Saturday, 30 April 2011

" Listen want me to put in an appeal about the blind leading the blind....... Jesus, can't you recall.......YOU and your cronies got so carved up in court a week ago, I turned round to my junior counsel and said " Did you ever see such a thing in your life ! "

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Even at the Slaughter House BC ( where usually anything goes ) Bigot was experiencing far too many incidents of inappropriate behaviour at the tables. Already the club has lost several window panes due to flying bridgemates. Far too many members had acquired a reputation for being troublesome, awkward and darn right nasty. How dare they aspire to the antics of the club's beloved chairman. Whatever next ?
Drastic action was needed. The problem seemed to be spiralling out of control. The solution was obvious. All culprits were obliged to wear the brightly labelled " naughty hats " which were , to put it mildly , very large cone-shaped monstrosities. These could easily be piled one top of another all evening long......if need symbols of shame, and items of ridicule and utter embarrassment.
All those with hats, removal of them required payment of a fine : £5 for the first, £10 for the second, £20 for the third ....and so on.
Sadly for Bigot, this radical new approach to behaviour control has failed to stop the problem of widespread misconduct. However, the club is now one of the richest in the country. Its cash assets stand at a staggering £43,652 .....and still rising. This has enabled the club to boost membership by drastically reducing table money, and offering big cash prizes in all competitions and duplicate events.
What is it they say about every dark cloud........?
JOHNNY TAKES HIS HAT OFF.............................
Some players have a real flair for bidding. They visualise partner's hand to a tee, instantly recognising what's on. Indeed, many years ago I had the rare experience of being propelled into a slam missing 3 Aces ! Having arrived at 6D through a rapid bidding sequence ( which obviously bypassed blackwood ), I was initially shocked when dummy put down the follwing : (void )..... Qxxx.......AJxx....KQxxx
My aceless, but highly distributinal hand, was : KQJ10xx....x...KQ10xxx....(void )
So there I was on a combined 23 count in 6D with a few Aces to winkle out. Well the first one that appeared was the Ace of hearts, followed by the King which I ruffed in hand. A small spade at trick 3 was ruffed in dummy, and the King of clubs ( covered by the Ace ) was immediately ruffed with glee. The king of spades brought out the Ace, with dummy ruffing high. Trumps were drawn before claiming the rest.
My partner's 6D bid showed a superb analysis of the situation. He certainly knew I had a big 6-6-1-0 hand on my bidding, but it didn't matter whether my singleton was a heart or a club. Twelve tricks were always on, providing the spade suit behaved.
So when the scoresheet revealed we were the first pair to have bid the slam, I felt obliged to take my hat off to him.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG........................
Dear Rebecca,
Money's tight, and over the years the cost of attending these bloody congresses has bled me dry . However, as I'm still desperate for " greenies " I need to raise some money fast. So being a woman of the world with illustrious contacts, can you put me in touch with a hospital consultant, who knows of an accident victim crying out for a replacement lower limb ?
I've already sold one of my kidneys, and a lobe or two off my surely there's an amputee motor cyclist somewhere ...........laid up in hospitable bed wanting a fully functioning left leg ?
Hell.....what do I need a left leg for ?
For a start, I drive an automatic. My drawer at home is full of odd socks. And when I'm not sitting down playing bridge, I'm sitting in front of the telly while my good wife does all the housework, cooking and cleaning.
Heavens above...there must be a market out there for left legs. And if there is, can you find out how much I'm likely to get for a one-off 102 cm white leg, blighted only by the odd varicose vein and pus filled boil.
Yours seriously, R. Dupp
Dear R,
I'm just in the process of seeking psychiatric help myself , after reading far too many distressing letters from people who have been kicked out of their local bridge clubs on the pretext of being " extremely troublesome ". Most of them resorted to self harming and abuse , as a way of punishing themselves for their petty misdemeanours and all round stupidity.
Anyway, getting back to your problem. Well, I'm not sure how much you would get for a left leg. However, have you considered bundling an arm into the deal ? The expression " that will cost someone an arm and a leg " clearly suggests that this particular combo will certainly fetch a five figure sum.
But have you really thought this through ? Once you've signed on the dotted line......legally you wont have a leg to stand on, should you change your mind. So take my advice and down a bottle or two of vodka before making any decision, because this will enable you to get a better idea of what it will feel like being " legless ".
Yours forever putting my pants on one leg at a time, Rebecca

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

" This week I want you to forget about textbook bidding and focus on tactics. Think about David who confronted Goliath. Think about the mouse who confronted the elephant. What assets did they have ? " None " is the answer. So despite being outgunned, you get into the auction whenever possible , especially if it's white against red. Psyches, pre-empts and light openers are fine, but I'm talking about here are the BIGOT RULES of competitive bidding.....
First up is the ROCKET RULE , which states that as your HCPs head towards zero, then it is time to BLAST OFF when the bidding comes round to you after two opening passes . Stick in any 1 level suit bid you like , and expect the opponents to bounce straight in and reach game contract. Declarer of course will play you for all the outstanding points, only to end up crashing to earth with egg on his face.
Next is the APOLLO RULE , which requires you to shit on opponents from a very great height. This rule only applies when the opponents have found a fit but are unaware of a very nasty trump break. You push them on your tat as high as possible........ hopefully towards an unmakeable which puts them into the proverbial #### now that you've wellied them with a big hefty "double ".
Best of all is the SWINDLE RULE , which involves you doing the opposite after being asked about your signalling methods. For instance, play low-high with a small doubleton after you've indicated to them you play distributional signals. Partner of course will be programmed to register the fact the swindle rule has been put into operation. In essence, you are giving the opponents an honest answer, one which is supported by what's written on your convention card, but thereafter you do opposite for the remainder of the hand.
Finally, there is my latest gadget called the OPENING DOUBLE RULE . Imagine you are dealt a hand with just a solid 6 card suit, but bugger all else. Too good for a pre-empt, a hand offers little in the way of defensive tricks, and certainly too lop-sided for a one-level opener. So in 3rd position only, after two passes, you open with a double ! Inevitably, the TD will be called and some ruling will be given against you. If you are allowed to correct your bid , you can muddy the waters by bidding a suit below the one you have , partner fully aware of what you've actually got and where to escape to. If you ( or your partner ) are not allowed to bid, the opponents haven't a bloody clue as to what you actually hold, and even if partner is on lead simple detective work will tell him what your suit is. If say...... your opponents sail into 3NT, it's all to easy to beat this contract straightaway by 2 tricks.
And while we're at it why not try this. 1D from partner. One heart over overcall. REDOUBLE FROM YOU. Obviously a natural double would indicate the other two suits, but a redouble shows a hand with a decent heart holding ....but nothing else , especially in diamonds. Again the TD will be called, and no doubt a ruling given against you. If you are required to correct your bid to a double then that's fine..... with partner feeling obliged to pass. If you are barred from bidding , then partner knows exactly what to do when it's his turn to bid next. Simple eh ?
Yes...this is bridge at the cutting get out there........ and start playing the Bigot Way ! "
..................................... " I take it you too made a disapproving comment about our chairman "

