Thursday, 30 June 2011
JOHNNY SUPREMO CLAIMS FINESSES ARE FOR LOSERS.....
During a recent tournament Johnny was in a routine 6H, which to his surprise earned him a whole load of the match points. Here is the hand in question : ( North ) AK.....Q9xx.....Axxx.........QJx. Johnny, in the South seat, was looking at : ..... x.....AKJ10xx......QJ9.......Axx
All around the room declarers were bemoaning their fate by taking losing finesses in both diamonds and clubs. But not Johnny.
On a passive spade lead Johnny took the first 4 tricks with 2 top spades and two top trumps. On the king of spades however, he carefully lobbed one of his clubs away.
Then came a low diamond towards his QJ9 in dummy. Mission accomplished....... irrespective of who held the queen of diamonds ! If West had it and took the trick he was well and truly end played in both minors. A diamond return into Johnny's J9 would set up 3 diamond winners ( for another club discard) , and a club return would guarantee two tricks in that suit to see the contract home.
If East held the diamond king, but decided to duck, then clubs could be played out, conceding one loser to the King but the jack would be established for a diamond discard. If East rises with the King of diamonds only to beat thin air, then yet again 3 diamond winners now come into view for that crucial club discard.
Any spade return simply provides an even easier route home with the obvious ruff and sluff .
So in Johnny's book, finesses should never be employed ......especially when there are other superior options available .
A BLAST FROM THE PAST : A RARE BIGOT-JOHNSON INTERVIEW WITH PERCY PANTOPOD
Percy : What do you want Bigot.....knocking on my door this time of morning ?
B-J : Listen Percy I need your help.....as editor of the bridge club newsletter I have a duty to provide the membership with a bit of interesting gossip and tittle tattle .......... they get fed up reading about problem bridge hands, and write-ups about the same old people adding even more goddamn trophies to their list of successes. Anyway, I believe your good wife has just died, and everyone was always impressed by the way she kept you firmly under her thumb.
Percy : Yes....that's true
B-J : So I thought.....I'd just do a little piece on her........just a few inches so to speak
Percy : Hmmm...I'd rather you didn't
B-J : Look....I'm a bit strapped for material ....... no one has submitted any problem hands..... the last two club competitions have been cancelled for lack of interest...... and members generally are too apathetic to even consider putting pen to paper
Percy : Well.....if you must
B-J : Heaven's above......what a tip this house is in........ it's a disgrace ........mind you, death's a damn good excuse to bunk off the housework.......isn't it ? Why....if my wife were to drop dead, my life at home would be a whole lot easier.
Percy : Would you like a drink ?
B-J : Depends on what she died of .....if it's anything catching, I'd rather not bother
Percy : It was her heart you know.........it was all very sudden.......right in the middle of a game of rubber bridge..
B-J : How inconsiderate of her.....but tell me.....did she slump forward in her chair, or keel over sideways and crash to the floor in a hideous and grosteque fashion
Percy : I can't recall....but I know she spilt a glass of expensive red wine in the process
B-J : What a waste......and oh yes...I can see that horrible red stain on your carpet over there. I bet you could have killed her for that ?
Percy : Yes...I was a bit miffed....the carpet cost me a small fortune, and it had only been down a week
B-J : Oh by the way, I've brought with me a photographer and a look-a-like replcement for your wife. Would it be alright if she could re-enact the moment when your wife was in the throes of death ?A photo of that would really jazz up the obituary section of the newsletter.
Percy : Well, I suppose so......
B-J : And it might work quite well if you could include yourself in the picture...... jumping out of your seat looking really distraught and upset.....
Percy : Sorry....I've changed my mind.....you can all sod off...... good-day..... and good riddance !
B-J : Bugger.....
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
ANOTHER ALMOST TRUE BUT AMAZING STORY......... ( By Bridgemeister Gibson )
Back at the Walnut Tree Allotment BC there was a surprisingly high turn out for the AGM. During the meeting the chairman stood up and asked members to volunteer for a sponsored half marathon. The money raised would then go to a local charity.
Bigot , still bemoaning the fact that he was to leave another prize giving event empty handed, was unimpressed. So true to form he shouted out from the back of the room : " Piss off.....I've haven't run in years......hell.......I get out of breath just walking between tables ".
" That's a pity ", said the chairman, " this marathon is for handicapped and blind children ".
At this point Bigot immediately jumped out of his chair, brimming with interest and enthusism.
" In that case.....count me in......this is something I could definitely win ! "
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
AN ALMOST TRUE BUT AMAZING STORY......... ( By Bridgemeister Gibson )
The Walnut Tree Allotment Society BC has over the years attracted many members from the local farming community. Many of them are inbred as evidenced by both their physical and mental abnormalities. Bigot-Johnson's latest partner happened have extremely big feet, but was by far the smallest player in the club. In fact he was so small he had to stand up at the table in order to play and see the cards.
During one duplicate event the midget man was shifting around in a great deal of discomfort, driving Bigot to distraction. " For God's sake man.....stop fidgeting around....what the devil is up with you ? "
His embarrassed partner, a farmer and occasional novelty circus act performer, looked up to Bigot, and replied in a rather sheepish mannner : " I'm so sorry......but my private parts are so sore.....and I've no idea why "
Bigot stared hard at the man as though he was the world's dumbest person. Then he strode off to the club house kitchen only to return with a pair of scissors. Approaching his partner from behind , he starts snipping away for all he was worth.
