Friday, 29 November 2013


Typically it is the club chairman, Bigot-Johnson , who  calls all the shots at committee meetings, but for once he was kowtowing to a higher authority within the ranks of the membership.  
Fearful of upsetting the club's star players he felt compelled to respond.  With their threats to leave the club ringing in his ears,  the beleaguered chairman had to take the bull by the horns. Bigot had to meet all their demands and steer the committee towards endorsing some unpalatable decisions , which in the normal course of events would have been rejected out of hand. 
Bigot had to box clever. There were going to one or two dissenting committee members who might well challenge these decisions and ask awkward questions. He needed to nail them down straightaway,  by hammering home the message " needs must when the devil drives ". So five minutes into the meeting, Bigot declared in no uncertain terms that any opposing points of view would cruelly undermine all the predetermined outcomes he, and his close confidantes ,  had previously worked so hard to engineer. The chairman also informed the group that any dissent would be treated as " acts of betrayal ,  injurious to the best interests of the club " . This would result in objectors facing disciplinary hearings with serious consequences. A super fast schedule for the meeting had also been drawn up , in order to reduce both the time and opportunity for objections to be lodged. Furthermore, the decisions that had already been made were all based on sound evidence and argument, which the chairman is his infinitive wisdom had prejudged as the only " credible and permissible " kind. Finally , in a bold attempt to let everyone know he meant business , Bigot handed out voting papers with pre-ticked  " yes " boxes, which was just as well as no-one had access to any pens , which happened to be safely locked away inside a stationery cupboard with no one being allowed to look for the keys. 
All in all then,  a thoroughly well executed exercise in getting one's way.



Thursday, 28 November 2013

BLATANT HYPOCRISY ? WELL THIS LITTLE PIECE OF HISTORY  CERTAINLY TAKES THE BISCUIT......... ( A really really true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )

It always amazes me that people love to quote the rules when it suits them , but should such rules impede their aims and objectives they are immediately forgotten or ignored.
The hypocrite in question was adamant that the club had a policy , already implemented and working , which " prohibited naming individuals in notices or public display of minutes without their permission ".
This view was certainly advocated when this person on committee objected quite strongly about the transparency requirement to publish detailed minutes , which were prepared to name individuals and be quite explicit . 
However , when the same person was part of a new committee, and a key player within the inner circle , then this  particular view ( policy ) now had to be conveniently abandoned and ignored.   This was evidenced by the obvious approval of the chairman's decision , that the circumstances were right and proper to cast aspersions on named individuals in a widely publicised AGM report. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


  • So What If You Can't Beat An Opponent Legitimately ?.............Troy N.Conner
  • One Bad Board And My Partner Threw In The Towel...............Gavin Quigley
  • Sometimes I Wish I'd Never Taken Up This Damn Game.........Myra Grett 
  • I'm So In Love With This Game Of Bridge.................................Hedda Vereels
  • My Partner Thinks He's Good But He Talks A Load Of Crap....Bill Loney
  • To Say All Those Wonderful Things About Me Is Great............Olive Yew 
  • Partner, Your Walkabouts Will Give Me a Heart Attack............Buster Bloodvessel
  • What To Say When You Catch People Cheating At Bridge......L. O. Hellow 
  • In Bridge You Often Have To Feed Off Scraps.........................Carrie Ann Crowe  
  • Are You Sure That This Is Where The Bridgemate Landed ?...Mark Z. Spott 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Dear Rebecca,

Like all men of my age who play naff bridge , I feel obliged to go home and go over each bad board I played that night.
Although this practice could be described as a pointless form of self abuse , I see it more as a way of cleansing my sins in the pursuit of improvement and self learning. However, the time I spend punishing myself eats into my sleep to such an extent ,  that I'm lucky to get three hours kip before my alarm goes off for work.
Now into my early sixties I find it harder and harder to recover from this madness of self-inflicted sleep deprivation. I spend all day at work looking and behaving like a zombie. This of course is exacerbating my inability to focus and concentrate on my bridge at night, resulting in even more errors and more painful analysis when I get home.

