Wednesday, 27 February 2013


1. Once elected as a committee member you must never, under any circumstances, talk about committee matters or affairs with the ordinary club members, who are now referred to as  " the enemy ". 

2. Confidentiality is of paramount importance. The duty is absolute. What goes on behind closed doors must never be divulged to the enemy, especially if the information might possibly expose committee members as having not a single shred of honesty, decency and integrity.

3. As a committee member you must swear an oath of " absolute secrecy " with regard to the  
    following :
     (a) any controversial decisions, which will certainly rattle the enemy's cage 
     (b) information which would cause the enemy to ask a lot of awkward questions
     (c) the truth
     (d) damning statistics, which are likely to lead to embarrassing apologies, and/or severe
           criticism from outsiders
     (e) information clearly ear-marked as sensitive, or potentially damaging to the reputation
          of key committee members
     (f)  secrets that must remain secret
     (g) incriminating evidence of any kind
     (h) decisions best kept under wraps until which time their release will be of little or no 

4. Minutes of every meeting must be carefully vetted and sanitised to such an extent that nothing
    of any significance gets published. This may require the minutes to be no longer than 200 
    words, made up of bland, hugely insignificant house-keeping matters.  However, the worse  
    case scenario might mean putting an important issue onto the back burner,  until it is either 
    forgotten about by the enemy, or can be permanently buried .

5. In circumstances when damaging information does leak out, all committee members must  
    stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a valiant attempt to dispute,  deny, and refute the facts, until 
    such time it is safe to say otherwise.

6. All meetings will take place behind closed doors, all of which will be double-locked and 
    bolted in order to give everyone the same peace of mind.

7. If in the event the enemy get suspicious, start to poke around, stick their noses in where
    they shouldn't, and ask very awkward questions, then it may necessary for the committee to
    " lean " upon them in a firm, but reassuring way.  If this fails to work, trumped up disciplinary
   charges must be invented in a determined attempt to drive them out of the club.

8. The real decisions will always be made earlier on by the select few,  following several  
     clandestine, hush-hush, discussions held in toilets and dark corridors, leaving unsuspecting 
     committee members , referred to as " the sheep ",  to subsequently fulfil their rubber-
     stamping role.  

9. As a sheepish committee member, you must adhere to the following two maxims : 
    (i)   knowledge is power
    (ii ) power is best exercised by those who know how to use it

10. In a crisis situation you must repeat the following mantra over and over again : SILENCE IS

As a committee member you must always accept that information can only be passed onto the enemy on a " need to know " basis, but it is more important for you to recognise the fact that you were elected to make judgements on their behalf as to what they need to know...... and what they don't need to know.

Monday, 25 February 2013


( Having disposed of another Pantopod the Slaughter House committee was on a roll, but this latest one wasn't going without a fight. Insisting on her right to appeal against the ultimate disciplinary sanction, it was left to one of her closest friends to monitor what was going on inside the club. As it happened her friend collared the infamous " Toxic " Ted Bateman as he strutted down the corridor towards the bar.)

Member : Excuse me, but how come you're heading up the five man appeal panel which is reviewing Poppy Pantopod's expulsion from the club 
TT : dear was absolutely necessary to get a long serving club member on board...... who was respected by all for his honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectiveness. Who better to deal with an appeal case in an even-handed way, to ensure that justice and fairness prevails........than me
Member :  But....haven't you gone on record to say that you fully endorsed the committee's decision to get " rid of that bitch once and for all ".
TT : Yes....but so what !......... That doesn't mean I'm  biased or prejudiced in any way. That was my personal and honest opinion. Yet rest assured......when I put on my appeal panel hat,  I shall enter the room with a completely open mind.....
Member : Wow....does this mean you might actually come to the conclusion that..........because Poppy was kicked out in an unceremonious fashion without ever having the opportunity to challenge the evidence against her....or to defend herself against some rather dubious charges of misconduct........the committee's decision should now be set aside for procedural flaws?
TT : Are you stark raving mad ? She wasn't given a hearing because there was no bloody point to her having one.....everyone on that committee wanted to see the back of her.....she'd been a thorn in their side for years.......and heavens above.... flicking a rather large bogey from her nose across the table was clearly a very disgusting and offensive thing to do   
Member : Nevertheless, the committee may have acted in an incorrect manner and way....?
TT : Listen you muppet brain.....the committee is essentially made up with key members of Bigot-Johnson's inner circle, who expect me to do " the right thing ". The other committee members are all decent folk who believe that falling in line is necessary in preserving the principle of collective responsibility . Anyway, I've had enough of your foul insinuations and awkward questions. Now bugger off.....
Member : Well, thank you for your has been very revealing....
TT : let me reveal something of concern to you .......and that is your time as a member of this club is fast running out too !

