Thursday, 31 July 2014


Wednesday, 30 July 2014



Monday, 28 July 2014


Yet again another Pantopod found himself given short shrift at a SHBC disciplinary hearing having been banned for gesturing with his middle finger at one of the committee members during a heated AGM. Finally after a long drawn out litigation process , the two parties finally had their day in court. Bigot of course elected to represent himself and the others, before a very unforgiving and conservative Chancery Court judge.  The following extract taken from the trial's transcript comes from the closing stages of the 3 day hearing.

Judge : Why has this dispute come to court, Bigot ? Couldn't it have been resolved by mediation ,  if only to enable both parties to incur minimal costs ?
B-J : We weren't interested in such an idea. The claimant is a blackguard who should have taken his punishment like a man. No bloody way were we going to allow that limb of Satan to ever enter our club house again.....not after the huge effort we put in to get rid of him. Anyway the idea of mediation was preposterous ,  given the fact that Pantopod and the committee were too far apart to even consider the possibility of finding any middle ground 
Judge : Well , a recent precedent has been set in the Garritt-Critchley case where the judge  
rejected the analysis that the two parties were too far apart for settlement to be reached. He concluded that parties do not know whether there are too far apart unless they explore a settlement in a form such as mediation. Moreover , this dispute is by its very nature eminently suitable for ADR. It lends itself to the usual risk analysis , in which each party should have engaged in, as to the likelihood of their position being favoured by the court
B-J : Hold on a minute.....why should we have opted for mediation if we firmly believed the odds of a good result were so stacked in our favour. There was no conceivable point or advantage to us in discussing settlements given the extreme confidence in our legal position
Judge : The fact that both you and the claimant could be facing crippling financial costs made it essential that mediation was entered into at the earliest possibility 
B-J : But we did finally agree to take the dispute to mediation ....... 
Judge : But only after years of constant refusal and obstruction. Indeed , you only went along with the idea because you were ordered to by my colleague at a pre-trial review meeting
B-J : Yes....yes....but didn't that show some willing and co-operation on our part ?
Judge : No....because at that mediation meeting you made it clear right from the off that the club would not compromise its position on the issue of reinstatement....or make any offers or concessions to help offset Pantopod's costs
B-J : Oh..... 
Judge : I can't help but notice that throughout this litigation process , the claimant's willingness to mediate ....and to reduce the damages he was seeking......was reiterated on numerous occasions......and on each occasion his offers were rejected on the basis that you remained extremely confident that you could defeat his claim of wrongful expulsion. However , in the previously mentioned case , the judge was keen to point out that the argument , that mediation in such circumstances as these was not worthwhile , happened to be misconceived.
B-J : But your honour ....there was too much dislike and mistrust between ourselves and Pantopod for mediation to be worthwhile.
Judge : Well, that argument too had no merit. Indeed, it is completely flawed given that it is in situations like this , where there is considerable distrust and heightened emotions , a mediator's skills would have been most useful
B-J : Oh....
Judge : And even If I was convinced by your claim that the disciplinary process carried out with fairness and absence of bias ......which I'm not..... I would be duty bound to follow precedent and impose 75% of all costs against you..... as a consequence of your refusal to mediate at the earliest opportunity, and your refusal at the eventual mediation hearing to work towards..... or accept..... a compromise settlement
B-J : Oh bugger...I believe I'm about to fill my pants
Judge : Somebody open the windows......quickly !           

Sunday, 27 July 2014

WHAT DISTINGUISHES A BRIDGE LEGEND FROM THE REST.............. ( Observations by Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )

Many bridge players are blessed with real ability and a potential to succeed but only the few go on to achieve fame and glory. So what distinguishes them from the others ?  The answer in my book is the right mind set and attitude. 
Good bridge players fall into six categories, as illustrated below , but it is the last one which defines the true legends of the game.

1.  Players who refuse to believe it can happen
2.  Those who don't even dare dream it might happen
3.  Others who secretly wish it might happen
4.  Many of course who want it to happen
5.  Several who expect it to happen
6.  The special few WHO SET OUT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Saturday, 26 July 2014


Friday, 25 July 2014

THE DAY JESUS CAME TO PLAY ........ ( The follow up nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )

As the teams competition got well underway , the two old men sitting North/South were holding their own , playing their usual solid game. Meanwhile , on the other table Jesus and his partner were winning all the imps. Jesus was indeed walking on water, playing like a man blessed with divine inspiration.
Opponents seemed unable to stop themselves handing out heaven sent gifts. Bidding intuitively stopped short of unmakeable games and slams , as though an unseen guardian angel was whispering words of wisdom and advice into Jesus' delicate shell-like ears.
With visionary prowess and an insight to where key cards were lurking , Jesus time and time again brought down stiff off-side Kings , and picked up missing queens even with even anti-percentage finesses and drops.
So despite a few small mistakes by the other pair , the team managed to win the event by the narrowest of margins. The three old man were ecstatic , utterly whelmed by their achievement.
Never before had they managed to make the top half of a field let alone come top. With tears of joy in his eyes  West turned towards his Jesus , his partner , and asked : " How did you do it ? "
Jesus gave him a little wry smile. " Never underestimate the power of prayer. I made one to my Father who was only to keen to give me a helping and there ".  