Yours desperately needing help , Wally

Dear Wally ,

It seems to me that you are locked into a vicious circle , or should I say cycle of disadvantage.
Lack of sleep is clearly responsible for your careless mistakes and bad boards. Why you feel compelled to review your performance is beyond me unless it has a positive outcome, which in your case the opposite is true. Learn to forget about bad boards. Learn to accept failure and defeat , and focus on improvement in other less stressful ways. 
In order to break this cycle of late night post mortems of where you went wrong, rip up your scorecard on leaving the club , and go straight to bed when you get home. Moreover, it is so much more invigorating to bollock others rather than yourself.....and this needs to be at the table when your partner is still aware of his crass stupidity and inane play. Also it is necessary to go into a state of self denial regarding your own mistakes , and if you do then you will feel so much better for it. Hell , most players at my club have mastered this amazing art to perfection.

Yours forever cocooned from criticism , Rebecca  

Monday, 25 November 2013


Dear Rebecca ,
I have recently started up a partnership with a woman, who not only has a drop-dead gorgeous figure but can bridge like a champion. To watch her expertly bid and play the cards is like a breath of fresh air, especially after having spent 20 barren , trophy-less years partnering a complete dunderhead .  However, this breath of fresh air contrasts sharply with that being exhaled from her mouth . The poor woman has shocking halitosis. In fact I would say she has cavities , tartar, plaque, staining and gum disorders, all of which make silent bidding boxes a god send. 
Naturally , I feel obliged if only for my own health and well being , to keep conversation with her to an absolute minimum . Mind you , on every occasion we pair up I always remember to bring a bottle or two of mouthwash, insisting that she takes a swig or two before and after each set of boards. Surprisingly she didn't object , but despite having been on this regime for over a month her breath still continues to make me feel both uncomfortable and nauseous. The smell of rotting cabbage is the only way I can describe it.
What I need to know is how much longer should I be prepared to wait to give the treatment a chance to work ? Or should I consider going back to old partner and give up any hopes I have of winning a trophy ? What do you think ?

Yours in a quandary , Ronald

Dear Ronald,

These questions are tough ones indeed. In my opinion, I believe success at the bridge tables is worth the sacrifice. Could I endure hours of being bombarded with foul smelling exhalations of breath just to lay my hands on a trophy or two ? I guess the answer would have to be " yes ".
There is no greater feeling of joy and ecstasy than winning a competition in a top class field. So don't let your nose get in the way of success, glory and prestige. Live out your bridge dream.
But might I suggest  that you sit further back in your chair at the table, and douse yourself in the most powerful smelling aftershave available on the market.

Yours always looking to sniff out clever solutions to tackle difficult problems , Rebecca

Sunday, 24 November 2013


  1. They regularly leave their seats for reconnaissance walkabouts
  2. Pricked ears at all times eager to tune in any loose table talk  nearby
  3. An inability to fully explain their system card or a sloppy understanding of it
  4. Constantly fidgeting in an attempt to fully utilise the genius of body language
  5. Complementing the bidding and playing of cards with appropriate facial expressions
  6. Regularly getting scores way beyond their level of ability
  7. Forever seeking the assistance of directors to get bad scores adjusted ( on any pretext  whatsoever )
  8. Asking questions about an opponent's artificial or system bid when it just so happens to be their suit 
  9. An inability to sit upright , often leaning one way and then the other in an attempt to capitalise on their bendy necks and eagle eyes
  10. Hesitating in a multitude of different ways to cater for each different set of circumstances and/or particular situations
  11. Highly competitive result merchants with nasty, unforgiving dispositions
  12. Unprincipled and unscrupulous in other aspects of their lives         

Friday, 22 November 2013


" Heavens above.......just how much dirt , scandal and damning information is there going into this dossier of evil on Bigot-Johnson ? "


- seeing problems where none exist
- failing to see problems which are blatantly obvious
- unable to see the bigger picture 
- selling out too easily in competitive auctions
- allowing numpties to put one across you
- forever making the same mistakes
- a firm believer in magical thinking
- capitulating even under the slightest pressure
- difficulty to recalling what cards have been played
- opponents looking pleased when you arrive at their table
- never being able to keep regular partners
- never being asked for your opinion or advice about a hand
- leaving post mortems on difficult hands confused and bewildered
- seeing novices also prepared to take liberties against you
- unable to work out what went wrong
- hearing raucous laughter in the bar when stories about your bidding and play are being 
- unable to remember the last time anyone asked you to make up a team
- partners regularly phoning in with cancellation apologies
- averages scores well below 50%
- any score above 50% seen as a major triumph
- numerous lapses of concentration as your mind goes on " walkabouts "
- filling up system cards with conventions that are ( a) completely useless , ( b) never
  fully understood, and (c) pose more problems than solutions
- always happier when partner is declarer
- playing in a suit contract on 6-6 fit but allowing an opponent to make his singleton trump