Monday, 25 April 2011

FLIGHTS OF FANCY.............. ( Article by Carp )
If Victor Mollo had chosen birds instead of animals to demonstrate the absurd and peculiar characteristics of bridge players, then the opportunities for lampooning them would be endless.
So let's look at just a few species of well known birds, picking out their special qualities or behavioural traits , many of which we have come to recognise in players we so regularly encounter.
Magpie - only turns out when there's silverware to be won
Crane - stretches out his/her neck to glance at opponents' cards
Gannet - eats up anything that is handed out for free
Puffin - never misses an opportunity for a fag break
Owl - wisdom personified
Eagle - swoops down on unsuspecting prey, usually from a great height
Tit - a below average player
Bluetit - a below average player who gets really down about losing
Crow - likes to boast about his/her achievements, and ridiculing others in the process
Heron - feeds mercilessly on little fish
Albatross - a weak player who becomes a dead weight around his/her partner's neck
Hawk - a predator who selects weaker players to unleash nasty psyches and super-light pre-empts
Peacock - all show and no substance
Lark - always reverts to fooling around when losing
Parrot - only echoes the views and opinions of others
Cuckoo - makes the same irritating noises at each table
Phoenix - a player who rises up from the bottom to a position at the top
Partridge - a soft target for poachers, game hunters and shooters

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Bigot, despite being a player of great skill and ability, has for countless years left the club's prize giving ceremonies empty handed. Destined never to lay his hands on a trophy, he decided to take the initiative and do something about it.
As chairman, he pushed through a committee meeting a proposal to introduce a new batch of awards, which he knew would go to deserving winners. Awards which would acknowledge members as being a real force to be reckoned with : men loaded with real talent and flair, who have already established themselves as the club's most talked about players.
However, many of his critics believed these awards were just tongue-in-cheek , but not for the serious minded Bigot. For he designed them with only one winner in mind......HIMSELF.
The full list is as follows :
- TONGUE TWISTER AWARD for the player who has demonstrated a complete inability ( through being permanently drunk ) to sequence words together, should they prove too difficult to pronounce quickly or correctly
- DEVIL'S TONGUE AWARD for the player who has been possessed by Lucifer himself, forever hurling ( at partners and opponents alike ) insults , which are nasty, venomous, vile, possibly blasphemous and extremely offensive.
- BROWN TONGUE AWARD for the club member who is nothing more than a sycophantic creep , licking up to those with high profile connections, exulted positions in society, power and wealth.
- MOTHER TONGUE AWARD for the player who has demonstrated an amazing ability to regress back into his early childhood, whereby his first acquired language of grunts, screams, whines and howls, express all too clearly his raw emotions .
- THE SILVER TONGUE AWARD for the player who, when sober, chooses on rare occasions to demonstrate sublime eloquence, reciting well rehearsed speeches , all of which carry massive overtones of glibness and deceptiveness.
- THE FORKED TONGUE AWARD for the player who , when confronted by a TD, resorts to giving completely different accounts as to what really happened at the table

Friday, 22 April 2011

Over recent weeks Bigot had been pulling his hair out in frustration. Trying to get this bunch of students into thinking at an advanced level was proving to be " a bridge too far ". So he decided to give them one last chance to redeem themselves.
" Listen you motley play bridge well you need to be a good statistician.....someone who uses the data researched from the bidding and early play of the cards, along with knowledge of the probabilities and odds, to arrive at correct conclusions about the rest of the hand.
So to illustrate this point of drawing the correct conclusion from statistical data, I have a little problem for you to go at. Imagine you have been told that 40% of drivers involved in road accidents were under the influence of alcohol. What sensible conclusion can you draw from that ? "
All the students immediately started to scribble something down on their pads. For the first time they had been given a question they could answer. Optimism filled the room. Sophie was the first to speak.
" Drunk drivers are one of the main reasons behind so many road accidents. It's not safe to drive while under the influence of alcohol . "
Bigot stood there dumbfounded by what he heard. The woman was useless. She hadn't a bloody clue.
" That answer was a complete load of rubbish. You are not thinking outside the box ! The first thing you can deduce from that statement is 60% of the drivers involved in road accidents had not been drinking . This means that you are one and a half times more likely to be in an accident when sober. Therefore, it is obviously safer to drink and drive. "
The logic of Bigot's answer left many completely bemused and dejected.......

