director inevitably transcends into an unreal, totally dysfunctional lunacy. Therefore such conditions are absolutely conducive to bringing out man's inner rebellious child, to enjoy once again the pleasure from behaving like a brat, or an unrestrained and untamed beast. Indeed, within the theatres of the absurd, anyone can choose to play whatever demon part they like.
Bigot-Johnson ( a visionary in my eyes ) describes the world of bridge as bizarre, where players behave in strange and mysterious ways. Bridge for him is like living in the realm of the unreal, where most of the inhabitants suffer from oppositional defiant disorders. A group in which he clearly includes himself, yet in doing so he is acting quite out of character......given the fact that most sufferers hide behind the dark protective cloaks of self-denial.
( A nearly true incident as told to Bridgemeister Gibson )

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The funeral dad been rearranged for the last sunday of the month, and the vicar had expected a big turn out. The deceased was a well liked and extremely popular member of the local bridge club, and the church was almost buried under floral tributes.
The clock on the wall chimed 2 o'clock, the scheduled start time for the service, but hardly a soul was present inside the church. Even his loving wife and close friends were absent.
" Surely, this man deserved a better send off than this ? " queried the vicar, " Howcome there so few people here paying their last respects ? "
So the perturbed man of the cloth approached a gaunt looking gentleman sitting alone on the front row of the pews.
" Where is everybody ? .....Do you know what's happened to them ? " asked the vicar.
The young man leaned forward with a stern look etched upon his face.
" It's all your bloody fault. Why you had to move the service to the very Sunday the club runs its annual mixed pairs event is beyond me ! "

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

BRIDGE ADDICTION IS A TERRIBLE THING........ ( The first of several nearly true stories by Bridgemeister Gibson that reveal the shocking level to which bridge takes over players' lives , in that they become seemingly unable to focus on, or care about, anything else )
Following the death of her husband, who had been her main bridge partner since the day they were married, the distraught and grieving widow nervously approached the club chairman in the bar.
" I know it's at short notice...... but is it possible to put in a few words about Simon in the obituary column of the forthcoming newsletter ? "
" Yes Mona ", said the chairman, " what words would you like to say ? "
" Simon is dead ", she replied.
Startled by abruptness of this message, he tried to persuade her that perhaps a few more words were needed.
" My dear are allowed sufficient space to say whatever you like. Surely, there is something else you would like to readers to know about ? "
Mona paused for a moment or two to reflect upon what the chairman had hinted. " Yes, of course..." she mumbled to herself, realising that it was necessary to say something else .
" Well, Mona.... so what message now have you finally decided upon ? "
" Simon is dead. New partner urgently required. Must be prepared to play benji acol and be of a pleasant disposition ."

- I'm Sorry Partner If I'm Not Up To It Ivor Smallholding is a very frank and moving confession by a struggling player, acutely aware of his limitations and shortcomings.

- My Partner Does Everything At A Orson Ryder is a wonderful account of how to play bridge at a nice steady relaxed pace, even when the pressure is on.

- Even When All Seems Lost, Opponents Can Still Slip Arthur Chance is a delightful little book that explains how players can capitalise even on the smallest errors committed by their opponents, which somehow provide them with heaven sent opportunities to possibly make, and defeat, contracts against all the odds.

- How I Made It Into The Bridge Hall Of Fame.........By Lord Nose Of Coventry is a determined attempt to refute the thousands of unfounded allegations that his nomination had nothing whatsoever to do with the millions of pounds he shelled out as sponsor, to be part of a crack all conquering team of professionals . Moreover, he vehemently denies that his title, which helped pull a few strings in getting the selectors invited to every royal banquet held at Buckingham Palace, had any influence or sway at all in bringing about his well deserved nomination.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