Thursday, 21 November 2013

FICTION FROM WONDERLAND......OR IS IT ?..... ( Another strange tale from Bridgemeister Gibson )

The trial  was over in minutes. The Mad Hatter had been found guilty despite all reasonable doubt, and the sentence off-with-his-head  shocked Alice to her core. As his defence counsel , why had she been forbidden to speak up on his behalf ?
" I shall challenge this decision in a higher court " she told the distraught and despondent Mad Hatter, " The Queen has to acknowledge our right of appeal ". And so it came to pass that an appeal was granted. The Queen of course invoked her right to randomly select a judge from her pool of acceptable candidates. Lord Grief Justice , Oliver Stead ,  was the man hand picked to do " the job ". 
Immediately , he wrote to Alice informing her that he agreed with the Queen's decision to have her client beheaded, uttely convinced that the original trial was fair and above board. Alice was gobsmacked. How could Stead prejudge the outcome of the appeal without hearing her case first ? So weeks later,  it came as no surprise when her appeal fell on deaf ears. Stead's blinkers were well truly on throughout the whole trial. The sentence stood, and all Alice's witnesses were declared liars only to be tried later for contempt of court.
Poor Alice was left to reflect on the gross injustice that been inflicted upon the Mad Hatter, and how in this absurd world the die had been cast, and his fate sealed ,  right from the outset. 
" I do hope that nothing like this ever happens in my world " she said. 
" No...." replied the Mad Hatter " it's only in Wonderland where one is left to wonder why things are so awfully strange and incredibly bizarre ...." 
" Or is it ? " chirped in a bleary eyed but intuitive dormouse.     

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


- is completely bent and in denial
- finds men more fun to play with
- regularly sponsors ringers
- tells members at a gay bridge club that bottoms can be very painful
- loves to stuff opponents new to the game
- doesn't like peaking too soon preferring instead to come from behind
- once partnered an Aussie fast bowler renown for ball tampering
- let it slip out that his single raise had nothing much to commend it
- really enraged dwarf supporters by confessing to feeling grumpy throughout an entire 
  bridge match
- lacks balls when it really matters
- was caught with his pants down inside a toilet cubicle eavesdropping on two players
  discussing hands
- got shafted in a 6 spade contract on a 4-4 trump fit when LHO turned up with a stiff in
  his suit

Saturday, 16 November 2013



" How dare you insinuate that we are not doing things by the rules........of course we are......but unfortunately for the unknowing membership they just happen to be MY RULES  "


" What do you mean ?........We're conducting our meetings in secret , demonstrating a total lack of transparency........For God's sake you lot.......... just look at the's not closed at fact it's completely wide open "   

Friday, 15 November 2013


Yes , Bigot-Johnson has done it again ,  by taking another giant step to ensure that no member leaves the AGM without an award of some kind . With so many trophies going to the usual suspects year after year , Bigot was determined to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of those who were destined never to win at bridge. As far as he was concerned bridge is all about using one's head, and so in recognition of this fact all the new awards are " head " related....

1. Toffee Nose Award ....for the member whose overly supercilious and pretentious   behaviour caused even hardened bystanders to experience nausea and sickness

2. Pinocchio ( long nose ) Award ....for the club officer renown for telling  the biggest porkies and most outrageous lies 

3. Bare Faced Cheek Award .....for the player whose table behaviour is so audacious, brash , brazen and shameless several death threats have been made against him

4. Pricked Ears Award.....for the player who has demonstrated an awesome ability to tune into any table conversation ( about boards ) from even the other end of the room

5. Head In The Sand Awards.....for all those members who refuse to hear and accept the painful truth , preferring instead to believe the clap trap coming from those who speak with forked tongues

6. Brown Nose Award .....for the most sycophantic club member who is willing to go to almost any length to obtain acceptance and approval from those regarded as top dogs