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The solution is simple : create in-house (Peter Pender) awards, which of course would perpetuate the memory of his name for years to come. These awards can only be given to officers and executives of the ACBL for their outstanding achievements in the following categories of maladministration :
- THE OSTRICH HEAD-IN-THE-SAND AWARD for the officer who manages to keep him/herself completely in the dark over some contentious issue
- THE STEALTHY HANDS AWARD for the officer who, when empowered to move money around, manages to spirit some it away into secret or " thin air " accounts
- THE SCREW-IT-UP-BIG-TIME AWARD for the officer responsible for the biggest and most shameful cock-up of the year
- THE SOD-YOU-I-DON'T- GIVE-A-DAMN AWARD for the executive who consistently displays contempt and disregard for those he/she claims to serve
- THE PONTIUS PILATE AWARD for the executive who rigidly adheres to the " it has nothing to do with me " policy, despite being the very person everyone looks up to for an answer

- THE BUTTER-DOESN'T-MELT -IN -MY-MOUTH AWARD goes to the executive, who puts on a convincing air of sweet innocence and purity, to completely mask the evil that lurks within
- THE PINOCCHIO AWARD for the officer who tells lies constantly in an attempt to get out of trouble, oblivious to the fact that he/she has no real " nose " for it
- THE BUCK PASSING AWARD for the senior executive, who displays great timing and skill in transferring onerous responsibilities onto subordinates, whenever the roof is about to cave in

- THE WISHY WASHY EXCUSES AWARD for the officer who is able dream up the most amazingly awful, pathetic and vague excuses, so as to avoid to saying " sorry "
- THE I'LL -GET -AROUND-TO- DOING -IT-TOMORROW AWARD for the officer who shirks his/her responsibilities, by sheer and persistent procrastination
- THE MONEY- IS- OURS- SO -WE -CAN- DO- WHAT- WE- LIKE- WITH- IT AWARD for the power-obsessed executive who is so arrogant, his/her dismissive behaviour towards others simply beggars belief
- THE FRIGHTENED RABBIT AWARD for the officer who, rather than answer or apologise to an injured party , immediately heads off to the hills to find a safe bolt-hole
  • Declarer Play Is Where I Go To Pieces....................Justin A. Pickle
  • Partner....What's Taking You So Long !...................May Kay Bidd
  • Was That A Stiff, Partner ?.......................................Ivor Boner
  • There's More To Their Partnership Than Bridge......Betty Dabbles
  • Bridge In A Hostile Environment............................Will Denniss
  • Men Who Play Like Women.....................................Cissy Buoys
  • Louisiana Lady Caught Cheating At Bridge..............Kay June Fidler
  • When Our Captain Sees This Score Card !.................Ima Gonner
  • Someone Up there Really Likes Me..........................Guy Dean Angel
  • Some Bridge Players Have Got All The Answers.......Satch Knowles

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

( In this recent High Court case Bigot was doing the suing. The defendants were mainly members of Slaughter House Bridge Club, but in amongst them were so- called family and friends. Bigot was on a 4 week bridge holiday, cruising around the coastline of Canada, when disgruntled passengers and bridge players took it upon themselves to " do him in ". So a cunning plan was hatched. One night as Bigot was strolling along the upper deck, out of the shadows they pounced. Knocking him senseless they threw his limp body over the railings into the freezing Arctic sea. Presumed dead, his club immediately decided to dedicate a special one-off newsletter, to cater for all the obituaries that came flooding in. Then two weeks later, to every one's shock and dismay, Bigot turned up out of the blue . Quick to notice what had been said about him, he was convinced his reputation had been permanently damaged by the defendants' libellous comments . A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below .)
B-J : As you know, I had a miraculous escape. Like the prophet Jonah, I was fortunate enough to fall into the open mouth of a surfacing whale. Although living inside the gut of this whale was an awful experience ..... its interior warmth was far preferable to the freezing grip of the ocean. Resigned to spending my remaining days in total darkness feeding off small dead fish, I suddenly realised the whale was being hoisted out of the water and onto the deck of a fishing vessel. Thankfully, once the fisherman heard my screams for help, they hacked their way into the whale's stomach to find me....... and many other indigestible items.
Judge : Amazing......
B-J : But what a shock I had upon my return to the club, where partying had been going on for 14 days solid. Death may come unexpectedly to most men, but at least they never get to see their own obituaries......and what others really think of them. Well, I bloody well did.....and what I read was far from pretty. Mind you....not that I claim the defendants' comments were deliberately offensive......but they were, to say the least, thoroughly disparaging and uncomplimentary.........and in some instances far removed from the truth.
In particular, I object to the suggestion that my masterpiece of a blog " completely lacks imagination and humour ". I also feel libelled by those who claimed my " self-portrait photograph was so repulsive, it was enough to make them throw up ". Others even had the audacity to say my articles were "scurrilous, vindictive, and the rantings of a deranged homicidal maniac " ....
Counsel for the Defendants (CD) : Yes..yes....but my clients firmly believe ....that in law.... it's impossible to libel someone who is dead, or was believed to be dead at the time they put pen to paper. My clients therefore acted in good faith on the information received about Bigot's death. They only published the newsletter obituaries on the assumption that Bigot would never get to read them.......and that no one else would ever find the content upsetting or distressing.
B-J : Hold on there....I cannot see how my being alive or dead at the time of publication has anything to do with it. A libel is a libel. I have a basic right in law not to be defamed in any way, or have my name and people's memories of me, tarnished by wicked lies.
CD : Your honour....this man is the compulsive liar......a man who will do anything to win publicity and fleece people of their money. This ridiculous story of the whale is nothing more than a preposterous publicity stunt......designed to lull the defendants into a false sense of coming out into the open and revealing what they thought about this shyster, rogue, bully, and all round nasty piece of work.
Judge : Yes...I too find myself unable to accept the story of the whale, given the manner in which it was told. Moreover, I have read his blog and been so incensed by its puerile content and grotesque vulgarity, I now feel compelled to write an article exposing Bigot as a rotter and a scoundrel. Therefore, I declare there is no case to answer......this trial is at an end.....and all costs to be borne by the plaintiff.
B-J : Bugger.....
WHY CAN'T PLAYERS LEARN TO COUNT........ ( A Bigot-Johnson rant )
Last night I was playing with a complete numptie. I told him what our 0ne level overcall " doubles " indicated, but did this system bid of mine register ? Not a bloody chance.
So when board 4 came along, I felt obliged to get up out of my seat and give partner a right good rollicking. Not surprisingly the TD came over to investigate.
" What on earth is going on, Bigot ? You're upsetting everybody in the room. Tell me, what is your problem?
Having been put on the spot, I told this interfering busy body ( in no uncertain terms ) why I was so upset.
" It's my useless partner.....he can't count to save his life. "
" Yes, this happens, " came the sympathetic reply, " players often lose count as to how many cards have been played from a particular suit. "
Well, clearly this was the typical response of an unknowing, out-of-his-depth, inbred . He was proving to be a bigger numptie than my partner.
" It's got nothing to do with counting cards. The bidding went 1H on my left and , after a little pause, partner doubled. My RHO passed and I went straight to 3NT on my very solid 14-pointer. But this contract went off 2 for a complete bottom ! The bastard only had 9 points for his double "
The TD looked shocked and perplexed.
" So why HAS partner been slagged off for failing to count ? Heavens above....the man was dummy ."
" You partner's double indicated a hand with 12 HCPs....... such was number of seconds between the two opening bids. All he was required to do before doubling was to count up to 9 !! "