( The scene is Las Vegas , the venue of the World's Pairs Championship, where contestants beam in from all over. Bridge authorities have eliminated cheating in all its forms, with players having to input their system cards into the computer's data control bank for rigorous verification, vetting and approval. Nothing is left to chance or human error. )
Player GB127 enters the North booth. He sits down in a metal chair in front of a table with its flat top touch button keyboard and screen. His partner GB176 is already positioned in the South booth ready to play the first hand in this opening six board 3 hour session. He activates his system card , and a screen message pops up giving clearance for use. No rogue convention violations to report here.
A sharp high pitched tone announces the start of the session. North surveys his hand, but it is West to bid first. His " one club " bid appears on North's screen but with the " red alert " light flashing repeatedly. He gently touches the " decipher " button. Instantly, the screen reveals 3 pages of possible meanings from this multi-17 way bid. With so much material to wade through, North sighs in despair. Unsure as to what to do, he touches the " help " button which flags up the opponents' recommended defences to such a bid. Again, the details provided on the screen resemble unintelligible gobbledigook, far too complex to comprehend. Eventually, he decides on one of his own crude defensive options, being the weak 2-level jump overcall, despite the fact his hand doesn't quite fit this system bid.
East looks scornfully at North's 2H call. Checking its credentials on screen it appears to be nothing more than an irritating, space consuming, interference bid. Surely these English simpletons with their straightforward bids are not going to topple two top Americans using their far superior poison gas chamber system ? Yes, 2s is the automatic response here.
South, with a hand brimming full of top spades, wonders what the hell this bid is all about, but with the screen flashing the red alert light he knows full well that the bid is both meaningless and artificial. The "decipher" button confirms that it is an enquiry waiting bid with 7 possibilities regarding its values and shape. Out of curiosity he touches the " help " button to see what countermeasures the opposition have listed as available. The 2 ORDs flagged up make for curious reading being of no relevance at all. He hits the " Big D " button with a confident smile on his face.
West is alarmed over its punitive nature. Thinking what a bastard, the booth's Negative Thought Probe instantly relays the information to the TD auto controller, who places a bold large letter message on his screen. " CODE 2 VIOLATION : PENALTY ONE HALF-TOP ". But West's problem was bigger than this. He had opened on a super-light hand, at least a King short of his system's requirements. Whatever bid he makes now is simply a case of choosing the lesser of 6 evils. After agonising for over 3 minutes he bids 2NT which at least describes his hand as flat.
Simultaneously North and South touch the " time violation " query button, typing in " alleged gross hesitation ". The TD controller instantly responds with the message " VIOLATION CONFIRMED " calculating that the maximum time West was allowed for his bid had been exceeded by 47.5 seconds. Then a ranked list of " RIGHTS OPTIONS " appears on the screen with " EAST TO PASS ON HIS NEXT BID " being the one selected as highly recommended.
North hits the " Big D " button without a moment's thought. East and West duly pass. North reluctantly passes having no where to go. Already the bidding has consumed over 9 minutes of the allotted 30 for the hand. This gave North South 20 minutes to inflict a slow and painful torture upon their hapless opponents. The carnage was brutal as the nightmare prospect of a 1400 penalty became an embarrassing reality.
Within seconds of the final trick being played, the Negative Thought Probes in both the East and West booths went into frenzied over-time, as both these shell-shocked players could not restrained themselves from filling their minds with unrepeatable expletives.
This indeed is bridge in 2400 AD.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