7. Brown Tongue Award....for the member who has been prepared to debase himself fully ,  by going that extra length in an attempt to curry favour with the club's elite 

8. Giraffe Neck Award.....for the player who has developed an uncanny knack of stretching his neck out a very long way in an attempt to peek at his opponents' cards

9. Bone Head Award.......for the dunce who has gained the most publicity for his/her completely inept play, which happens to be a consequence of his stupidity, slowness and mulish stubbornness 

10. Big Mouth Award.....for the loudest attention-seeking  member, who insists on holding court to all those foolishly stupid enough to give him the time of day 

11. Brass Neck Award.....for the player who received a bucket load of complaints for the most staggering and daring display of rudeness towards harmless and overly sensitive   opponents 

12. Split Hair Award.....for the most pernickety  club member , who by setting out to be both argumentative and awkward constantly quibbles over the smallest details, forever making petty and pointless distinctions  

13. Blind Eye Awards.... for club members who choose to ignore information , which contradicts  either their prejudices and beliefs , or the behaviour of others which they know to be wrong  

14. Eagle Eye Award.....for the player who loves to leave his seat for walkabouts , intently watchful of dummy's exposed cards on boards soon to be played at his table 

15. Evil Eye Award......for the player who has developed a particular skill of gazing or staring at opponents because he/she suspects foul play or cheating        

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

THE FARMER WHO KILLED HIS NEIGHBOUR'S HORSE ( INSTEAD OF HIS OWN )........... A follow up article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi

J.L. Austin was a 19th century metaphysical philosopher who was interested in the use of language and the ways that it could be utilised deliberately to influence the listener.
This type of thinking was demonstrated in The Farmer Who Killed His Neighbour's Horse I instead of his own ). There is one scenario which establishes guilt for a nasty, vindictive crime ,  in that he intended to kill his neighbour's horse. A deliberate and premeditated act.
However , there are also two other scenarios which might suggest innocence on his part.
Having marked the selected beast with indelible dye before performing the task, in the second scenario he discovers that he had indeed shot the intended animal but had marked the wrong beast. In the third one, having marked the correct horse and on taking aim, at the moment of firing the marked horse ran away and the farmer 's shot hit the other beast , which was standing several yards further away , but directly in the line of fire. Austin decided the outcome of a trial would depend a great deal on which scenario was accepted as the likely truth , and whether words to explain an unintentional mistake in the second situation , or an unfortunate accident in the third,  would achieve the desired effect of establishing some degree of innocence on his part.
Scenarios two and three would always establish the absence of intent,  but for many who sit in judgement the facts relating to taking deliberate aim , and brutal killing of his neighbour's   horse might well paint the farmer as a merciless villain , who needs to be severely punished.
So what a player who moves a heavy object across a table towards an opponent sitting to his left. Facts could be dressed up in a language that describes the act as " offensive and aggressive ", being tantamount to an assault intending to cause fear. However, as in the farmer's story, a number of other more innocent scenarios might also exist. The movement of the object was carried out to make a sarcastic point, to demonstrate a feeling of frustration and annoyance, or to attract attention through a petty act of childish petulance.   All acts of " inappropriate behaviour  " but ones which fall well short of intentional harm.
For any one who is asked to make a judgement as to the degree of misconduct and what would be a proportionate punishment , a thorough investigation is needed to ascertain what  were the intentions of the accused at the relevant time, relying only ( one hopes ) on the choice and interpretation of words submitted in evidence, which are devoid of subjective bias, gross under/over statements, and emotionally-charged prejudices. And if intention can not be established by objective and impartial analysis, then the presumption off innocence must be duly applied.  


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

THE PROBLEM WITH JURIES .......AND OF COURSE DISCIPLINARY  PANELS       ( Article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