Oblivious as to what was going on, his partner suddenly experienced a huge sense of relief. The irritation and discomfort had all gone.
" Wow....I feel so much better. What on earth did you do ? "
Bigot looked flabbergasted . His disbelief and contempt for the dwarf had reached new heights.
" You great muppet....I simply trimmed 2 inches off the tops of your wellies ! "
Monday, 27 June 2011
AS AN AGEING BRIDGE PLAYER YOU KNOW YOU'RE OVER THE HILL WHEN ..........
- you look both ways before crossing the room
- you get winded even in the sitting seat
- picking up a card off the carpet, you ask yourself " while I am down here is there anything else I should be doing ? "
- your mind puts you into contracts you've no chance of making
- a partnerless player prefers to take his chances with an available novice
- players you once slagged off for slow play now seem to play irritatingly fast
- your past table transgressions remain safe with your friends, because they can't remember them either
- young newcomers to the club simply refer to you as " old timer "
- getting excited at the table causes you to have unfortunate little accidents
- the best result of the day is a pass out hand for an average
- you confuse having a clear conscience with a short-term memory loss
- having to move between rounds, you find yourself marooned on the stairs, unsure as to whether you were going up or going down
- you have to get up from your seat in stages
- you think you know all the answers but players have long stopped asking you any questions
Sunday, 26 June 2011
ANOTHER SNIPPET FROM AN OLD LAW REPORT ( May1995) INVOLVING THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF PERCY PANTOPOD
Judge : Bigot-Johnson......do you understand that you have sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.....
B-J : I do
Judge : Good.....that's a reliefProsecutor : Now Bigot.....what have you got to say in your defence ?
B-J : Well.......under those limitations nothing at all
ANOTHER SNIPPET FROM THE LAW REPORTS ( Dec 1994) REVEALING ONE OF BIGOT-JOHNSON'S MORE STUNNING COURTROOM PERFORMANCES
Prosecutor (P) : Bigot-Johnson you are charged with causing grievous bodily arm.....with intent......by using a firearm on Percy Pantopod, while you were both on a bridge holiday In India.
B-J : Yes....I can not for the life of me figure out why the man is still alive today
P : The facts appear to be as follows........the two of you left the hotel after the evening's duplicate to walk off into the jungle that was supposedly out of bounds. Having managed to get yourselves completely lost you came across a dangerous man-eating tiger.
B-J : That about right...
P : So please tell the court .......why you felt it is necessary to shoot poor Percy in the leg ?
B-J : Self-preservation.....If we both legged it it was a 50-50 chance of who was going to buy it. I figured I could put the odds firmly in my favour if I coud outrun Percy. This required me to shoot him in the leg in order to slow him down. It was the perfectly logical thing to do.
Judge : Pardon my curiousity......but wouldn't it have been more logical to shoot the tiger instead ?B-J : Ah....not so.....in that situation it is logical to assume two things. Firstly, it is far easier to hit a stationary target which is only 3 feet away from you......than a hungry man-eating tiger that is hurtling towards you at break-neck speed. Secondly, if I fired and missed the tiger........ the animal would have got really miffed, and would no doubt head straight for me !
Judge : Can't argue with that........
B-J : Yep.... it's that kind of logic which has earned me the reputation of being the most ruthless, cold hearted, calculating bastard of a bridge player in the whole of the UK......
Saturday, 25 June 2011
SHOULD HUSBANDS PARTNER THEIR WIVES ?..........NOT ACCORDING TO BIGOT !
This question has to some extent been answered by what happened to John Bennett. Clearly, not all husband and wife bridge partnerships avoid conflict, disagreement and retribution. The reality is that such partnerships can only lead to fall out, acrimony and in many cases alimony.
Is it because each spouse heaps unrealistic expectations upon the other, such that frustration and anger becomes extremely acute, when one inadvertently lets the other down ? Or is because the familiarity borne out of marriage breeds a level of contempt that is so poisonous, the prospect of maintaining mutual respect becomes almost zero ?
Well, I have been digging into husband and wife bridge partnerships to get a real perspective on whether or not it is a recipe for disaster. Certainly, in the majority of cases.... their bridge results are !
Anyway, here are some comments direct from the horses' mouths so to speak that clearly endorse a resounding " no " answer:
- I plan to be a bridge widow next week....... I've just bought a gun
- Partnering your spouse is like 2 sides of a coin : you just can't face each other, but you're stuck together
- I thought about partnering my husband......and then I thought again
- Playing bridge with my wife has given me an insight to the fulility of the human existence
- My wife and I were happy for 20 years..... then we started playing bridge together
- When I married my husband my life was incomplete....since we started playing bridge together my life is finished
- I don't worry about terrorism....I've been partnering my husband for years
- If love is blind, then partnering your spouse will be a real eye-opener
- Marriage is absurd if you have to sleep with a partner you hate most
- The secret of a happy marriage is never choose your spouse as a partner
- Partnering your spouse is like a 3 ring circus : enduring, bearing and suffering
- We found a solution to our marriage difficulties : I play bridge on Tuesdays, he plays bridge on Thursdays
- Someone once told me playing bridge is a recipe for mental illness, but partnering your spouse simply doubles that danger
- Bridge is really tearing me apart....the other night I was ready to kill my wife, until I remembered it was her turn to do the house cleaning
- Having your way and partner your spouse.......runs the same marital risk as having your way with someone else's partner
Friday, 24 June 2011
REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG................