Dear Rebecca,

My partner and I play Landy but I came to a sudden conclusion that this convention wouldn't  enable me to cope well with this particular hand : AK10x....AK109xxx....x....x
So when my opponent opened 1NT I went straight to 4H, going one off,  when 4S plus one was a lay down. Partner turned up with a 5-1-4-3 distribution in a pointless hand. Spades split 2-2 and hearts, which were 4-2, were easily ruffed out, restricting any losers to just one in each minor.
But what would you have done ?

Yours Ivor Stonker

Dear Ivor, 

Landy, you great muffin, would have worked extremely well in this situation if you and your partner had bothered to add a few refinements to this particular convention. 
With equal but limited length in both majors he should automatically bid 2D and await your next bid. You will naturally jump to 3H, which he can pass on a blizzard with no trump support, or raise to 4H holding 2 or 3 trumps and the potential to provide a trick.
However, when partner turns up with 4 cards in both majors,  he should of course bid 3D, making it no problem for you to find the right game. Holding just one 4/5 card major,  he should bid the suit at the 3 level, and if it happens to be spades, then 4S can be bid by you with relative confidence.
Moreover, if both of you are weak, then ending up at the 3 level on a 5/4 or 4/4 fit, is no bad thing. You are unlikely to be doubled,  and going one or two off may still earn you a few match points at the right vulnerability.

Yours reassuringly Rood   


Sunday, 24 February 2013


Saturday, 23 February 2013



" Partner, I know that in our love-hate relationship we've had many differences of opinion.........and that all too often we've allowed our negative emotions to undermine our deep respect for each other...............but the time has surely come to bury the hatchet........." 

Just as Bigot was getting to grips with a difficult entry problem, a kibitzer find it necessary to intervene.
" Hey there......are you are pervert or what ? "
An embarrassed Bigot stopped in his tracks and turned round to face his accuser. Yet again he found himself caught on camera in one of his sheepish moods. When asked by the concerned onlooker " What on God's earth man are you up to ? ", Bigot replied,  " Rearing sheep... of course ".
Not surprisingly, the distressed passerby went straight to the police to report what he had seen. Within an hour two uniformed officers found Bigot still in the field, and so they proceeded to question him over this latest animal abuse allegation. Bleating profusely about his innocence, he then felt the need to ram home the point that what he was doing was his own business, and therefore of no concern to nosey, interfering bystanders.
" Well sir.....abuse of this nature is of concern to all law enforcement agencies.....and we suspect that you are going to get a very hefty fine ".
Bigot was livid, " What..... are telling me........ I'm going to be fleeced again by the courts ? "
" Yes " came the curt and abrupt reply.
" Bugger...."     

Thursday, 21 February 2013

v. BIGOT-JOHNSON ( 2013 )

( Poor bigot-Johnson was once again brought before magistrates on yet another strict liability offence. This one relating to charges of running and managing a zoo, without having a valid licence to do so. Determined to prove these charges as being totally unwarranted and absurd, he decided of course to conduct his own defence. A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below. )