Monday, 18 April 2011

BRIDGE BOOKS FOR THOSE WITH DISCERNING TASTE.................. ( Research by Pun )
  • Tales From The Banbury Cross Bridge Club...........Rhoda Whitehorse
  • The Ups And Downs Of Tournament Bridge...........C. Soring
  • She Recorded The Lowest Ever Percentage...........Paul Aidie
  • My Partner's Obsessed With Sacrificing Kings........Reg E. Sydell
  • Enjoying Your Bridge In An Uproarious Way.........Whoopie Makin
  • My Partner's A Real Smart Dresser....................... ..Dan D. Hest
  • Trying To See The Funny Side Of Minus 1700..........Ray Salaff
  • Partner, You Must Always Do What I Tell You ?......Simon Sezz
  • In Big Matches It Pays To Strike Early......................Dawn Rayder
  • Bridge Is Greatest Game On Earth...........................B. Hall & N. Dall

Sunday, 17 April 2011

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG......................
Dear Rebecca,
This year I have been invited to stand for committee in the forthcoming AGM elections . I have never done this type of work before. Do you think it is a good idea ?
Yours wondering what I'm letting myself in for, Mia Fretwell
Dear Mia ,
Oh dear....bridge club committees.........what can I say about them ? Well, they are like trees that need to feed on sap , and you would be that proverbial " sap " as the new inexperienced recruit.
What I suggest you do first is to read the book Hells Bells , She's Thinking Of Standing For Committee....... by May I. Warner , which is harrowing tale of what awaits unsuspecting members, should they get elected onto BC committees. The author strives to tell the reader what a thankless task it is.
The tedium. The mind-blowing boredom that they will encounter, when meetings drag on for ages over meaningless minutiae. The painful irony of being elected on the pretext they are right for the job, only to be deluged with complaints, when everything they do , or fail to do, is wrong. Indeed, one chapter is devoted to the psychological damage committee members will incur, along with their tarnished reputations , simply because they allowed their initial foolish enthusiasm to completely undermine their better judgement.
Indeed, over the years several club members have asked me this same question, to which I have given them the same reply as you. Sadly, many chose not to read the book, and got elected onto the committee. So please....... don't end up being one of those who join up in ignorance, only to spend the rest of their time regretting their mistake . " Well, I told you so ! " are words you won't take kindly too.
Yours never drowning but always staying afloat, Rebecca
All bridge players no matter what their level of ability or ranking suffer from this unusual condition. Scotoma perculiaris is a psychological disorder where the sufferer fails to see something that is so glaringly obvious to others. This inability to recognise and comprehend items of information relative to a subject area leads to either an imperfection , or partial absence, of insight.
Scotoma is the Greek word for darkness, and when darkness blots out a piece of the bigger picture within a player's mind, confusion and guesswork take over. This form of psychological scotoma is so common in bridge players, they inevitably cock up the play of a hand, simply because of a missing piece of vital information. It may be an earlier bid or perhaps a telling discard. This flaw in information storage and retrieval inevitably impairs the inner field of vision to such an extent that players fail to make the right decisions. In essence, this disability creates in their mind blind spots, which of course severely damages their ability to play perfect bridge.
Moreover, these blind spots are usually exacerbated by psychological factors such as fear of failure, fear of reprimand, superstition, panic, anxiety and stress. The consequence of any one of these factors, is that the victim's blind spots become larger than ever, causing him/her to not register key bits of information. Ironically, victims always fail to spot which spot cards have been played, or which spot cards are still outstanding.
Some psychoanalysts claim that scotoma perculiaris is nothing more than a lapse or loss of concentration. But they are wrong. A blind spot can occur even when a player's mind is active and working overtime, but any attempt to build up a complete picture of the hand is, unfortunately, blighted by these unfortunate pockets of darkness. Loss of concentration on the other hand is when player's mind succumbs to extreme tiredness or fatigue. This causes a temporary or complete shutdown, a total mind switch-off , where everything for a second or two goes blank ( or blacks out) .
During a scotoma perculiaris episode, a victim's senses a blip in his/her thought process. These blips are like neurological switches being turned off denying access to certain information stores. Under pressure to make decisions at the table, guesses have to to made as to what information might be stored behind these closed doors. Sadly, shooting around in the dark only results in unbelievable misses, and fatal mistakes.
Once their partners witness these aberrations, they suddenly become lost for words, a condition which in itself is an early symptom of this disorder. Sadly, many victims try desperately to explain their failings as " senior moments ", but the reality of course is that they have a permanent psychological handicap.
Indeed, my worst affected clients incur so many blind spots they see very little of the bigger picture. As they attempt to bid and play the hand, they display no evidence of any short term memory, making random choices and selections as they go along. Yet bizarrely this is what makes bridge so fascinating, because there will be occasions when "guessing blind " appears to work.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