What is it with me ?
Whenever I am involved in a tricky slam hand, whether as a declarer or a defender, my mind goes completely blank. Either the excitement or the fear ( maybe the combination of both ) stops me thinking rationally.
It seems that every time I'm asked to make a crucial decision, the quality of my thinking, which is always variable, can collapse into a form of dimentia. I'm at my wits' ends not knowing whether or not I have a deteriorating neurological condition.
Yours Ben Jerelbo
Yes, the condition you speak of is a rare form of dimentia, which shuts down your mind the moment you allow panic, fear and anxiety to create chemical imbalances in your brain. This causes your neurological communication transmitters to malfunction.
I have known hundreds of ageing bridge players with similar symptoms, but you should count yourself lucky since their problems relate to any tricky bridge hand ( not slams) . Indeed, the more they allow anxiety to overwhelm them, the loopier they get. I once came across a player who was panicking over a 2S contract. As her brain went into shut down, and dimentia took hold, she first asked me what contract was she in, and then after I told her she proceeded to play like she was in no trumps .
So my advice to you is simple. Give up the game before you really start embarrassing yourself in front of others. Try to avoid being remembered as a complete fool or ass-hole.
Yours Rood by name, Rood by nature
Thursday, 23 June 2011
A VERY NEARLY TRUE STORY ................. ( As told by Bridgemeister Gibson )
This story is about two letters. The first was sent in to William Hills from a member of the Cardinal BC , and the second was bookmaker's swift and abrupt reply.
Dear Sir /Madam,
Following a recent discussion in my local bridge club, which I might add became very heated indeed, I would like you to inform me as to
(a) the possibility of laying a bet on whether the hard-done-to Percy Pantopod, recently expelled from the club for cheating, will get reinstated, should a ruling go in his favour at the County Court hearing ( scheduled for the end of the month )
(b) the best odds you can offer me for such an outcome
I enclose a 300 page dossier which outlines in great detail the legal arguments, and all the likely counter arguments , as currently presented by both sides.
Yours eagerly awaiting your reply, Brock Lee Spears
Thank you for your recent communication.
The company wishes to confirm that it is not the business of offering odds on unresolved matters that may be considered to be in poor taste. These include the outcomes of street brawls, petty squabbles, insane stunts, bitter divorces, and complex court cases.
I trust I have clarified the company's position on this matter, and if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me again.
Please find enclosed the return of the dossier, which proved to be a very interesting read. However, since the law is to some extent predictable based upon authorative precedents which judges are obliged to follow, I might be willing put £200 on Pantopod succeeding, but only if someone came forward offering odds of 3/1 or better.
Yours Frank Lee Speaking
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
SENSATIONAL NEW BRIDGE BOOKS HOT OFF THE PRESS............ ( Bulletin by Pun )
- Bigot-Johnson's Bridge Books Shock The EBU............Bess Sellars
- Pretentious Bridge Players Really Piss Me Off..........Art T. Fartey
- Why I'm Giving Up The Game................................Colette A . Day
- Hell's Bells ! That Woman's Leading The Pack...........Asa Spades
- Partner, You Want To Know About Lebensohl ?.....Candice Knott-Waite
- I Only Play Rubber Bridge When I Need To..............Winsome Cash
- Dealing With Disciplinary Matters Is No Picnic.........Ariel Hassle
- Some Bridge Players Talk A Load Of Crap..................Fuller Blarney
- My God, He 's Trumped Again !.................................Stan Wellback
- Listen Captain, You Can Trust Us To Get A Result......Candy Liver
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
BRIDGE PLAYERS : PANICKERS AND CHOKERS.........( Article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schulelgruber )
In big match situations there are many players who are out of their depth. Techically good, but prone to bouts of panicking or choking, they seem unable to hack it in " pressure situations " , where perhaps the next decision will either mean a glorious victory, or a heart breaking defeat.
Chokers are the complete opposite panickers in the way they respond to the fear factor that begins to overwhelm them. Fearful of making a wrong decision inevitably triggers one of two kinds of brain malfunction.
Whenever tournament players sense they are on the verge of an historic achievement, way beyond their wildest expectations, they simple crack up. Doubt sets in, and with it the fear of wasting all the good work and good fortune they had been blessed with earlier on. This is the moment when players either begin to choke or panic.
The panickers find their brains going into a crazy maelstrom of random, uncontrolled thought processes. Over analysis of a bidding or play problem takes over. Thoughts, ideas, probabilities, risk assessment, alternative solutions all need to be considered .....almost simultaneously. The brain goes into overdrive, but never in a position to provide a sane answer to the problem. Right answers get easily bypassed and overtaken by absurd and illogical ones. Even magical thinking gets thrown into the frenzy of the mix. Complete anxiety denies them the ability to think straight, as their minds wander down all kinds of garden paths. Panickers, like needles, simply get lost in giant haystacks of advanced thinking.