Disciplinary panels , which set out to deal with complaints about a player's alleged misconduct ,  are required to undertake a similar role to that of a jury. They must review the evidence ,  and reach a verdict regarding the question of guilt in relation to the breach of a specific rule or offence.
Well, according to the author of an article in the Buffulo Law Review juries often make mistakes, especially when prevailing attitudes, beliefs and prejudices blinker their thinking. When prejudgement precedes a trial , then justice is in jeopardy.
In an ideal world , juries are formed from randomly chosen people on the electoral roll , who are then accepted by both sides as having no prior knowledge of the accused, or his past history, which might well colour their judgement. So how does this square up with a disciplinary panel who knows the accused member all too well, having strong opinions about that person ,  based on their own observations, past experience and snippets of gossip which have come their way ?  It doesn't . Their ability to remain impartial , and to approach the task with open minds , can be summed up in one Bias in these disciplinary scenarios can not be avoided or denied , and so the crucial question becomes  " to what level is it at ? ".  In the cases quoted in the article, the degree of racial prejudice was so extreme , that innocent black people were all found guilty, when facing all white juries . 
Disciplinary panels , like their criminal court counterparts , will often encounter committee members who have initial doubts about an accused's guilt. These " hold outs " are unconvinced at first , having recognising a lack evidence to establish any wrongdoing , or that the case against the accused has no real merit. However,   others who with closed minds and a desire to punish ,  will then set about convincing the waverers to see things their way. The doubters , finding themselves trapped within a culture riddled with prejudice and bias, inevitably decide to toe-the-line. Might is right is it not ?. 
Indeed, in the cases quoted in the article, irrespective of how magnificent the defence has been , the jurors choose to believe the worst , focussing only on those facts which confirmed their initial beliefs,  no matter how flimsy or questionable these facts were. No rational explanation of innocence was ever likely to be acknowledged or accepted. " It was if some contour in their minds prevented them from seeing and perceiving facts as humans otherwise would ". Therefore, whenever a prevailing lynch mob mentality is present ,   the likelihood of a fair trial or disciplinary hearing taking place becomes almost zero. The more an accused is perceived as " bad ", the more likely jurors will hear only what they want to hear , and see only what they want to see. When the blinkers are on they stay on.
Ingrained belief systems , cultural, race or gender bias , will always determine which facts are going to be accepted or ignored ,  and how the accepted facts are going to be interpreted. Bias has a habit of distorting rational thinking, and causing people to act in bad faith. Prejudice distorts one's use and understanding of language , along with one's sense of proportionality and fair play.
I can always recall a murder case where one of the accused yelled out to the other " let him have it ". The jury was quick to agree that the words were an evil command " to shoot the officer using both barrels " as opposed to an alternative , and more innocent interpretation , of "  just hand the shotgun over to the officer  ".
Therefore , in all those cases where intent is not known or cannot be proven , it would be totally wrong to allow bias to provide an answer.    

BRIDGE BOOKS WHICH WENT DOWN WELL WITH THE DAMNED...... ( Which obviously included Pun )

  • My Partner Made A Grand Slam On A Combined 6 Count.........Didi L. Aslike
  • To Score 69 And Not Come First Is A Tragedy...........................Ima Hornblower
  • I Always Telling Partner The Error Of His Ways..........................R. Pinnon
  • In A Fight My Partner Really Knows How To Handle Himself......Andy Ladd
  • How To Improve Your Defence Beyond Recognition...................Bill Derfort
  • That Match Proved To Be A Bloody Nightmare, Partner..............Gladys Ova
  • That Player Is A Loutish , Uncouth Loud Mouth...........................Larry Kinn
  • I Always Smell Blood When Rabbits Come To My Table.............Fifi Fofum
  • She's A Good Bet To Win This Trophy.........................................Eve N. Monet 
  • My Partner Hasn't Changed In Years...........................................Stella Pratt

Saturday, 9 November 2013


  • Shocking Low Attendances At Bridge Club AGMs..................Rosa M.T. Seetes
  • Chairman's AGM Reports Make Me Want to Cry....................Fuller Crapp
  • If You Believe In Justice Then Do The Right Thing.................May Kay Stand
  • The Shenanigans That Committees Get Up To ......................Lotta Mullarkey
  • What ! You've Got A Bone To Pick With Me ?.........................Candice Waite
  • Partner, Please Don't Hit Me With That Bridgemate................Bruce E. Salley
  • It'll Be Your Funeral If You Do That Again................................Aretha Holly
  • I Hate Cheats Who Tune In To Loose Table Talk.....................Ann Tenner
  • Did You See Him Peeking At My Cards ?.................................Morty Fyde
  • Peeking At Opponents' Cards Is A Despicable Act...................Misty Meener
  • The Things Some Players Will Resort To.................................Yves Droppin
  • Partner , It Looks As Though You Have A Problem..................Watson Yermind
  • My Partner Has Really Gone Completely Gaga........................Drew Ling-Badleigh
  • I Need Something To Carry Off All My Trophies.......................Will Barrow
  • My Partner Refuses To Keep To The System...........................Cy King