B-J : How come my club has been classified as a zoo ?
Prosecutor ( P ) : Because we have it in writing that you have often referred to the place as " the animal house " 
B-J : Well, so would you if you saw the way the members behave and carry on.....
P : Yet the compelling evidence are your claims that inside your club there are snakes in the grass, low down dirty rats, weasels, hideous hogs, feeble minded rabbits, pathetically slow tortoises , lots of old deers, and cheetahs by the dozen.........
B-J : You're not kidding......
P : Infact.....independent witnesses have stated you have gorillas as security men, and an elephant in a room which you for some unknown reason you fail to see
B-J : Yes....I now know where you're coming from......the goddamn place is a like zoo !
P : So having received notice that your establishment was classified as a zoo, you were then told to obtain a licence......which you failed to do
B-J : Not for want of trying.....
P : Well, I'm not surprised your application was refused. As the owner-applicant of a private club with the status of an unincorporated association, the licence guidelines are quite clear. Refusal is automatic if applicants have been previously convicted of ill-treating animals
B-J : Hold on a conviction was forty-four years ago.....when I took up sheep farming in Wales for a year.....why it was common practice in those parts for farmers to do all manner of things with their sheep...
P : Please spare the court the lurid details......but your licence application was also refused on the grounds that the activities at the zoo would seriously affect the preservation of law and order in that area, and/or adversely affect the health and safety of people living nearby
B-J : I can't help if it if stray bridgemates going flying off down the street and through hedges into neighbours' gardens......or if petty table altercations spill out onto the road as fights to the death
P : Be that as it may...but I'll be asking the judge on behalf of the local authority to close down the Slaughter House, and impose upon you the maximum fine
B-J : I've herd enough....and you sir have really got my goat.......I can't bear the thought of having to pack in my beloved bridge
Judge : That's can be a real bummer
B-J : Bugger the lot of you then......I'm going back to what I do best 
Judge : What's that ?
B-J : Rearing sheep in Wales 

( This spoof article was partly inspired by Victor Mollo's classic books, which formed the Bridge In The Menagerie series )         

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

" What the blue blazes is that ? "
" It seems damn familiar to me ! "
" Looks like an unidentified scoring device ....."
" Yes....but I know what it really is "
" Tell me "
" It's one of those high powered long range flying bridgemates "
" Somebody help us......they're bloody lethal "
" We need to take immediate evasive action "
" Better still .....we need to head off back home......this planet earth is far too dangerous a place
   to ever consider colonising " 

( By Pun ) :

" Yes....yes....I'm at the end of my tether alright......with everyone bitchin' about the way I operate as chairman. But hell.....I've been chasing my tail for days now looking for a way forward to get this club back onto its feet again. And what's more I've a few bones to pick with you arseholes who say the club is finished. You're all barking mad. I know I'm dogmatic but that's what I'm all about : arrogant, bigoted, snappy, intolerant and dictatorial. So don't unleash any more of your dirt finding questions on me.......I'm need time to paws....and time to sniff out a devious solution to get the club out of the huge financial hole I've just dug for it. "     


" As Bigot's new partner the likelihood of a flying bridge mate coming my way is almost a red hot certainty........and although I don't know how much protection this high impact ABS plastic helmet provides, I'm not arguing with the club's health and safety  rules on appropriate dress......"

Sunday, 17 February 2013


( Yet another Pantopod went sent packing after been being disciplined for not wearing her crash helmet during play, which given the high incidence of flying bridgemates was viewed as a serious breach of the club's health and safety rules. The plaintiff was now claiming wrongful expulsion on the grounds that she received the ban without ever having the opportunity to represent herself before the sentence was carried out.  Bigot of course chose to act as counsel for the defence . A short extract from the trial's transcript can be seen below. )

Bigot : Who's the next witness for the plaintiff ?
Judge : " Painless " Peter Potter
( Witness takes the stand )
Bigot : I don't know you from Adam.....but you're certainly not a member of the Slaughter House Bridge Club 
Witness : Too damn right I'm not.....I'm no fool
Bigot : So you claim to be an expert on this thorny subject of disciplinary procedures ?
Witness : I would like to think so...
Bigot : Well, let's hear what you have to say then....
Witness : It seems blatantly obvious that you cannot ban a player without first giving him or her an initial hearing to state their defence...  or question the evidence laid against them   
Bigot : Excuse me you smart arse, namby pamby, lardy dah, pompous git.......our constitution entitles the committee to suspend any need for a hearing if it is apparent there would be no point in giving her one !
Witness : Oh are so wrong. There happens to be a much higher authority which goes beyond your to which your committee should have adhered to. This categorically states that a disciplinary process will be flawed " if the member did not have an adequate opportunity to represent himself....or if the process in the club's constitution was not fully adhered to ". Where the process can be established as flawed the decision to expel the member should have been set aside. Then the club should either deal with the matter correctly, or go to the county association to do it afresh.
Bigot : Excuse me Mr. Know-It-All......just who the bleedin' hell are you ?
Witness : Secretary of the EBU Law and Ethics Committee