The chokers however suffer from a different kind of brain malfunction. When put under pressure to make the right bid or play of the cards, their thinking simply becomes stuttered and stilted. They succumb to using only the main avenues of analytical thinking, rather than the usual mixture of main channels and their tributaries. So afraid of making mistakes, they tend to freeze and in doing so fall back to bog standard, safe options. They start doubting their judgement, intuition and instinct to be creative and play with flair. They choke...... and as a result their play becomes timid and predictable. Indeed, some chokers have been known to completely freeze as if their thought processes have come to a halt. Then autopilot takes over, when only pre-programmed decisions are put into operation .
So there we have it. The panicker's thought processes accelerate away to a point of self-destruction, whereas chokers seem unable to get their brains into gear. Either way these type of tournament players are destined never to win. They all drown in that ever rising flood water of anxiety, panic, self-doubt and fear, whenever victory is in sight. The realisation that a dream could become a reality is always the trigger which starts the flood.
Monday, 20 June 2011
REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.....................
I don't know if you have read Professor Hu Chi KI Chi's recent blog, but I have to say in no uncertain terms that even to suggest a link once existed between bridge and satanic practices centuries ago is an outrage.
I find all this mumbo jumbo about the devil taking over bridge players very distressing indeed. I don't believe it for one second, and I would kill any man who iis prepared to spout the same clap trap. I don't trust that mealy mouthed professor one bit. He is a complete charlatan and disreputable academic.
Bridge is a beautiful game played by extremely God fearing, decent, honest folk, who set out to create a social and friendly environment for all to enjoy the duplicate experience. For anyone to suggest dark forces lurk in every bridge club is not only guilty of blasphemy, but also guilty of telling the biggest porkies ever.
Yours hoping this letter will have enlightened you , Nadia C. Moore
Dear Nadia ,
To a small extent I share your sentiments, but not only you are in self-denial, you continue to live in the make-believe world.
The professor is a very dedicated historian, who really knows his stuff. His research methods are impeccable. He strives to be both objective and honest with regards to any published facts, and the logical conclusions which can be drawn from them.
As for the " devil within " argument, I'm afraid I'm with the professor all the way. Why just the other day I witnessed a player, renown for taking a peep or two at opponents' cards, rotate his head a full 360 degrees. Moreover, there are players in my club who claim that whenever " they see red " , they are solely referring to the colour of another player's eyes.
So yes, there is a great deal of truth in what the good professor says. It is you who comes across as a blinkered and biased tosspot.
Yours as always.... openly minded and openly Rood
Saturday, 18 June 2011
THE SATANIC ORIGINS OF ENGLISH BRIDGE........... ( Article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
Recently unearthed archive documents prove beyond all reasonable doubt that bridge was first played in England during the late 1600's. However, it was not the social and well respected game we have come to love and worship today. Back then, it was a game for devil worshippers who practised all manner of satanic rites, commonly referred to as the Black Mass.
For this group of strange and bizarre people, bridge was a means by which the devil inside them could come to the fore. Bridge became the bridge by which the demons of hell could cross, ready to possess the minds and bodies of their accommodating human hosts. Bridge had become one of many dark religions, a fact which until now had remained a secret for well over 300 years. Scholars never realised that locked away in the university archives of Oxford were the coded diaries of the infamous Francis Dashwood, who had formed a very sinister brotherhood of bridge fanatics. Now that my researchers have cracked his very clever and devious code, the story I'm about to tell you is as fantastic as it is grotesque.
In 1699 Francis Dashwood took up bridge, and in doing so allowed the devil to completely possess and destroy his soul. Capitalising on the game's awesome appeal, he set about recruiting a group of followers, gullible, easily led men, who were more than willing to elect him as grandmaster of the newly formed brotherhood. According to Dashwood's rules, bridge had to be played with the devil's pack, in which every suit was black. The club house was an old converted hunting lodge built out of dark wood and granite . It was aptly named THE BLACKHEART BRIDGE CLUB , to represent not only what the game was all about, but also its members.
The club gained membership at an alarming rate, and anyone who entered the club with love, charity and mercy left with a twisted and warped mind, full of hate, loathing and murderous intent.
Apparently, to become a member of this club, applicants had to undergo a rather painful initiation ceremony. After a thorough whipping from running the gauntlet, they then had to drink the contents of a chalice, which contained a mixture of wine, brimstone, rat's urine and water. The water, however, had to be from a polluted well, where it was known that unbaptised children had been drowned. Finally, they had to answer questions correctly on the Dashwood bidding system, whilst standing barefoot on hot smouldering coals. Many of course fell at the first hurdle, and their bodies were quickly disposed off in a deep but well concealed limestone pit located behind the lodge.
With so many other satanic rites going on elsewhere, the King was getting increasingly concerned at the breakdown of law and morality. Then in April 1721 came the inevitable royal edict condemning " certain scandalous clubs and societies, where people only meet together to undertake the most impious and blasphemous activities, which must be viewed as an insult to the most sacred principle of our Christian religion".
On the top of the King's hit list was the Blackheart BC. Rumours about its activities included butchering and carving up opponents, cutting for partners, making killing leads, and squeezing players to death. Yet it was the distressing stories about all the sacrifices that took place behind its closed doors, which caused the most outrage. Bridge clubs were clearly depicted as torture chambers or bloody battlefields. Within weeks of the edict, the infamous Blackheart BC was burnt down, with most of its members inside at the time. A warrant was made out for Dashwood's arrest, along with others who somehow had managed to escape the fire .