Friday, 8 November 2013


Bigot-Johnson was really into his stride having secured as second year in office as Chairman of club's committee. In keeping with the initiatives introduced at the Slaughter House , Bigot was keen to unleash the following Charter on this new bunch of innocent, unsuspecting members, simply to bolster the already draconian Constitution recently implemented  at an  unscheduled , unreported, clandestine committee meeting. The primary aim of the new Charter was to safeguard the privileges and rights bestowed upon the chosen few , as currently laid down in the club's deviously drafted Constitution.
Some of the terms listed in this amazing document can be seen below :

This Charter is hereby ordained by a special resolution passed without opposition on the back of sack loads of proxy votes , as requested by Bigot-Johnson's call-to-arms. Designed to set up a framework of regulations, this document will allow the committee to crack down heavily on errant members, who in bad faith or without word of warning seek to expose perceived abuses of power by voicing their unwanted criticisms and concerns . 
The provisions of the Charter are as follows :
1. A new sub-committee shall be established to undertake surveillance , intelligence and covert operations , referred to as SICO , but only by those who are in the know. This group will be fully independent, financed by the club's newly created secret slush fund, having complete anonymity along with an open cheque book. These group of carefully selected and highly motivated people will bug , listen into , intercept and report on any and all communication, oral, written and electronic , which ordinary club members foolishly choose to get involved in, especially the type of tittle-tattle which relates to , directly or indirectly , the activities undertaken or intended by the committee or individuals who serve upon it.
2. The sub-committee will be entitled to wield the proverbial sword on any irresponsible member who dares to publicise or broadcast derogatory or injurious comments about the committee , using such words as " biased  , corruptible , money grabbing , covert , secretive ,  untrustworthy , despotic , nepotistic , Stalinist , and  fascist ".  Unsavoury words about the Chairman must never be used , such as " tosspot , fool and buffoon "  at any time within the perceived 30 year period Bigot-Johnson intends stay on as chairman. 
3. The sub-committee will rein in any and all members who are responsible for bad mouthing the committee or its officers, including those who are responsible for passing on illicit or damaging information onto newsletter , blog or local newspaper editors,  which  attempt to expose (a) the perceived abuses of power or ( b ) additional rights and privileges the committee may wish to bestow upon themselves. These reprobates will be subjected to a brutal and ruthlessly administered disciplinary process , which under the existing Constitution is exempt from (a) acting in good faith and (b) adhering to rules of natural justice.
4. The sub-committee shall also have the power to deal with any ordinary member whose actions or words cause unnecessary distress , pain or suffering to members or officers on the committee. Although power in invested in SICO requires intrusion into the private lives of the club members , the reverse of this situation is absolutely forbidden.  The dirty laundry , skeletons in the closet , dark secrets , and never-ending scandals linked to committee members must never be brought out into the open , since the committee must be allowed to get on with its work , without fear or worry of unwanted interference , investigations, recriminations and rebellion from within. 

5 -100 (  Secret and highly confidential )

In conclusion , this Charter will enhance the prospects of the committee to fulfil its aims in ridding the club , in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Constitution ,  of all troublemakers, undesirables , reprobates, pantopods , and unpleasant riff raff , on any whim or pretext whatsoever., in order to promote and enhance absolute loyalty and obedience from its compliant down trodden members. 

JOHNNY EXPLAINS.............