Bigot : Oh.........but hang on on mo.......that bitch of a woman did get a hearing when she came up before club's carefully vetted appeal panel
Witness : So what you're saying then is that she did get a hearing after all ?
Bigot : Yes....yes....she did.....she did
Witness : But that was like a student failing a written exam before she even sat it.........but then when she took the exam the original mark still stood
Bigot : What a tosser you are ........I've had enough of your clever dick you can go back to whatever hole you crawled out from....


Bigot's nemesis opponents quickly reached 3NT. The contract was made in a matter of seconds. She took the opening spade lead with the Ace, cashed the Ace of diamonds, and then proceeded to rattle off dummy's seven top hearts on which to lob away all her losing diamonds.
On the third round of hearts, a highly agitated and fuming Bigot discarded the Ace of clubs.
With the naive innocence of a saintly nun, declarer turned towards Bigot's partner and politely asked " What is the meaning of this discard ? "
The poor man who had a real sense of foreboding, thought for a while before answering.
" I believe......", he said tentatively, "........that he's telling me I should have led the unbid suit and that I'm due to get the mother of all bollockings at the end of this round ". 

Friday, 15 February 2013

THOUGHT OF THE DAY ......... ( By Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

Bridge has been defined in a thousand different ways. Each definition and description waxes lyrical about one or more of the game's great virtues. Many have hit the proverbial nail on the head, but one writer, Edward McPherson,  paints in words a superb picture of what bridge is really all about.

" Bridge is a battle between fate and chance, mediated by skill. What I didn't say...and what nobody how you learn to live with the results. Bridge offers a fantasy of control that is constantly crumbling. You are attempting to outwit the world's chaos, and we all know how that ends. "


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

BIGOT-JOHNSON GETS PUT IN HIS PLACE....... ( A very nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )

Bigot was a very worried man. His court case was only a few weeks away. A supremely confident Percy Pantopod was suing him for slander, and seeking damages in the region of £250,000.
In the bar Bigot was ranting away as usual about this case and how he needed help, when a visiting player shouted across to him.
" There's nothing to worry about mate if what you said about him was either true.....or can't be proved false "
Bigot didn't take kindly to being alerted to the basics of the law regarding defamation, especially by someone was a complete stranger to the club.
" Let me bloody well're a smart arse lawyer from down south......"
At this point a club member jumped up from his seat amazed at Bigot's deductive powers.
" you know brother Paul is up here on a trip to Doncaster.....and he's a high flying London lawyer  "
Bigot immediately replied : " I knew that....... because the observations he made were 100% accurate, but completely useless.....since everything I said about Percy was pure invention comprising of wicked, vindictive and malicious lies...."
In a flash the barrister got up from his seat to stand his ground.
" Well come across to me as an arrogant sod.......supposedly in control, but far from it. You don't know what you are doing, or what the implications of your actions are. You've pushed yourself into an unresolvable predicament from which there is no turning back. This situation is of your own making and has come about through an embarrassing lack of forethought and common sense........a situation which could have been avoided by either thinking before speaking, or having both the humility and remorse to apologise. And if you expect the law to exonerate you for having acting with crass stupidity, then you're a bigger fool than I first took you for. Moreover,  you then have the audacity and nerve to dismiss my freely given observations as useless ! "
Bigot not surprisingly was rendered completely speechless.        