Dashwood went to ground and was never seen again. Other members of the brotherhood were less fortunate. They hand been fingered by an anonymous informer who told the king's soldiers of their whereabouts. Each one was rounded up, hung, drawn and quartered.
So without a shadow of doubt, the history of English bridge began at the Blackheart BC. A game which once spawned a dark religion, has now thankfully evolved into a much more acceptable and sanitised version. Yet many will argue it still provides opportunities for the devil to enter the arena, taking over the personalities of those who play the game with ruthless endeavour, and a must-win-at-all-costs attitude.
However, one fascinating mystery still remains. What was the Dashwood bidding system all about ? Hopefully, if some of his other diaries can be found, we might get the answer to this intriguing question.
Friday, 17 June 2011
WALNUT TREE ALLOTMENT BC DISCIPLINARY SUB-COMMITTEE HEARING NO. 29
( Percy Pantopod and partner were in big trouble having been accused of cheating, with Bigot-Johnson taking on the dual role of chief prosecution witness and complainant. The following is a short extract from took place at the hearing. )
Chairman : Pantopod.....both you and your partner have been accused of cheating ....
PP : Who the hell by..... ?
Bigot : ( Laughing hysterically )..Me...of...course.....you muppet
PP : What !........I'm innocent.......and even if I wasn't........ there's no way you can prove it
Bigot : Ah ......but I can. As I was unable to play in last Sunday's pairs competition, the chief tournament director kindly allowed me to make up the hands. On boards 7, 16 and 29 all the Easts......which included your partner......the thickest oaf I've ever played against......were dealt a weak 7-2-2-2 distribution, with the long suit headed by the A-Q-10.
The bidding on all three boards recorded your partner making an opening 3-level pre-empt, followed by two passes, with North ending the auction with a 3NT overcall.
PP : Yes...yes...I recall those 3 boards very well....an outright top on each
Bigot : Not surprising .......because on board 7, North held Kx in your partner's suit, but strangely he found an opening lead to your Ace of spades, whereupon you immediately switched to his suit to harvest the first eight tricks.
PP: Yes....a truly inspired play by partner !
Bigot : Then on board 17, when declarer was gambling on his stiff King to take the first trick, your partner confidently lead out his Ace.......whereupon he took the next six tricks. You of course had nothing but three small in his suit.
PP : The man was on fire....
Bigot : Finally, we come to board 29......where declarer held four of your partners suit to the J-9. Your hand was Kx. Amazingly your partner this time decided to lead low, putting you in with the king to fire one back through declarer's fragile holding. He stuck in the 9 but to no avail, and another 3NT contract bit the dust.
PP : Another truly inspired opening lead....
Bigot : So on 3 separate occasions this buffoon of a player managed to find a different lead, which turned out to be the only one to defeat the contract. How could such a feeble-minded wooden top like him do that unless he knew exactly what you were holding !
Chairman : By Jing0....Bigot you're right......there had to be some form of illegal signalling going on. Any pair who could stoop that low must be a nothing more than filthy, no-good, darn right , low down cheating dogs. Thank you so much Bigot for setting up this ingenious trap. How on earth did you manage to dream up these telling hands ?
Bigot : Easy.....my partner and I defended the very same hands in a high stakes rubber bridge match a few weeks earlier, where we came away with a small fortune. Hell....it required us to be at our finger-signalling-best to beat each one of those 3NT contracts.......
BRIDGE BOOKS THAT ARE AN ABSOLUTE MUST...... ( Claims Pun )
- Listen Captain, We Can't Function Without Weed........Bill N. Benn
- My Partner Should Be Stoned To Death......................Roxanne Bolders
- Bridge Terminology : Classic Synonyms.....................Rex King
- Don't Bid Slowly : Bid As Fast As You Can...................Patty Cakeman
- Now That Boy Can Really Play Bridge !.......................Bud N. Starr
- What Separates The Men From The Boys....................Curly Ayres
- How Do You Know I'll Be Kicked Out ?........................Di S. Caste
- I Hate Men Who Just Sit There And Stare...................Leah Ring
- In Big Tournaments It Pays To Have Nerves Of Steel...Hiron Monger
- Why Do I Always Dance To Partner's Tune ?................Joanna Keys
Saturday, 11 June 2011
WHERE DID THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE BC GETS ITS NAME FROM ? ...... ( part 2 )
A fourth theory as to the origin of its name owes much credence to the fact that during the early 1900's the out house at the back of property was used as a makeshift abattoir, for the slaughter of rabbits. Diaries of workers revealed the scale of the inhumane practices that went on behind the blood stained walls and sealed windows. Workers, it seemed, desperate to relieve the depressing boredom of the job , tried to think up new and exciting ways of killing these poor petrified creatures. Apparently, hand held gadgets similar to mini- chainsaws were every one's preferred choice of weapon.