During a post match discussion one team player desperately tried to defend an accusation that " she butchered the defence ".
The contract was 4H by the North, and by sneaking in a frisky 2S overcall during the auction on , her partner made an opening lead of spade 10. 
Dummy came down with xx.....AKQxx....Q9xx....xx.
Declarers bidding suggested a semi-balanced no trump hand with 12-14 HCPs , of which four points could be accounted for : QJ of spades and J of hearts. This left partner with a minimum 8 points in the minors.
Having taken the first trick with the spade King, the lady in question correctly switched to a minor suit..... but played 7 of diamonds !  Game over....10 tricks made no problem. Her partner took the trick with the Ace , but the chance to make his club king had now disappeared under the setting sun. The best the defence could do now was to play back a spade , planning to see a third spade ruffed and then over-ruffed. This would certainly stop declarer's queen of spades giving him the opportunity to lob away a losing club in dummy. Instead, after playing off  2 rounds of trumps , declarer ditched his losing queen of clubs on dummy's fourth diamond. Contract coming in with 5H , 3D, Club Ace and 1 ruff. 
In order to settle the argument for once and for all , Johnny stepped in to explain why a switch to club stood out by a country mile.
" The danger was all too plain to see. If declarer has both minor suit Aces, it was going to be an easy task to win the diamond switch with the Ace , and draw trumps before conceding a second spade. Then on the inevitable club switch, declarer would swiftly rise up with the Ace, to gleefully pitch a losing club from dummy on his establish spade winner. However, a club return guarantees a club trick to the defence, as well as a diamond and a spade, because there was no chance of three losing diamonds ever going away in dummy. Moreover ,  by giving partner the diamond Ace plus the club king and jack , then a switch to clubs at trick two was just as imperative. Also ,  if partner happens to have instead the diamond king / club Ace and Jack , then the switch to clubs cannot do any harm whatsoever ,  because once the second spade winner has been quickly cashed,  declarer  would still be left with a diamond to lose. So yes....the lady did screw up big time. "
Now can anyone argue with that logic ?

Declarer's hand : QJx....J9xxx.....KJ10.....AQ
East's hand :

Thursday, 7 November 2013


A year in and the AGM was just a few weeks away. With only one another person standing against the existing Chairman , Bigot-Johnson , the time had come for his pre-emptive push for re-election , in a determined attempt to hold onto his power and privileges. So not surprisingly Bigot took on the unusual step of issuing next month's results in advance.
" As Chairman , I felt this action was absolutely necessary if only to stop dissident  members wasting time , effort and money in campaigning for a lost cause. What was the point of turning up to an AGM to vote on a forgone conclusion. Having sent out Ronnie and Reggie to sound out members' voting intentions , it become quickly apparent that my re-election was going to be complete walk-over.  Given this survey was all above board ,  I welcome doubting observers to come in and see all the blood-stained written statements of intent , secured by my two very trustworthy and handy lieutenants.
Results in full :
Bigot-Johnson - 267 votes
Petunia Pantopod :  nil votes

As it happens with Petunia having just disappeared off the face of the earth without explanation or warning , it seems my re-election turned out to be the best thing after all , especially if members were looking for a chairman full of passion , commitment and reliability. " 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


In this landmark High Court case a group action civil  law suit was taken out against Bigot-Johnson under The Occupiers' Liability Act, when the ceiling roof collapsed on visitors as they were playing bridge at the Slaughter House bridge club. As owner-occupier of the premises Bigot was being sued for over £500,000 in damages to cover pain and suffering , physical injuries, trauma , loss of earnings , and all past and future medical expenses. Once again Bigot decided to call in the services of the law firm Shyster, Shyster and Flywheel. A short extract from the trial's transcript can be seen below. )

