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 " .

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