However, it wasn't long before the outhouse got burned down by animal liberation activists, an event which was quickly followed by the great depression of the late 1920's. People were really down, and so the new owner of the property decided to turn it into an entertainment venue, known as the So Ho Ho Comedy Club. This proved to be a very popular and extremely profitable move, but then the name started to attract a large number of displaced cockneys who had another agenda in mind. They arrived in droves looking for, and expecting, a really " good time ". Only when the police were deluged with letters of complaint , about the number of seedy looking men descending upon the neighbourhood , was something done to rebrand what was on offer. Cleverly, the owners changed the name to THE LAUGHTER HOUSE, but then one of the visiting comedians decided to paint a big capital "S" beside the "L" on the name board hanging over the front door. The new and inappropriate name was one that stuck in the minds of all those that saw it.
Finally, in 1977 after the property was up for sale again, Bigot-Johnson stepped in. For him this was a dream come true. Here he was....a man in charge of a bridge club, able to pick and choose who he wanted as members. Naturally, the focus was on new unsuspecting beginners to the game. For Bigot and his chosen chums, these novices were simply lambs to the slaughter.....hence the name of the club.
WHERE DID THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE BC GET ITS NAME FROM ? ...... ( Historical research by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi and Norman Nerd )
This question has baffled local historians for quite some time. Indeed, it is an obscure fact that, since the early 19th century, there has been the continuous reputation of a cursed house in that part of Bawtry, near Doncaster. Today, of course, the building is the home of the Slaughter House BC , run and owed by the infamous Bigot-Johnson.
Early records show than in medieval times a fierce and ferocious battle took place on the very spot the property was first built. The battle was so one sided, the vanquished were all butchered in the most gruesome way imaginable. Bodies were dismembered and the pieces were heaped together into one massive pile before being disposed off in a mass grave. The site of course then became synonymous with slaughter.
Then in 1812, or so the story goes, the wealthy Slater family built a magnificent house on the site, from the proceeds of double-dealing, blackmail and outrageous skulduggery. All the locals referred to the building as the SLATER HOUSE, but then in 1819 a terrible event took place. The deranged father took it upon himself to brutally murder all the other members of his family. Tried for murder at Doncaster Assizes, he was brought before Judge Gallows, who had no hesitation in sentencing him to " hang by a rope until his neck breaks ". Rumour had it that a local dim wit inadvertently used slaughter instead of slater , when referring to the house, a name which somehow stuck in the minds of those, who had come to believe that the property was possessed by evil spirits.
Another more plausible explanation, of how the slaughter house name first came into being, arrived in the form of an autobiography written in 1879 by Roger Mehard. He recalls the time when he visited the house after it had been taken over by the Bawtry Hell Fire Club, the owner of which was the boss of a rapidly growing rent-boy agency. As a new and active member, he soon had visions of taking the sado-mas0chistic activities practised there onto another level completely. However, in order to maintain the good name of the club, the founder members decided to sling him out. As his body went flying out through an open window, an illiterate passer-by commented " yer see that.....he's binned slung outta house ......" . Part of that statement got completely misheard by the airborne Roger, who subsequently misquoted it in his book as " banned from the slaughter house ! ".
( Part 2 of this article will appear tomorrow )
Friday, 10 June 2011
" When I voted to approve money earmarked for upgrading the club house premises, I didn't expect the committee to spend thousands on punishment cells like this.......just to lock away misbehaving members like you and I......"
Thursday, 9 June 2011
DOES BIGOT-JOHNSON REALLY EXIST ?......... ( Article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
As regular readers of this blog know full well, Howard Bigot-Johnson is nothing more than one of John Howard Gibson's alter egos. Given that this person was made up of several different selves, it comes as no surprise to see the irrepressible HBJ alter ego seizing control from all the others. This of course condemned the meek and wimpy one, referred to by Bigot as " Doormat John ", to complete anonymity. This blog is a testament as to how far HBJ is in ascendancy, running amok in the world of cyberspace .
Yet some will argue that HBJ is everywhere, because he is the complete embodiment of all the worst traits and personality characteristics even witnessed in bridge players. He is by definition real in every sense in that he can be found in every dark and seedy corner of every bridge club across the globe, epitomising what is wrong with the game today.
Indeed players who recognise " The Bigot " in themselves should, if they have any shred of decency and empathy left, slit their own throats, and in doing so spare every innocent, decent minded player further grief, pain and suffering.
For some, keeping track of Bigot's exploits might well have taken them on a journey of self-awareness and discovery. Clearly, he acts like a mirror, enabling them to see a true but deeper reflection of themselves. For others he is just a nasty reminder of who they really are.
As J.S. Powell once said " I cannot tell you who I really am, because if do I know you will not like me ". Well Bigot the blogger is man enough and real enough to say " I don't give a bloody damn if you don't like me, because being true to my ugliness is without doubt a merciful release ". So anyone who claims to be another Bigot is another man of truth, because the trade mark characteristic of all Bigot-Johnsons is their refusal to hide behind the numerous facades and masks the rest of us fear to pull down.
Like an omnipotent presence, the demon spirit of HBJ has invaded the minds and souls of countless infants, ready to manifest itself into one of their alter egos....... the very moment they decide to take up bridge .