( This group action was brought against this notorious club, when several new members were seeking damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, claiming that none of the statements made in the promotional literature were true. The experience they encountered was completely contrary to all their expectations, causing them to suffer severe mental distress and several nervous break-downs. Bigot-Johnson as owner and chairman of the club elected of course to take on the role of counsel for the defence. An extract from the trial's transcript can be seen below. )
Counsel for the plaintiffs ( CP ) : To what extent Bigot-Johnson was your involvement in writing up this promotional material ?
B-J : Every bit of it was my own work.....arn't you impressed ?
CP : Not at all..... for I have never read anything that contained so many outrageous statements and wicked lies ! Please tell the court Bigot how you described the club.......
B-J : Er... " a very warm and welcoming club "..... " extremely social and friendly "............ " a place where the experience of bridge is simply delightful "................." and where one will never fail to have a thoroughly enjoyable time "
C-P : Yes , yes.....but all this bumph adds up to one great whopping lie, given that the fact that none of these newcomers experienced anything positive....or anything beneficial . Indeed, Whittle .....the poor sod...cannot be with us in court today, as he is still undergoing psychiatric treatment in Doncaster's only remaining mental health asylum.
B-J : Not surprised...he did have a nasty habit of wetting the seats
C-P : ........So it is my contention that you have always known that this club of yours has an infamous reputation for bullying and brutality , obsessed with getting its rank and file members to tow the line. And what's more you and your drones do not give any leeway to beginners, who are prone to making mistakes at the table, simply because of their inexperience and nervousness. Therefore, it is an irrefutable fact that you deliberately packed your promotional literature full of these lies.
B-J : Listen you smart-arse.....what about caveat emptor..... " let the buyer beware " ......these numb skulls knew what they were letting themselves in for. They could hear the screams from above when they were taking their introductory lessons downstairs in the basement.....which I might add should have been sound-proofed ! Those bloody contractors......can I get them to do any job properly ! And what's more those statements were statements of opinion.....not fact. No one in their right mind would ever believe such over-the-top advertising puff. There's no way they could have possibly relied upon them....... in their decision to join up.
Judge : Yes, I can see that.....for anyone who has the misfortune of meeting you, Bigot, should realise immediately that everything you say is utter clap trap.
B-J : That may well be the case........but that proves my point......these so-called intelligent fools clearly chose to join the club out of stupidity and blind recklessness.......and not due to any persuasion on my part. Even if reality of bridge at the Slaughter House did cause these wimps to have mental break-downs.... then none of this had anything to do with me. I'm under no duty whatsoever to forewarn them about the dangers that they would encounter. Does a car salesman advise a potential customer that the car he's interested in could easily kill him......a death-trap on wheels........a money-gobbling machine.......a claustrophobic metal box when stuck in traffic. No....he doesn't.....he just waxes lyrical about the wonderful driving experience that one might have on a sunny day, on an open road, listening to his favourite music ,while driving to a hotel to meet up with a secret lover for an illicit night of unbridled passion and kinky sex.
Judge : By God Bigot.....for once you do have a point. That experience sounds like pure heaven.
B-J : Yes...and it's not the job of a car salesman to undertake a medical diagnosis of a customer to see whether or not they prone to suffering from the physical, financial and mental demands involved with driving.
Judge : You're right.....there are some people in life that are like fish in a barrel........there to be shot at......and airy-fairy, namby bamby, bed wetting, whinging, still-need-their-nappies-changing, helpless weaklings, like Whittle and his gang, clearly fit that description. Case dismissed.
B-J : Well thank God for that.....and please allow me to put you on my Christmas card old bugger you