BIGOT GETS AN UNEXPECTED RECOMMENDATION.......... ( A nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
One night at the Slaughter House BC , Dr. John was just leaving the premises having collected some unpaid fees from one of his clients. As he was wiping traces of blood from his knuckles, another club member approached him looking extremely upset and distraught.
" Doctor, I've have received some devastating and shocking news.......and you are the only one I feel confident enough to confide in........ such is my fragile, panic-stricken, state of mind. I'm very frightened and beside myself with worry. I've just been told by the hospital that I only have 6 months to live........but I don't want to die so soon. Right now I'm on the top of my game, and I want nothing more than to play bridge for the next 20 years. "
" Listen my friend.....time is relative......all is not what I suggest you do is to play all your remaining bridge with Big0t-Johnson as your partner ."
The poor man was completely taken back by what the good doctor had advised him.
" But I've heard so many awful things about him. He can make his partner's life a living hell. "
" Exactly, 6 months with Bigot will seem like an eternity......or to put it another way...... you will see death in a completely different light ...... for it won't come soon enough.......and as each day passes, you will welcome death as a blessed and merciful release . "

Friday, 15 April 2011

  • Whatever Happened To Peter's Bequest ? : The ACBL Deny Mel Harkey is an in depth novel about one of the bridge world's biggest mysteries. Despite several valiant attempts by interested parties to get to the truth, nobody as yet received any acceptable answers from the ACBL. Various conspiracy theories have been put forward, including the one which claimed aliens came down and whisked the money away, but all these have failed to gain any real credence and support. Readers will be left completely confused, just like the author, who struggled throughout to make heads or tails of this perplexing mystery .
  • Peter's Missing Money Causes Many To Voice Their Hugh N. Krye is another well written book that attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding this bequest. Was the money misspent or misplaced ? Or both ? Many commentators feel outraged that it has not been spent in accordance with Peter's wishes. Many wonder at what is going to happen to the money that still remains unspent, and if interest has accrued on that money, which account has it gone into. With so much buck passing going on, the reader gains a fascinating insight into the workings of organisations that run and control the world of bridge. The author questions whether or not the ACBL is an organisation which has a soul and a moral conscience.
  • Peter's Bequest : ACBL Refuse To Come Clean ? Honor B. Blode investigates in great detail all the correspondence that has taken place over this particularly embarrassing episode. It seems that no one in the ACBL wants to own up and take the blame for mistakes made or offer any apologies, and similarly no one wants to take the initiative and responsibility to resolve any of outstanding issues and problems regarding this mess. The author feels that certain information is being held back, which needs to be brought out into the open.
  • Where Has All The Money Gone ? Dan D. Pann and What's Going to Happen To What Is Left ? Evan Noes are two short books which investigate in detail the finances of the ACBL over the relevant period in an attempt to answer these searching questions. Despite having accounting know-how and a head for figures, each author admits defeat in getting to the truth. As each book clearly shows, as one awkward question gets answered several more instantly take its place. The whole investigation has since become more of a quagmire than a mystery solving exercise.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Many bridge players of modest ability often display an amazing honesty about themselves. Time and time again you will hear one say " I am my own worst enemy " .
So what on earth possesses them to make such a confession ?
Well, my research shows that mediocre players, to a man and a woman, have an over-active mind when it comes to absorbing and retaining criticism. They are not good at letting things go. Therefore, when bad or frustrating things happen at the table , most of which are accompanied by lashings of verbal abuse, the likelihood is they begin to see themselves in a new light....or should I say darkness.
The memories of such incidents crop up at inopportune times, such as midway through the bidding or play of a hand. Panic and pressure sets in, undermining their chances of making the right decisions. Not surprisingly, they see their inner demons as their real enemies, and never the other players around the table.
For these poor souls, life becomes cyclical. Repeated battles go on within their minds. The inner demons prove to be a formidable force, never to be denied or defeated. Whenever they win, the vanquished players feel beat up, and utterly demoralised. To be defeated by the enemy within is so awful, they feel the need to acknowledge this fact to sympathetic on-lookers.
Mind you, I once came across a player who , after butchering a simple 4S contract, tried to explain this embarrassment by admitting " I am my own worst enemy ". His irate partner brushed this claim aside, accusing him of being an outright liar in the process : " No Sir are so wrong........for while I live and breath .....that honour definitely belongs to me ! "
MORE BRIDGE FROM THE TWILIGHT ZONE...... ( Short but really true story by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
A few years back I was playing in an inter-cities team match up at Harrogate. As all the upstairs tables were occupied, one table had to be set up downstairs. The away team of course were given the sitting seats, which resulted in one of our pairs spending the whole match downstairs, at this isolated table in a large, but extremely quiet, room.
When the match was over, both these players decided to put in a joint complaint to the two captains. Clearly, they were very aggrieved and upset.
" We would like it to be known that by playing all 32 boards downstairs, we were seriously disadvantaged and penalised. In the interests of fairness, justice and equity, we would like the final match score to be adjusted in our team's favour. Why ? Well, being only permanent residents downstairs, we were unable to listen in to what was being said about any of the hands coming our way. "