BRIDGE BOOKS THAT MADE IT BIG IN TASMANIA......... ( Down under research by Pun )
- I Insulted A TD And Look What Happened.............Jay L. Sentence
- You're Asking For Trouble If You Boot Me Out.......Lauren Myside
- What To Do When Team Members Get Upset...........Carmen Downe
- What ....No Chance Of Getting Reinstated !...............C. U. Hencourt
- My Partner Is A Right Dickhead............................... Belle Henman
- So What If I Bend The Rules......................................Lou Smorrells
- I Need To Point Out Another Mistake You Made.......Mona Littlemore
- I'm Forever Handing Opponents Gifts........................Jenna Rossity
- So Who Has Got the Queen ?......................................Ike Kentel
- Sorry Partner, I Wasn't Really Concentrating............Arther Sleep
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
DR. JOHN'S CASE NOTES : THE QUIBBLER COMPLEX
This disorder can affect large numbers of bridge club players, who join the club with a wealth of managerial and professional experience. They all think they know best. They all believe that their opinions and views are correct. However the quibbler complex is far more likely to found in those members, who live on generous government pensions, with a civil service background, and who proudly claim to vote conservative. These are players who love their bridge, live in detached houses, and would never dream of turning up to the club in casual clothes.The problem is that these people, having spent their whole lives involved with petty departmental politics, officialdom, bureaucracy and tedium, then become extremely prone to developing this condition. They criticise and nit-pick about everything. Detail no matter how small needs to be right and all the " i 's " correctly dotted. Part of the complex involves deluding themselves that they operate best as back-seat drivers, superbly qualified to make critical judgements and discerning comments on the shortcomings and inadequacies of players and committee members alike.
This particular cohort of victims will always make a point of attending all AGMs, simply to vent their spleen, off-loading personal criticisms through polite heckling and subtle bitching. They believe their vocal protests are purely motivated by their desire to steer the club in the right direction, or to put it in back on course. Moreover, all their letters of complaint form part of a concerted effort to ensure the club maintains its old traditions, high standards and strong moral values. They are particularly keen to expose any unacceptable behaviour , or practices, involving undesirable members, especially if they happen to be on the current committee.
Indeed, another delusion linked to this complex is the belief that they are above criticism and beyond reproach.
As the condition intensifies so does their determination to quibble over anything, which even remotely or mildly upsets them. The criticism that pours out, relentlessly chips and chisels away at members' credibility,standing and reputation within the club. Needless to say should these quibblers ever be asked to take on the poisoned chalice of committee work, then the stock answer might be as follows :
" It is clear that the committee needs individuals like myself in order to function properly, but in my view there is much to consider before making a decision, which first needs to be approved in principle by those who might wish to vote me in. If I felt that some of their principles were sufficiently close to mine, then fundamentally in principle such a decision to put my name forward would be in every one's best interests. Mind you, if there are any conflicting principles which result in complex and finely balanced arguments, then in principle any decision to stand for committee would be seriously undermined. This unfortunately would necessitate further discussions with the rank and file club members with a view to preparing and proposing a revised set of principles on which there is common agreement, laying to waste any controversial matters where we do not see eye to eye...... "
As I mentioned only the other day to Bigot " Hell is other bridge players ".......or perhaps just those with the quibbler complex ?
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Monday, 6 June 2011
BIGOT'S SHOCKING DISCOVERY...................... ( An interview with Dr. John )
- Dr. John......I not sleeping well at all
- Why is that ?
- Terrible reoccurring dreams.....bloody nightmares in fact !
- Please go on......I'm intrigued
- Well, each dream starts off with me sitting at a bridge table in a tiny little room with three complete strangers. All the other competition players are in the main hall. After the first few boards we wait for new opponents...... who never come. Noticing that the room has no exit door we soon realise we have reached a dead end. ..... condemned to play the same few boards over and over again.
- Now that is strange
- Naturally, we start chatting between boards, revealing in great detail all the sins of our past. How we , directly and indirectly, caused timid, gentle, harmless, sensitive players to suffer terribly from our relentless, cruel, psychological bullying. With each shocking admission comes vitriolic rebuke. The scrutiny by those listening is ruthless and merciless, with every one employing the same lack of sympathy, and callousness , that caused them to sin in the first place.
- My God Bigot.....this is not a dream but a vision of your future. This is your hell !
- What do you mean ?
- In your mind you see hell as other bridge players just like you. In fact this so-called dream of yours is so reminiscent of Jean Paul Sartre's play Huis Clos ......it is uncanny. Tell me....have you ever read or seen this marvellous work ?
- No....I bloody haven't....too damn busy laying into bumbledogs, numpties and wooden tops at my local bridge club
- Hmmm.....it is was my contention that Jean Paul was trying to make sense of The Human Condition. How self-awareness imposes the greatest punishment upon those responsible for inflicting so much pain and suffering . Self-denial is a crudely built wall destined to grumble and collapse under the colossal weight of one's guilt and shame. Yes Bigot.....every one who takes up bridge does so as a free man, able to choose his own morality based upon personal choice and responsibility. However, since you choose to be amoral..... your day of reckoning is here ..... as the forces within your collective unconscious compell you to accept the consequences of your actions. In other words...... hell is a bridge venue of your own making .
- Blimey I need to take steps to redemption ...... before it's too late
- Yes, but first you need to take some giant steps ...... straight to the cash machine around the corner ( and back )....... because this session has just cost you £500
Saturday, 4 June 2011
THE SMART ART OF BIDDING.......... ( Article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
It seems to me that smart bidding achieves four key objectives. The first of these , as S. J. Simon succinctly points out, is to get into the best possible contract which is always likely to make, as opposed to reaching the best contract possible which has every chance of failing.