Friday, 11 February 2011

Bridge players come in all ages, shapes and sizes, not to mention different levels of skill and ability. Yet at the end of the day they can classified into two distinct groups : those who can and those who can't. The following hand illustrates the extent of the gulf between them.
North held : KJ10xx.....AKxxx...QJ....x
South held : AQ8......QJ10.....Axx.....Kxxx
West had all the outstanding honours in his 2-3-3-5 distribution, while his partner was looking down at her 3-2-5-3 yarborough.
Anyway, " those who can't " either ended up in a timid 4S scrambling it home with a trick a spare, or the more sensible 6S going one off and blaming bad luck for their misfortune. Their typical line of play was to eventually take the ten tricks on offer in both majors, pinning their early hopes on East holding either the king of diamonds or the Ace of clubs. Sadly, for them, both these cards were both off-side with the slam doomed to fail.
So now it was the turn of those who can.....and who better to demonstrate the art of playing sensible bridge than myself. Having read everything there is to know about dummy reversals, it was obvious to me right from the start that this line of play was necessary if the risky diamond finesse was to be avoided. Even when a mean and crafty West kicked off with a trump lead, I was still able to put my plan into action.
The lead had to be taken in dummy, in order to lead a club up to the king. It inevitably lost to West's Ace and another trump was fired back which I needed to win in hand. Next came a club ruff, a low heart to my 10, another club ruff, and another heart back to my jack, followed by a final club ruff with dummy's last big trump ( East discarding a useless diamond ).
It was a simple matter now to return to hand with the diamond Ace, extracting East's last spade, and lobbing away dummy's losing diamond in the process. Dummy of course was now high once the heart queen was overtaken by the Ace.
( It was vital for me to return to hand using hearts first, because if I didn't East would throw a heart away on the fourth round of clubs. This would mean I couldn't use a heart now to get back to hand to extract the last trump, since East would have ruffed in. )
Mind you, another player in the " those who can " category did pull off the slam by playing off all his winners in both majors for the first 10 tricks, ending in dummy. West had given the show away by appearing to be ill at ease when having to make discards after trick 5. Eventually, he had to decide between keeping the Kx of diamonds and the stiff Ace of clubs, or baring the king of diamonds so as to keep the AQ of clubs. Declarer had no choice but to keep Ax of diamonds and the king of clubs. At it happened West elected to bare the king of diamonds, and in doing so cursed his misfortune when the alert declarer played the Ace at trick 11.
Often the beauty of this game is in its simplicity.
There are times when I wonder what the hell slow players are thinking about. Sometimes there is nothing to think about. The answer is all too obvious. But no, for slow players there are too many options, and far too many imponderables, to consider. For them the fear of failing to arrive at the correct answer becomes overwhelming. They may be good at problem solving, but not the same can be said about their decision making. People tend to forget that problem solving is all about coming up with good alternatives, but decision making involves having to choose between them.
Slow players when asked to choose between alternatives try to eliminate those that carry the greatest risk of danger, and therefore failure. They seem totally preoccupied by this spectre of failure, being so much more sensitive ( than others ) to the possibility of loss.
When I discussed this phenomenon with Dr. John and other eminent psychologists, they were all in agreement that behaviour of slow players has much more to do with economic theory than anything else. Indeed, this phenomenon of decision paralysis evolves from Kahneman and Tversky's work on Prospect Theory, which earned them a Nobel Prize in 2002.
Prospect Theory explains both why, for instance, bridge players act when they shouldn't, and why they don't act when they should. Curiously, the more choices they have over bids, or cards to play, the more likely they are to do nothing, and the more attractive options there are, the worse the delay or paralysis.
The freedom to choose can cause serious problems. The fear of making a decision they might well come to regret is what brings about this paralysis. As C. Darwin once said " Why does man regret, even though he may endeavour to banish such regret, that he has followed the one natural impulse, rather than the others: and why does he further feel that he ought to regret his conduct ? " The answer is that for the bridge players they might well encounter the wrath of their partners, or the shame that comes with the self-awareness of acting like a moron.
The irony for slow players is that the longer they defer making a decision, the less likely they are to get over the hesitation. Moreover, as they see the rising level of impatience of those looking on, the more they feel compelled to reach the right decision, thereby justifying the time they have taken. Once they have committed so much time, effort and thought into the process, the fear of making a bum decision becomes overwhelming, and so inevitably paralysis sets in.
Can anything be done to change the ways of slow players ? Possibly, if they can be persuaded to take on a different set of values and assumptions. Postponement, passive-aggressiveness and procrastination will never engender confidence in their partners. Poor decisions made quickly and impulsively, may well be criticised, but the criticism will focus far more the rash processing of the response ( and not on the actual response itself ). Slow players need to realise that the cost of doing nothing, and the time lost, far outweighs the cost of making a decision that is "suboptimal". They also need to develop an auto-pilot system that allows them to follow certain rules and maxims, which in many instances actually make the correct decisions for them.
They need, in effect, a whole new approach to decision making, a completely new mental framework that removes the fear factor, banishes any notions of personal regret, focussing far more on the merits of each alternative rather than its risks.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