Shyster ( Defence counsel) : Your honour ....I see no way in which my client can be in breach of a duty to care owed to these plaintiffs..... who visited to his infamous and dilapidated , death trap of a bridge club that fateful evening
Judge : Why is that ? Is he not the owner -manager of the place .......and as such deemed to be the occupier ?  The one who the law sees fit to impose a duty of care upon.....requiring him to make the place safe for visitors to enter
S : Yes.....but my client does not deny the existence of this duty of care.....but I am maintaining that he is not in breach of it 
Judge : Good grief man ......a ceiling collapsed on these poor folk as a result of weak rafters unable to carry the weight of 6 tons of paper stored in the loft space above. Most of this comprised of letters of complaint , surveillance reports , secret files, and well over one thousand three-inch thick dossiers kept on every club member past and present  
S : Ah....but the law relating to breach of duty requires my client to display a sub-standard level of care below that which is seen as  "reasonable "...... given the surrounding and unusual circumstances......a standard of care that relates to the reasonable occupier
Judge : Yes....that appears to be an accurate summary of the law
S : Well , your honour.....because my client is a paranoid , under-achieving emotional retard
B-J : What the devil are you up to Shyster ?.......I wish to object....
Judge : You can't .....he's your defence counsel
S : You see what I mean your honour....he is without doubt a half-witted incompetent who is incapable of being negligent ,  since he is incapable of anything which involves the neurological activity of several brain cells working together simultaneously....
B-J : I object...these statements amount to gross defamation of character 
Judge : Overruled...
S : Under the law of negligence the standard of care expected depends upon the skill and ability of the group to which the defendant belongs. For instance , if a roadside assistance to a car accident victim is botched up..... resulting in further injuries being sustained.....then the standard of care to be applied .....on which the defendant will be that of the reasonable man. Similarly , if the assistance voluntarily given was by a off-duty doctor , then the standard of care to be applied would be that of a reasonable doctor.
Judge : Yes...yes... so get to the point...
S : Well , my client belongs to a group of morons........... brainless idiots renown for their awesome stupidity.......why he even objects to his own defence counsel 
Judge : Good point....
S : So I ask the court  to just look at this nincompoop . This apology of the human race. This joke of a man...
B-J : I object....
Judge : If you object once more to our own counsel ,  I'll hold you in contempt of court......
S : Thank you your Honour.... so to sum up....I contend that this dork of a man can not be liable in negligence....... because having been born a cretin.....................he was only ever capable of ineptness and incompetency. Therefore ....he is only liable for being Bigot-Johnson. That happens to be his genetic curse......and also his lifetime punishment
Judge ( with a tear in his eye ) : You're right.....he needs to be pitied or put dismissed
S : There Bigot that's what I call a cracking good defence 
B-J : Shyster.....I haven't finished with you yet
S : What about my fees then ?
B-J : Bugger've got no chance there

Monday, 4 November 2013

KEEPING AN OPEN MIND.........( Article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

Keeping an open mind on issues , especially controversial ones requires a strength of character most of us do not possess. Our values , attitudes and opinions all too often are shaped and influenced by others. One innate weakness which many of us possess is our subconscious surrender to manipulative and oh-so-subtle and forms of conditioning and indoctrination. Peer group pressure and propaganda can even overwhelm those who resolutely set out to remain independent thinkers.
For instance , whenever committees insist on holding their meetings behind closed doors , the likelihood of open minds being present is zero. Secrecy promotes conspiracy and abuse of power. Decisions can be made without any outside scrutiny or challenge . The temptation to approach problems and issues with closed minds, which are so often fuelled by personal motives and interests, becomes irresistible. Reasons behind those decisions inevitably stay inside the room . Voting is recorded with anonymity , and dissent within the committee ranks can be easily dealt with and supressed.
Keeping an open mind of course requires individuals to free themselves from the shackles of prejudice , bias and raw emotion. But the failings and shortcomings of human condition makes that task almost impossible. Nevertheless , the next best thing is to admit to having fixed opinions and jaundiced views on an issue, so as others can then judge whether or not you are capable of entering into an open and rational debate on the subject. An open mind involves a willingness to hear the views of others , to weigh up all the evidence ( for and against )  ,  and to reach a fair and just decision , based on an objective overview of the relevant facts and arguments raised in a meaningful discussion. 
When a committee fails to acknowledge and accommodate alternative points of views , blinded by their own prejudgements , one can only assume that closed minds are in the ascendency. Coming to any meeting with a fixed agenda , idea or opinion is a very destructive thing. For if people have already convinced themselves that they are right , then the likelihood is that this powerful lobby will easily win over those , who come to the meeting with " empty  minds ", as opposed to " open " ones .  Filling empty minds is all too easy.
The biggest tragedy, according to E. D. White, is that " the world is full of people who have never , since childhood , met an open door way with an open mind ". Indeed, Frank Zappa  made a similar observation when he said , " the mind is like a parachute : it doesn't work if it does not open ". Indeed , the odds of finding an open mind in closed room are about the same as a parachute opening when jumping off a table. People who operate in secret , soon develop the habit of dismissing alternative views with sneering contempt, simply because they do not fit well with their preconceived notions.
Openness and transparency in meetings certainly help to steer people to approach a task with open minds, or at least with the appearance of doing so. Observers will be looking to see that full and frank discussions take place, and that decisions reached will not be based on erroneous assumptions , misguided dogma and personal prejudices.  

Saturday, 2 November 2013