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


  • What The Hell Is My Partner Doing ?...............................Jason Gurles
  • Blimey, Has This Game Worn Me Out.............................Fanny Saggin
  • I've Been Barred From Playing Bridge............................Erin Syde
  • If You're Good At Bridge Turn Professional.....................Ernie Levin
  • That Trophy Belongs To Us You Cheats !........................Andy Tover
  • The Best Way To Deal With Useless Partners...............Ed Buttem
  • Everyone's Curious About My New Partner ?.................Woody Kum
  • I Must Warn You  I'm About To Trump............................Stan Wellback
  • Have ZT Policies Become More Draconian ?.................Marshall Law
  • Another Wretched Scorecard ? Well, That's Life.............Cilla Vee
  • I Can Tell You Had A Good Night With Your Partner........Seaman Staines
  • Sometimes I Would Rather Partner A Monkey.................Hugh Jape
  • Bigot-Johnson's Been Convicted Yet Again.....................Watts E. Dunn  
  • How I Got To The Banbury Cross Congress.....................Honor Cockhorse 
BRIDGE BOOKS FROM A BYGONE AGE...... (  Recently unearthed by Pun )

  • Ireland's Greatest Ever Bridge Player............................Toby Shaw
  • Losing To That Pair Was Shocking................................F. Hinelle
  • Sorry Partner, I Was Off Colour Today...........................Jay Didd
  • My Club Is In Dire Financial Straits.................................Charity Case
  • Top Women Players Model Themselves On Men............Tom Buoys
  • My Partner Buggered Off Without My Permission............A. Wall
  • Is Bridge Going Down The Toilet ?..................................W. C. Lew
  • The Wonder Of Downloading E-Bridge Books................Ken Dell
  • Be Bold And Bid Aggressively.......................................Blaise Hayway
  • How To Zapp Bunnies With Ease..................................Ray Gunn  

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Of all the known mental disorders which affect male bridge players, the Bilanben Syndrome is by far the most distressing one to observe.
Whenever two identical woodentop players pair up the syndrome locks in. All victims with this condition share the same common characteristics : precious little skill and technique, a complete lack of awareness of what is really happening around them, and the inability to recognise their own or their partner's mistakes. Moreover, their bridge table talk is of an unintelligible language, which is aptly named " oddle puddle ", after it was first discovered on a children's TV programme back in the 1950's. For example " flobadob " means winning a trick by trumping. 
Inevitably, in every post mortem discussion of a bad board, players reveal the classic symptoms associated with this disorder. Both strive in vain to figure out what mistakes had been made, and who was responsible for them ? Was it Bill or was it Ben ? By never reaching any verdict or decision as to who should carry the can, it is always left to bemused and disbelieving listeners to figure out who was at fault.
Should their inept analysis of a previous hand lead to a petty squabble, opponents are often forced to call for the TD to help bring back a measure of sanity and calm to the proceedings.
However, once the syndrome affected players hear the footsteps of the fast approaching director, they simply dive under the table to hide away. 
In short,  the Bilanben Syndrome magnifies and heightens the many appalling traits found in mediocre bridge players : selective blindness,  self-denial ,  self-delusion, indecisiveness, and the inability to reflect in a sensible and rational way.     

Friday, 8 February 2013


Despite being issued with prohibition notices from the health and safety inspectorate, Bigot-Johnson continues to fly in the face of the law.
" Bridgemates are very handy gadgets to let off steam with......and no way will I allow this club to descend into a bland, colourless world of passive conformity. If bridge clubs are to survive, they need to be at the cutting edge....places where things happen at breakneck speed, and where flights of fancy can become a reality. "     

Thursday, 7 February 2013

( Having only just regained membership at the Walnut Tree Allotment Society BC, Bigot-Johnson was in trouble again. Strangely, the complaint related to an incident when he moved a pencil across a table in a grotesque and erratic manner. The committee were quick to pick up on this incident and subject Bigot to yet another disciplinary. A short extract from the hearing's transcript can be seen below. )