  • Partner, It's Far Too Dangerous To Psych Against Yule Poppett......a collection of cautionary tales where smart-arsed psychers really got what they deserved
  • Do You Know How To Execute A Squeeze ?......By Avna Clew...... an exquisite little book full of illustrative hands which will help the reader spot all kinds of squeeze opportunities, and how to go about the play in order to exploit them
  • Out to Spike Your Opponents ? Well Don't Just Prod Ria Lee Fawcett-Holme.... a gripping read on a whole range of psychological tactics that many unsavoury players employ to rattle and unnerve their easily intimidated opponents
  • Whenever I Play Badly I Always Turn To Diana Ferst .......a sad and distressing study into the esculating problem of alcohol abuse within the ranks of useless and hopeless bridge players

( Please send your cheques to the Slaughter House Publishing Co, Box 152, Doncaster, England, making sure they are made out to " Howard Bigot-Johnson's Slush Fund ". There is an additional cost of £3.50 on each book ordered, to cover the excessively pricey postage and packing. )

" Yes, yes....I know the membership figures are well down, but we do need to keep a firm lid on this......we just can't afford to panic others into leaving. So I say, let's vote for turning this graph upside down ...."

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

BIGOT'S AT IT AGAIN...................... ( A nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
Not so long ago Bigot's distraught and shell-shocked partner flew off at the end of the session vowing never to return to the club again. Bigot was mortified: she was his only realistic chance of blagging a lift home. Yet sitting there in the corner of the bar was Percy Pantopod. As it turned out his was the only vehicle left in the car park, and what's more his journey home took him by Bigot's house. So using all his best, well honed, groveling and begging techniques, all coated with huge dollops of feigned charm and reconciliation promises, Bigot managed to persuade the initially reluctant Percy to give him a lift.
But it wasn't long before he was screaming at his arch-enemy to put his foot down. As soon as Percy did, they were stopped by a following police car. One of the officers stepped out to have a word with the errant driver.
Officer : I would like to point out sir, you were doing in excess of 50mph in a 30mph speed zone
Percy : No I wasn't....
Bigot : Yes you were....I was right impressed when you touched nearly 8o mph going down Dixon street a few moments ago
Officer : And I must also give you a ticket for having a defective rear light
Percy : I don't understand....... it was working fine when I drove the car to the club
Bigot : You moron, didn't you notice the broken glass in the car park, where some trespassing yobbo had chosen your car at random just to smash in the rear doubt, with a small silver hammer, very similar to the one I carry in my inside pocket
Officer : Finally, I'm also going book you for not wearing your seat belt
Percy : But I always wear my seat belt when I'm driving ..... I only took it off after I had stopping the car as instructed
Bigot : Well Percy, how come you're always harping on about not wearing seat belts because you can't get them over your grotesquely fat beer belly ?
At this point of the conversation, Percy was now fuming. So he turned on Bigot and landed a blow right on his jaw. The officer jumped back in amazement. Then in a warm and sympathetic way he looked at the victim of this unprovoked attack , anxious to get an answer.
Officer : My dear man, does he always behave like this towards you ?
Bigot : Yes...... indeed he does......especially when he's drunk !
ADVERTISING FEATURE .............................. ( By Pun )
Yes Bigot-Johnson is really pulling out all the stops to promote bridge at the Slaughter House, as the world's most dangerous and extreme sport, out there at the cutting edge of white knuckle adventure rides. Surrounding the club building are several large hoardings each delivering a stunning message, designed to draw in the type of members Bigot thinks the club desperately needs.
Advertising slogans like :
So if you can think up any more gripping one-liners please pass on your suggestions to Bigot-Johnson, who is so desperate to raise people's awareness as to what this game can really offer.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