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

THERE ARE SOME PARTNERS YOU JUST CAN'T PLEASE........ ( Article by Johnny Supremo )
The other night I was having a really good card with one of my occasional partners. Then came a board where North opened 3NT , showing a solid minor and very little else. As it happened the hand was : K ....x.... I passed, with some reservations, on my 1098xxx....KJx....void.....KJxx.
My RHO opponent also passed holding a very supportive Axx...Axx...9xx....Q987, leaving my partner to pass out the auction on his 9 count 3-6-2-3 distribution.
I opted to lead my lowest club, which partner won with the 10. He then switched to a heart and that was that, with declarer making 11 tricks ( 8D, 2S, 1H ). I could see that on the layout 10 tricks were there in spades, with only 2S and 1H to lose.
However my regular partner, who was also playing in the same direction, received the same opening bid. Yet, despite the adverse vulnerabilty, he stuck in a 4s overcall. South pondered a while before blurting out 5D, which West doubled . If West had found a low club away from the Ace the contract was down for a near certain top, but instead he led his queen of spades giving declarer the first 11 tricks and a huge number of match points.
In the bar afterwards my friend told me how his partner for the night laid into him for his 4S bid on such an appalling suit. The fact that 4S could actually make was of no significance or relevance to the argument, since overcalling (vulnerable) at the 4 level on " tat like six to the 10 " amounted to an act of sheer incompetence !! Moreover, the fact that the 4S bid had pushed their opponents into an inferior diamond contract, which turned out to be beatable, also cut no ice with him, since it was the spade overcall which persuaded him to lead that suit.
Therefore, it appears that some partners you just can't please. If the outcomes are wretched, they will be unhappy no matter how well you bid or played. Yet strangely, even when the outcomes are good, they will still be unhappy should your bidding or play be suspect in any way. However, they will always sink into a deep depression, every time a wretched score flows directly from any perceived bad bridge.
( This most unusual case involved an a civil law action for breach of trust and the misappropriation of funds bequeathed to the club by the late Peter Pantopod , who was killed in 2003 while crossing the road in a hit and run incident. The only witness, a small boy of 4, claimed that the driver of the super-charged sports car involved had a big black moustache. In Peter's will the £700,000 left to the club had to be spent on encouraging ordinary folk to take up the game, with new competitions set up awarding " The Pantopod Trophies " to the deserving winners . Several years on with nothing to show from this gift, Percy Pantopod decided the time had come to bring an action for recovery of his uncle's money, in the knowledge that most of it, if not all, had disappeared into thin air. An extract from the trial's transcript appears below ).
Counsel for the plaintiff (CP) : Bigot, as chairman of this disreputable club, please tell the court why you arrived late.
B-J : I couldn't find a parking place for my new porsche....
CP : Does that car belong to you ?
B-J :'s currently owned by the club to enable the chairman to carry out his duties
CP : I see....but let's move onto the key question.....Where the hell has this money gone ? Having looked at the club's accounts over this 8 year period, I can only find £26.50 spent on a solitary newspaper advert, inviting local people to attend a Saturday morning bridge class, and £8.00 on two small wooden egg cups, presumably for competitions that have yet to take place.
B-J :'ve got it all wrong. There were lots of incidental expenses incurred in finding these two wooden trophies. At least four around -the-world first class cruise trips were needed for myself, and other club officers, to seek out something completely different, original.....and cute. Something that would appeal to the ordinary folk, who also happened to like boiled eggs.
CP : But the club has never held any competitions in which these trophies were ear-marked for !
B-J : Never any takers......
CP : Moreover, neither trophy has got the name " Pantopod " inscribed upon it ....
B-J : 3cm wide there wasn't enough room .....although we did manage to inscibe the letters E..G..G..on each one
CP : But we still don't have an answer as to where the £700,000 has disappeared to ?
BJ : It's in the system somewhere.....
CP : But where ?
B-J : Listen you....if you were to place a gold coin in a barrel full of other gold coins, only to see the whole lot tipped up into a huge pile on the floor, then it becomes impossible to locate your that not the reality of what happens to money when it gets absorbed into a business ?
CP : Ah yes, but your club accounts show zero cash at the bank, massive debts, and clubs assets that are all rented.....the exception of course being the £90,000 porsche.
B-J : Jesus, are you thick or what....the accounts reveal that several high performance cars have been purchased by the club over the years, all coming with little stickers on the windows advertising these bridge classes for the commoners. However, it was necessary to auction these vehicles off , within the club , while they still had a high resale value.
CP : And what did they roughly go for ?
B-J: About £100 each
CP : And who bought them ?
B-J : Me...
CP : That's it...I've heard enough. There's enough evidence here to have you done in a criminal court for the fraudulent misappropriation of club funds. I will be asking the judge to issue you with a seizure order to have all those vehicles confiscated, and handed over to the Pantopod family.
B-J : Pointless...I've sold them on..
CP : Who to ?
B-J : A judge..... who as it happens...... is sitting here in this court...... a real hard-line sports car enthusiast and collector... a fellow member of an asssociation we both dearly love and cherish
CP : What's that ?
B-J : The ACBL .....
CP : What's that ?
B-J : The Automobile Club for Bawtry Landowners
CP : I give up...there's no point in continuing this case
B-J : Well..that's a bugger....I've paid for a whole day's parking !

Sunday, 10 April 2011

  • Playing Bridge Like There's No L. Furlether is a wonderful attempt by the author to get slow players to change their ways. The book offers advice on a range of psychological ploys and techniques designed to make them react faster. The author firmly believes that every slow player can be made to bid and play the cards without thinking.
  • Playing Bridge With Passion And Commitment ......Art N. Sole is a must-read-at-all-costs bible for players who are aiming to be winners. The author makes it quite clear that unless players adopt the philosophy of " continuous improvement " very little will ever be achieved. Bridge , like every major sport, requires years of dedicated training and top quality coaching.
  • Bridge For A Bea Ginah is a gentle introduction to the basic essentials of bidding and card play. Her main objective is to hammer home the message that bridge is easy, if things are kept simple. This requires the use of common sense, along with a specially designed 4 row 13 bead abacus ( which comes as " a freebie " with the book ) .
  • No Way Captain Was I To Buck Passing is a book that offers the reader a multitude of ideas on how to dream up plausible excuses for poor performances, and in the process transfer blame onto others. Shifting fault and responsibility for defeat elsewhere is, according to the author, an important ego preservation manouevre. Moreover, skill in this particular area can help a player retain their place in the team, despite being the weakest link.