Chairman (C ) : Bigot, we are very grateful for the £5,000 you gave us to allow you back into the club.....but that doesn't mean we can't kick you out again
B-J : On what grounds ?
C : Moving a pencil over the table in a most appalling way...
B-J : Well..... Percy Pantopod was whinging about needing something to write down the bloody score !
C : But you lifted the pencil out of North's hand.......only to bang it down.... point first... on Percy's side of the table.....narrowly missing his head in the process......just as the poor fool was leaning forward to take a spare pencil.......... located right beside yours  
B-J : So what was wrong with giving him his partner's pencil ?
C : I tell you what's wrong with that......for starters.......that pencil belonged to by taking it from him you are guilty of trespass to goods.......not to mention misappropriation and misuse of club equipment.....
B-J: Hold on..... I only broke the tip of the pencil....
C : Exactly.......but let's look at all the possible crimes involved in your ill-considered action .........criminal damage to property.......theft..........causing an affray.........going equipped to commit a crime......possession of a deadly weapon........assault with intent......assault with a deadly weapon......carrying out an act likely to endanger life......attempted murder even
B-J : I only moved a pencil across a table for God's sake !
C : Excuse me.....that pencil flew across the table at a rate of knots.....with menace......directed by your hand like a guided missile......which means you were in breach of several offences under the Aviation Act
B-J : What a load of bollocks !
C : Firstly, you were guilty of propelling a pencil without licence or permission. Then, of course, there's the unauthorized penetration of airspace......making an unauthorized take-off and landing.....and... as pilot..... flying the missile in a reckless and dangerous manner ........need I go on ? 
B-J : You're insane......what sort of absurd disciplinary policy do you run at this club ?
C : A sub-zero tolerance one......which means you're banned for a second time
B-J : Well, I'll be buggered.....
C : Hopefully yes........ but this time......... by a two ton sex-starved gorilla on an overdose of viagra 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


" Let the committee consider its verdict, " the Secretary said,  for about the twentieth time that day.

" No, no ! " said Bigot. " Sentence first.......verdict afterwards. "

Sunday, 3 February 2013

( Pun , who in his first year of taking over the editorship of the club's newsletter, soon fell foul  of the committee's all embracing best behaviour at bridge policy. Despite earlier warnings about placing obscene double entendres on every page, Pun continued to use them in a valiant attempt to spice up articles, which would have otherwise been extremely dull and dreary. However, the last edition upset the prudish members of the committee to such an extent, Pun was dragged before a rather angry and vengeful disciplinary panel. A short extract from the hearing's transcript can be seen below.) 

Chairman (C) : So what have you got to say for yourself.......?
Pun : It's nice to get it out in the open.....don't you agree ?
C : So what do you got to say about this lastest newsletter ?
P : A masterpiece.....full of wit and humour
C : Full of puerile, inane drivel in our opinion....what we expect and what we should get are decent articles....mainly factual stuff........ such as the bidding and play of interesting hands, which members of course might well learn from..... or appreciate
P : Well, I would have included such articles if people had bothered to submit any..... instead of leaving me to provide the content.......

C : Listen you munchkin....... someone with balls has to come down hard on you....
P : Let me guess....  a well oiled upstanding member no doubt 
C : My God, you're need to be shot... 
P :  I would prefer a lethal blow...if that's alright with you
C : That could be arranged....
P :  Best from behind.....
C :  Such vulgarity........that last double entendre you used was both lewd and sickening
P :  I'm sorry....but it just slipped out 
C :  This kind of vile, base, toilet humour has no place in this club ! It's for depraved people with low intellects and sick, perverted minds... 
P :  I disagree......surely, it is listener or reader who has the sick and depraved mind in order to reconstruct in his imagination the fully fledged obscenity from seemingly innocent or well intended words. The greater the disproportion between what is directly said in its innocence, and what obscenity is aroused by the mind of the listener, the finer is the witticism.....and the higher its value in good literature......Why Shakespeare himself was a master of the pun !
C : So what you're saying in effect..... is that words in statements can have double meanings, some of which lead sexually aroused respondents to immediately encode as an obscene references. Therefore, the effect is far more pronounced for high sex-anxiety respondents than for others ?
P : Not exactly, one simply needs to have a dirty mind in the first place to derive a " dirty " connotation from seemingly innocent words.
C  : But why pump so many into the club magazine ?
P : Because....the language of bridge is riddled with them....
C : Such as ?
P :  " I've got strength but not much length "......" you forced me ".... " you jumped me when you didn't have the strength for a good raise "..... " it helps if you've got a good hand "....." quick tricks "...." he's forever going down "......" picked up a queen "....." found partner with a stiff "...
" deprived an entry ".....
C : Yes...yes...I get the message......but I find all this very depressing....this is an issue we should put to the members at a EGM.... so they can all have an input..... 
P : Mass debating....... sounds good to me.....
C : are completely incorrigible !