( Deluged by letters of complaint over Bigot-Johnson's appalling behaviour towards his partners, the committee felt duty bound to deal with this matter swiftly and with ruthless effectiveness. Having summoned the ogre to attend the rapidly convened hearing, the Chairman laid into Bigot good and proper. )
C : Bigot......your attitude towards your partners is unforgiving, vindictive and shameful. You don't seem to allow for their inability or inexperience........they are all treated to the same disdain and contempt as you show to others. Your behaviour is deplorable and we as a committee wont stand for it.............and banning you seems the only option we are left with, if our vulnerable and sensitive members are to be protected.
B-J : Well, you need to see things from my point of view. These useless partners of mine, who ought to be grateful for having me to explain the errors of their ways, are so inept they would test the patience of a saint....which I am not. Everything they do causes me great pain and anguish.
C : Please go on.....
B-J : So how would you feel when opponents see us arriving at the table they start smirking at the prospect of exploiting my handicap ....
C : You mean your ability to lose it ...
B-J : No partner ! Moreover, the mere presence of a numb skull bolsters their confidence to such an extent, they take outrageous liberties such as psyching and anti-system bids.....simply to put him or her at a complete disadvantage. In other words, I end up as a secondary victim of their exploitative and unethical conduct.
C : Hmmm.....interesting point you have there.
B-J : Yes......not half....and let me remind you that when I partner these hapless egits, I find myself being dragged down to their level. The whole process of totting up their failings, shortcomings and gross limitations triggers off a disintergration, where I start to turn into a nervous, flustered, bumbling, incoherent idiot. But what's worse is their unerring knack of hoisting me into unmakeable contracts, simply as a form of flattery and respect for my declarer skills. Yet miracles are beyond my remit.
C : God Bigot.....I know exactly where you're coming from.......
B-J : ....And of course these stupid buggers fail to bid games when they're on .....and through crass defending they allow opponents to make contracts which are going down elsewhere in the room.
C : By doing what ?
B-J : By applying absurd, illogical and idiotic reasoning to problems, which results in flawed analysis and wrong conclusions. They foolishly believe that doing the opposite of what is right is right.....that inspired esoteric defence works...................and that doing the obvious must be a trap to be avoided.
C : Too right....I had the same thing happen to me the other day.....
B-J : Add to this all their hesitations, bids and leads out of turn, umpteen revokes, incorrect claims, TDs being summoned every other board, unnecessary questions which completely expose their holding ( and mine ).... it's no wonder I behave the way I do....
C : My God.....I can really see how you've suffered
B-J : Partnering these people is a nightmare......
C : Yes, I'm hearing what you're saying ......
B-J : Does this mean then , you're going to let me off ?
C : Hell no....not a chance.....the fact remains that even BEFORE you sit down to play with these inexperienced players your basic instincts have and will always be those of a nasty, mean, hard-hearted, selfish bully. These poor souls did not on any occasion turn you from good person into bad one....... they just provided you with an wonderful excuse to be your ugly self. So I am afraid there is nothing more to say other than....... BIGOT-JOHNSON .....YOUR DAYS AS A MEMBER OF THIS CLUB ARE of now !
B-J : You bugger...........

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Dear Rebecca,
I was truly impressed with your last post where you certainly put men in their place with well chosen quotes , provided by talented bridge commentators of the fairer sex. Well, I've got a thumping good collection of my own, which I would very much like to share with all those who avidly read your mailbag.
- It is a curious fact that no woman has yet been able to defeat her ignorant male partner in argument
- To suggest that women have far less imagination than their male partners is an outrage : they spend their whole time at the bridge table thinking up new ways to preserve men's fragile, overly-inflated egos
- How does one know if a player is " average " ? Well, in the case of a man it's easy : he will be the one who claims he isn't
- Some men believe that it is perfectly acceptable to insult their female partners : a belief that is only shaken when these beleaguered women suddenly head off to new pastures
- It is said that a bridge player who is a gentleman is simply a man who would never hurt his female partner's feelings unintentionally
- In the world of bridge men are but children of a larger growth
- The only problem women have with bridge...... is men
- Why is it that so many men can devote so much time and effort just to become incredibly mediocre
- There's no doubt about it men are far more reasoning bridge players than reasonable ones
-For most men winning at bridge becomes an incurable addiction
- In life there are more fools than wise men , yet in bridge clubs even the wise men are renown for their folly
So there you have it........ even more shed loads of light exposing the fragility and failings of men in this bizarre world of bridge.
Yours not one to get bogged down with trivial platitudes, Sylvia Swamp