BRIDGE IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE........ ( A strange but true tale by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
Not so long ago a friend of mine arrived at a table to face two very formidable opponents. Sitting to his left was South, renown for his aggressive bidding, light opening bids, and canny play.
On the first board of the set South opened 1H, which was promptly doubled by West. North passed, and East with the best hand at the table punted 3NT.
The play of the hand was less than inspiring, as my friend only managed to conjure up 7 tricks. North with his modest 7 count secured 3 valuable tricks for the defence. After the scores were entered up, South turned on his partner with a look of disapproval.
" What on earth is wrong with you ? That contract should have been doubled ! "
South's answer was as assured as it was breath-taking.
" Well....if I had been partnering any one else but you......I would have done. "
At this point in the story I asked my friend : " Tell me then....what was so breath-taking about that remark ? "
" The fact that North was one of the club's most respected tournament directors. "

Saturday, 9 April 2011

  • Bridge diary : 365 pages full of recorded disappointments
  • Rescue : what an inept player hopes will happen as his irate team-mates put a noose around his neck
  • Run : the recommended pace one needs to adopt, if wanting to flee a baying lynch mob
  • Incorrect ruling : a vagrant opinion given by a TD based on prejudice rather than equity
  • Bridge : an incredibly social game played by some incredibly anti-social people
  • Etiquette : an appropriate euphemism to describe the most subtle form of hypocrisy
  • Bridge players : a strange group of people who collectively, but exclusively, have little or no regard for their partners
  • Sure trick : in the case of weak players , this is usually the Ace of trumps

Friday, 8 April 2011

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.................
Dear Rebecca ,
I have long regarded your advice as " gifted ", having read your marvellous answers to the sack loads of letters you have chosen to publish.
Anyway, I have a dilemma. One of my congress partners, a young woman of 23 summers, and very pretty, with a lovely naive ignorance about my numerous shortcomings, has over the last few months been visiting my house for private lessons. This has all been very much above board. Indeed, my wife was the one who encouraged her to come.
My dilemma is that I have become attracted to this woman , and I cannot stop thinking about her. It may be the folly of a man who is desperate to relive his youth, but the reality is my 30 year marriage has long been devoid of what you might term.....physical intimacies. I genuinely feel that my developing partnership with this wonderful woman can blossom into something special , both at and away from the table.
You see, my wife has this aversion to what she calls " the grosser physical practices ". This is hard for me to come to terms with, being a red blooded, really- up-for-it, sort of man. And this lady friend of mine is giving me all the right signals. The way she looks at me. The way she brushes up against me as she walks by. She even offers a sympathetic smile every time I go off in contracts, never realising they were cold from the start.
Oh yes, I'm smitten alright. I want to be with her all the time...... playing bridge and playing away. But what can I do ? Can you please help me ?
Yours troubled at heart, Randy Ashell

Dear Randy,
You just don't get it, do you ? If your wife has been giving you her blessing to play away at congresses, and allowing this woman to come into the very bosom of your family , whilst at the same time putting up the barriers at bedtime.......then the message she is sending you is plain and simple. SHE WANTS RID OF YOU.
And as for this bimbo who clearly can't play bridge, but wants to partner a sad old git like you ( in more ways than one ), then serious questions have to be asked about her sanity and mental state of health.
So really it comes down a simple choice: either staying with your frigid wife in a cold loveless relationship, or moving out to be with this extremely unbalanced young woman, who in my view needs be sectioned without delay. A tough call which YOU will have to make .
Yours passing this particular buck back, Rebecca

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Many bridge players possess a deep burning desire to be a winner, no matter what the cost in terms of money, broken marriages, and sleep deprivation.
Some mad fools are prepared to venture into a world of fire and brimstone by going through the infamous Gates of Hell. This act of sheer folly is motivated by the desire to strike up a partnership with the devil himself.
However, the devil which lurks in the dark shadows of one's local bridge club is not Old Nick, Lucifer, Satan or Beelzebub : it is usually a top class player, whose level of expertise is as sharp as his tongue. Victims, who have this tragic disorder, seem obsessed with the idea of partnering someone who is hell-bent on giving them an eternal roasting. Such an alliance has only one outcome : the sacrifice of a pathetic soul on the altar of his own stupidity.
The victim's vision of obtaining top after top is nothing more than a mirage, a trick of light that conjures up a false reality. Symptoms of the Faustus Follica include a false belief that that devil will improve their skills, and of course their results. Once the folly takes hold, victims become oblivious to the fact that he is only interested in ripping their ego and confidence to shreds, and that his enjoyment is not in the cards but laying into those, who are clearly inferior players and very prone to error.
Indeed, being afflicted with Faustus Follica is no joke. It is a frightening condition which, as many of my colleagues will confirm , is the most extreme form of self-abasement ever to be diagnosed in medical history. Victims inevitably experience intolerable levels of pain, torment, torture and distress. Yet despite the folly of enduring these psychological damaging experiences , they still persist in partnering the devil even though their results go from bad to worse .
Every belief and expectation that " things will get better " is crushed again and again, but the ultimate folly is their failure to recognise that the devil places no value whatsoever on them, or their partnership : he simply sees these desperate souls as ideal candidates for grooming into gimps satisfy his sadistic delight.
God knows how I have tried to " cure " clients with this disorder, but to no avail. Clearly, the power and influence the devil has over these wretched souls is far greater than mine.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

This rare photograph shows how Bigot-Johnson once turned up at his local bridge club Christmas social ( in 1971 ). Appearing as a young banjo-playing transvestite , he only managed to perform two raunchy numbers, before shocked and irate members dragged him outside. He was then tied and shackled to a freezing lamp-post, relying on passing dogs to provide some warm but welcome liquid respite.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