Top players have clearly mastered the art of parking themselves in 4H/S making, when pairs elsewhere in the room are ruefully chalking up 3NT tick. Yet when the same 10 tricks can be made in either no trumps or a major, the experts regularly weigh in 430 against their names. How do they do it ?
The second objective of smart bidding involves a player communicating with partner in such a way, that each is able to convey a complete and accurate picture of his/her hand. This enables them to know exactly what to do and where to go.
However, smart bidding has fully embraced a much darker objective. The goal here is to disrupt and undermine the opponents' space and/or opportunity to communicate information about their hands, restricting their ability to make the right decisions.
If one is to take this third objective on board, then fast arrival or barrage bids are often employed. Holding a poor hand with 3 diamonds and a shortage in one of the majors, it is compulsory to bid 5D, after hearing your partner's 3D pre-empt and a second seat pass. The opponent in the 4th seat will no doubt double, but he and his partner will be operating in the dark.
Even when players prefer to adopt slow approach bidding, which may risk giving vital information away to wise and wily opponents, the smart bidders will have a strategy to overcome this disadvantage. They simply devise a complex bidding system, packed full of artificial bids, enquiry responses and unheard of gadgets, where the alert card will be popping out left, right and centre. Attempts to understand the detailed long-winded answers serve only to confuse rather than explain. Bamboozled opponents will also be handicapped by having no suitable defences or counter-measures to use against these ultra-smart bids. In short they enter into bidding wars completely unarmed, foolishly hoping that their simple pea shooters to bring down armour-plated tanks. Indeed, it is my contention that really smart bidders have turned the art of bidding into a beautiful complex pattern of indecipherable codes .
The fourth objective is to fully exploit and utilise the opponents' bids to help perfect their own. For instance an ambiguous 1S response over partner's 1C might well be weak or strong, but if there is a 1H overcall, then 1S can be far more explicit and complete in its description. In fact the 1H overcall creates a raft of wonderful opportunities to describe one's hand to a tee, with just one single bid.
So having said all this, I genuinely believe that the art of smart bidding has been corrupted by smart arsed players who have taken bidding into the realms of bewildering complexity. This is why I love the idea of Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi's ultimate bridge, where each pair can swap over hands for a brief but informed look, prior to a quick-fire auction where only bid from each pair is permitted. ( For more details read article posted Nov. 5th 2010 )
Indeed, ultimate bridge is only for the purists who believe the art of smart bidding must be simple in its concept but sublime in its execution.
Friday, 3 June 2011
BRIDGE BOOKS ABOUT CLUBS AT WAR WITH TROUBLESOME MEMBERS......... ( Research by an extremely worried Pun )
- They're Planning To Sling Me Out Of The Club.................Evan Ferbid
- And They're Planning To Sling Him Out As Well..............Omar Ward
- Good Grief, Who Else Is Up For The Chop ?..........................Yul B. Nex
- Will Someone Tell Me What I've Done Wrong ?.........Alex Blaine Layter
- What Action Will The Club Take against Me?...................Gil O' Teen
- Well I Know What They're Gonna Do To You ?................Tanya Hyde
- That Disciplinary Went Well, Got Off Really Lightly........Meah Scolding
- Poor Chap, The Club Certainly Had It In For Him...........Barry Dalive
- If They Sling Me Out, I'm On A Hunger Strike..................Anna Rexick
- So What Are They Going To Do If I Refuse To Go ?...........Kerry Mehoff
- He's Been Kicked Out, But The Big Question Remains...Willy Cumback
- Although He's Gone I Still Sense He's Here................Manny Festation
- He's Been Banned For Life And He's Really Upset...........L. I. Woodby
GRAVESTONE EPITAPHS FOR BRIDGE PLAYERS...... ( More discoveries by Pun )
- Spent his whole live solving difficult and complex bridge problems, only to die of complications
- A nervous player who after years of biting his nails chose to bite the dust instead
- Can anyone shed some light on how I got here ?
- Said his partner would be the death of him. Prophetic words indeed.
- Deeply missed by all those members who never knew him
- One particular hand completely took his breath away
- A hopeless player who thought he saw light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly, it was a train.
- If partner asks after me, tell him I'm upstairs
- In remembrance of a serial psycher : here he can lie to his heart's content
- His inability to see the danger hand cost him dearly
- Weak two bids were the death of him : he just couldn't hackett
- A hopeless bidder who once again signed off too early
Thursday, 2 June 2011
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
GRAVESTONE EPITAPHS FOR BRIDGE PLAYERS........ ( Cemetery research by Pun )
- A timid bidder who finally passed out big time
- Openly spied on committee members but has since gone underground
- Down on his luck and now down for good
- In life he strove hard to be an expert: only in death did he became the finished product
- Always claimed the cards were against him : even his big heart proved not big enough
- Told so many lies at the table, partner refused to believe him when he said he was ill
- Loved to play bridge on the edge, but that extra step was his downfall
- Had a habit of only being half right : thought he was a " dead cert " to make it through to the next round
- His death was caused by an overdose of viagra : his favourite female partner took it very hard indeed
- Took contracts out ( into unmakeable disasters ) , until partner eventually took one out on him