Friday, 4 February 2011

  • Players Up In Arms Over Latest ACBL Proposals............Ann Harkey
  • Some Women Like To Behave As Badly As Men...............Tom Buoys
  • I Want A Place In The Coveted Hall Of Fame....................Ava Rice
  • Partner Claims I'm A Pale Imitation of Rixi Marcus.........Jemima Well
  • Bigot-Johnson Finally Loses It With His Female Partner...Zoe Shotter
  • If You Want An Excuse To Opt Out Of The Team................Colin Hill
  • Some Experts Play With Real Finesse And Style.......Grace Ann Bewty
  • My Partner's Psyche Cost Us The Trophy.......................Major D. Saster
  • How Would You Describe My Play, Partner ?..........General Lee Horfall
  • Somebody Do Something About These Alerting Rules !...Laura Mending
  • I Know Where That Queen Is Hiding................................P. Kaboo
  • Round Tables ! Sling Out Whoever Suggested That.........Chuck Arthur
  • Players Respect Me As A TD.....................................Judy Kate Wiseley
  • I'm Rarely In A Fit State To Play Bridge These Days...........Ivor Elness

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Of all mental disorders I have come across within the bizarre world of bridge this one is distinctly unpleasant. Victims of the Olfactory Reference Syndrome not only believe they smell bad, but everything else about them reeks as well......including their game of bridge. Yet these victims are not delusional : their heightened sense of self-awareness flies in the face of all other disorder-ridden bridge players, who are forever in constant state of self-denial.
Spotting victims with ORS ( at a distance ) is all too easy. They change their clothes frequently, and are forever nipping off to the toilet " to wash and freshen up ", often using whole bars of soap in one single go. Spotting them at the table is just as easy ( even for a blind man ), and even more so when they start to complain about their bad luck and wretched run of bad scores. Another giveaway is when some of their partners are seen over stretching to reach and play the cards, having positioned their seats as far away from the table as they possibly can .
Yet this appalling syndrome is nothing more than a rare psychosomatic physical disorder, which ultimately leads to isolation, depression and suicide. Sadly, it is also a little noticed, and little studied syndrome, but one which I am now trying to bring to everyone's attention. At present, I am writing up my latest book entitled " Bridge Players : Their Acute Depression and Anxiety, ", which attempts to explore all the disorders I have come across over the years. Not surprisingly, this particular syndrome has a whole chapter devoted to it.
Some psycho-analysts claim to have known about people who believe they smell bad, but these misguided medics have wrongly assumed that their patients were either delusional, or gripped by an obsessive desire to maintain the highest standards of personal hygeine and cleanliness. The reality is that sufferers know full well that they do smell a bit iffy, and that their bridge game has also gone " a bit off " . This form of self-loathing reflects a honesty not usually associated with bridge players as a whole. Nevertheless victims of ORS all seem to display the same obsessive behavioural traits, such as repeated self-sniffing, arm and leg lifting, removing excess clothing, and opening windows.
However, my studies have shown that there is a causal link between the two symptoms, in that the game of bridge makes potential sufferers both stressed and anxious. Whether worrying about past failings or those about to happen at the table, players soon find themselves incredibly wound up. The sweat and perspiration levels build up to such an extent that the next time they sit down to play bridge, they can only focus on their own body smells .......and not on the game. This of course leads to more bad results compounding their long term stress and anxiety. The vicious circle becomes complete and unbreakable.
Originally, victims thought that their bad smell came from their mouths, but then realised that other parts of the body might be to blame : armpits, genitalia, anus, feet and skin. In a desperate attempt to keep this disorder a secret or well covered up , they set out to find partners with a similiar affliction, or ones who have lost their sense of smell or winning perspective on bridge.
Indeed, I have been so struck by the intense nature of this condition, that I have found it necessary ( as a precautionary measure ) to install in my office the most expensive state-of-the-art air purification and fan extractor system.
FOR BIGOT THIS PROVED TO BE A BRIDGE TOO FAR.......... ( A nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
It was coming up to the club's biggest pairs competition of the year, and Bigot-Johnson was down at the pub with his best mate Mungo Makepeace.
" Are you down to play in the competition this weekend ? " asked Mungo.
" Oh, I dunno....I very much doubt it ", replied Bigot, " her indoors has been putting her foot down lately......and she's never been keen on me playing bridge on Easter Monday ".
" Listen, that's no problem. Use a bit of guile. On the day you intend to tell her you're off to play in this competition, use a full-on charm offensive. Get up early, and make her a champagne breakfast for bed. Then after plying her with 2 or 3 glasses of the bubbly, whisper a whole load of sweet nothings in her ear, before giving her the best shagging she's ever had. And while she's wallowing in that state of blissful euphoria tell her you're off to play bridge ".
Several days later the two met up again in the pub for a lunch-time pint.
" Where the hell were you on Monday ? ", remarked a slightly miffed Mungo, " didn't you work on that charm offensive like I suggested ? It always works for me ! "
" Yeah ", replied Bigot, " I made her that champagne breakfast, and said all those lovey-dovey things she likes to hear, and as sure as eggs are eggs I could she was really up for it. So I pulled off my black silk pyjamas ready to do the deed, when suddenly...... something compelled me to change my mind ...."
" What on earth was it ? "
" A realisation that said ........bugger it ...... do I really need to go through with all this ?.........Nah ........there's no bloody point in turning up to an event whilst in the throes of a wretched run of form ".