" Now listen up you lot........I intend to teach you winning bridge.......which means ruthlessly exploiting your opponents ignorance of the game. You must develop and use whatever tactics are necessary to give you that all important competitive advantage . One way this can be done is by employing the Beauchief Coup, which utilises the use and non-use of the stop card in a spectacular and highly inventive way.
Let's for instance take the Gerber 4C convention. This occasionally crops up when a player with a big hand hears his partner open 1NT. Bidding 4C directly is always regarded as a simple straightforward Ace asking enquiry bid. But what if responder has a weak hand with nothing to offer other than length in clubs. What can he do ?
Well, the Beauchief Coup provides the perfect solution. When you want to use the 4C bid as Gerber, pull out a stop card first. But when you what it to mean a pre-emtive barrage bid in clubs.... just bid 4C without the stop card.
On hearing all this, one of Bigot's ethically minded students was not only unconvinced but very concerned . Eventually, he plucked up the courage to challenge Bigot on the legality of this dubious manoeuvre.
" I'm not sure the rules allow this ? "
Bigot did not take kindly to what he was hearing. He expected students to follow his rules and not a load of poxy ones in some little red, orange, yellow books, which clever dick, know-it-all players constantly quote whenever opponents commit even the smallest transgressions .
" So what..... if there are some lardy da, namby pampy, up-their-own-arses, pompous, pious, rule abiding zealots out there, who see the Beauchief Coup as a form of cheating.......then there are others who would describe it as a legitimate form of underhand bidding..... that is of couse......... until someone who really is in the know ..... says otherwise. Indeed, your chances of getting away with it against bunnies and bumbledogs are tremendously high. Now take it from me tosser..... that this coup ( along with with many others involving the clever use and non-use of stop cards ) will give you such a huge competitive advantage over the the field...... success can almost be guaranteed . So get out there and use it in precisely the same way, as this marvellous inventor from Beauchief suggested . "
The academy class that started out with so much promise and potential was becoming a major disappointment for Bigot. All his instruction and guidance on logical deduction and reasoning was failing to make an impact.
So yet again he posed a problem to illustrate the importance of correct thinking : " Imagine this.......I am standing in a boat in the middle of the lake fishing, when I lose my balance and fall in. Unable to swim I begin to thrash around in the water, yelling for help. My wife hears all the commotion, sees the danger and predicament I'm in......and then starts running at full pelt towards the bank. So I put it to you..... what prompted her to run flat out towards the bank ?
After two or three minutes of embarrassing silence, a nervous looking lady raised her hand. She didn't look confident at all, but Bigot regarded her as his star pupil.
" I'm not sure.....but I guess it was an overwhelming desire to draw out all your savings......"
That answer did it. Bigot just sat in his seat staring forlornly at the ceiling. Making headway with this bunch of buffoons was proving to be a bridge too far.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

A few years ago an Australian colleague of mine, Dr. Scott Freeman, wrote a medical paper on the Dilligaf Delusion. Having once been an inmate of the infamous Bedlam Asylum, he somehow managed to escape and flee to the other side of the world. There in the land of the amber nectar he set up a psychiatric institution on the outskirts of Perth, which investigated rare psychiatric disorders ( a subject area he knew a great deal about ) .
It was at this institution that he diagnosed a whole contingent of players from the local bridge club with the DILLIGAF DELUSION. All of them had taken up the game full of high expectations, but with such little skill and potential they were destined never to win a thing. With one bitter disappointment following another, these born losers were forced to develop a coping strategy of appearing unconcerned and blase about their woeful and wretched performances. Once this delusional disorder took hold, victims were able to avoid the risk of losing face amongst their peers. This amazing form of self-preservation certainly gave their fragile egos immunity from any untoward criticism.
Any player diagnosed with the dilligaf delusion, if questioned about their abject performances, would simply laugh the game off as a " meaningless pursuit ". Others might resort to wearing a DILLIGAF T-Shirt, which they would ask their accusers to look at and take on board its shocking message.
Yet the sad fact remains that beneath the veneer of " do I bloody care ! " , there lurks pain, distress and embarrassment about being perennial non-achievers. Nevertheless, by constantly suppressing these negative feelings, the emotional pressures build up to such a level they eventually explode into one massive out pouring of grief. These mental breakdowns often have devastating consequences, with reports of an extremely high incidence of suicide.
So should you ever come across players who start to write off their bad scores and poor results with statements like " am I bothered " you know damn well they are. Indeed, every bridge club the world over will have players displaying similar symptoms to those of the dilligaf delusion. However, there is very little point now it sending them over to the institute for therapy, because Dr. Scott Freeman also fell victim to this condition. When asked as to what he was going to do about all the dilligaf patients jumping off the roof in droves, he casually replied : " Do I look like I give a fuck " .

Saturday, 2 April 2011

  • How To Keep Your Place In The " A " Team...............Levi Will Knott
  • You Reckon My Partner's Better Than Me ?..............Izzy L. Haslike
  • The Prize Money On Offer These Days Is Shameful....Amir Pittance

  • What I Become, When Games Are Missed...................T. Doff
  • He's An Irish Grandmaster, Isn't He ?.........................Toby Shaw
  • What's Wrong With Being Highly Ethical ?..................Eddy Fying
  • My Partner Always Manages To Cut Me Short............Bob Tayles
  • Why Do Opponents End Up Pissing On Me ?...............Kat Litter
  • How To Deal With Wild Partners and Fierce Opponents ...Leon Tamar
  • Players Who Cheat Make Me Feel Sick.......................Bill E. Huss
  • How To Spot The Cheats Who Listen In.....................Rab B. Tiers
  • No, I'm Quite Upset About Losing My Partner ..........Saul Lee Miszt

Friday, 1 April 2011

BRIDGE IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE...... ( A truly unbelievable nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )
One night four inexperienced lady players left the comfort zone of their bridge class to try out the Thursday night duplicate. Electing to start off at a same table , they knew they could play the first three boards in safe company without incident.
However, on board 3 the bidding went : Pass - Pass -1S- IH
Unsure of what to do they called the TD over. After he established that the 1H bidder had missed the 1S call, he informed the other side of their rights : either they could accept the bid, or ask the offending player to correct her bid to 2H. The first option was chosen.
Then to every one's amazement the next bid from North was 1D !
" What was that bid all about then ? "
" Oh, I thought West's bid had been cancelled and I was at liberty to bid 1D over my partner's 1C "
" But your partner bid 1S "
" So she did.....ah well..... at least you know what rights you have in such circumstances . Either ask me to make it good to 2D, or you can accept it. "
" We'll accept it ".
Next to bid was East who by now was very confused as to what was going on. So when she reached for a card from the bidding box, she pulled out 1C !! It seemed as though the auction, and time itself, were now in reverse.
" Jesus, Mildred, what in heaven's name is that bid in aid of ? "
" Well ....I couldn't help noticing the direction in which the bidding was going, and although I have very little in the way of clubs, I do have enough points to respond...... but with only one available bidding card left after 1D, I was forced to take it. "
And so the auction ended there, with Mildred going down 1 for an above average score.