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY ..............................
  • Hippogriffs : a popular name given to a mythical suit invented by the devil. Often useful to have against a declarer in 7NT who hasn't got any cover in the suit.
  • Kiss of death : a score of minus 200 as a result stealing the contract against opponents who, at best , could only make 110/140
  • Goulash : a method of dealing out wild, freakish, highly distributional hands, which most players will end up making a complete meal or hash of
  • Big field : (i) a place where seeded players tend to harvest rich pickings, or (ii) a tactical response to a possible psyche by your partner which really "grasses up " your opponents
  • LOL : an acronym for " little old ladies " or " lots of laughs " : the ludicrous play of the former usually brings about the latter from all those watching on vugraph
  • Leg : a lower limb that unethical players don't even have one to stand on , when confronted with accusations of cheating
  • Bridge world : a term once associated with the name of a well established bridge magazine, but now it is clearly linked to the global theatre of the absurd. A monstrous stage upon which every bridge player becomes the leading actor , in any one of the infinite scenes that take place in a never ending play.
  • An unethical player : a well chosen euphemism for " cheat " : a wretched, despicable, low-life, worthless player, who continues to undermine the integrity and beauty of the game
  • Limit raise : a sad reflection of age where one's failure to do better proves very disappointing for partner
" It's just not bloody good enough, Bigot. Every night you're out at the club, and having a good time. You never get back before midnight, leaving me here frustrated and miserable. I'm nothing more than a long suffering going-out-of-mind bridge widow ........and I've just about reached the end of my tether ", she exclaimed.
So Bigot thought long and hard about his wife's distress, and he figured an urgent reality check was desperately needed. So on the following night he took his wife along with him to the club as his partner.
Despite being an accomplished and competent whist player, she failed to make a straightforward 2S contract, which clearly upset her more than her bemused husband. But then two boards later she really flipped her lid when smug and smirking opponents were rejoicing over their fluky and most fortuitous top. But the final clincher was when a TD ruled against her vulnerable 4H tick, by replacing the the score 3s-1 for the opponents. She was ready to kill.
" Urgh..........this bridge game is awful ", she spluttered, " Christ the hell can you stand it ? "
" Well, now you know what I have to put up with..... ", replied Bigot triumphantly, " .... and what's more you had the audacity to think that I come down here every night to enjoy myself ! "