Thursday, 24 July 2014

THE DAY JESUS CAME TO PLAY...... ( another nearly true story by Bridgemeister Gibson )

At a major teams event three very old gentlemen had just taken their seats at their table, when the TD came over to give them the bad news.  Toby , the fourth member of their team , would not be turning up , having died that morning at the hotel over a plate of soggy cornflakes. However , there was a gentleman who was more than happy to sit in and take his place , if they were happy to have a stranger join them.
They all agreed and so the TD beckoned over a bearded man in robes to take the vacant seat. It was Jesus. The three old men just sat there with stunned expressions on their faces.
Quick to seize an opportunity , as all good bridge players do , the first said humbly " Jesus , I've suffered from chronic and consistent back pain all my life ,  even since a horse riding accident 30 years ago. Can you help me ? "
" Of course I can " said Jesus and the moment he leaned over to touch the old man's back , the pain immediately disappeared.
The second old man who was wearing very powerful hearing aids also turned towards Jesus : " I've never been able to hear properly since I sustained a serious head injury in a motor cycle accident 40 years ago. Is there anything you can do to help ? "
Jesus smiled, and gently removed the old man's hearing aids and lobbed the offending items out of an open window into the garden outside. Seconds later he was able to hear with out any difficulty ,  and with crystal clear clarity ,  the conversations taking place on nearly tables. A gift which many bridge players would give their right arm for.
Then , expecting a third request , Jesus turned to the man sitting opposite. In a flash defensive arms were put up in a desperate attempt to ward off another miracle : " Don't you dare touch me you meddling quack.....I'm on a disability pension ! " 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Specific items of dress if worn by errant and disobedient members will result in their membership being automatically terminated  without the need for any kind of disciplinary hearing to take place. 
Therefore under no circumstances whatsoever ( including Christmas and New Year festivities ) must a member of this club turn up wearing any of the following :
1. Kinky black leather items with or without a whip
2. A suit of armour 
3. Fig leaves
4. Anything dripping in blood
5. An Andy Pandy suit
6. A Hannibal Lecter T-shirt
7. See-through nightie
8. A Rambo outfit
9. A Margaret Thatcher face mask
10. Prison uniform
11. A strait-jacket
12. A pink satin jump suit ( if you're a man )
13. Scuba diving gear ( even if recently graduated )
14. Morris dancing regalia
15. A monstrous false black moustache and mariner's hat 
16. Birthday suit
17. Jack boots and a black shirt
18. Anything with a Hello Kitty logo
19. False boobs
20. Facial tattoos 

In fact..... anything the committee regards as being in bad taste and/or offensive to the eye. As self-appointed experts in fashion style , clothing standards and respectability , their judgements cannot be queried , questioned or challenged. 

Monday, 21 July 2014


Saturday, 19 July 2014


Friday, 18 July 2014


Dear Rebecca,
Every week I end up playing duplicate bridge with people who condemn me to endless run of below average scores , and a national ranking well below my status of a top class player.
It seems to me that I am the poor unfortunate victim of clueless partners , wretched bad luck and cheating opponents.
Am I cursed  ?  Persecuted ?   Paranoid ?  Or what ?

Yours in despair ,
                     Riley Downe

Dear Riley,
Your plight is no different from that of many other bridge players who have the misfortune to partner those who fall short of the grade. And yes , whenever you end up with a rabbit as a partner , your misery will be compounded by foul luck and unethical practices ,  which always come to the aid of undeserving opponents. That it is the way things work out. That's life ! 
Nevertheless , why allow bad results to ruin your game. The real joy and pleasure one gets from bridge is in the participation, never the outcome.
As it happens my father was a good bridge player and was quite at ease with the fact he rarely got above 40%. He always knew that his contribution was a score around 65% , while his partner's input rarely exceeded 20 %. Moreover ,  his real pleasure was in allocating and apportioning blame after the duplicate was over. In this respect he was a true expert.
So why not learn to accept the harsh realities of life at the bridge table , and always convert a poor partnership performance into a personal and magnificent triumph. 

Yours grounded as ever,
                      Rebecca Rood

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Dear Rebecca,
I'm sick and tired of people going on about how horrible it is play at the Slaughter House Bridge Club. Well, I'm a member there and it is bloody great.
Where else would I get to butcher rabbits by the dozen , lay into hapless and inept partners with utter loathing and contempt ,  swear like a trooper ,  cheat like a dog and behave in a thoroughly objectionable way......without so much as a whisper of disapproval , polite warning or risk of a reprimand.
This wonderful little haven is the only place I know where you can be who you really are.

Yours...... living is for those who really love life,
                                                              Evan  Hisell

Dear Evan,
Yes , you do have a point. Most of us spend our lives trapped inside strait-jackets of conformity , forced to behave in accordance with regulated codes of conduct , and other people's rules about acceptable standards of behaviour. The alternative is chaos , bedlam and anarchy.
However , as much as the Slaughter House might be right up your street ,  I happen to have principles ( based on decency and respect ) which I would never compromise. 

Yours quite willing to stand up for the helpless and weak,
                                                                       Rebecca Rood    


  • Ideal Partner : a person who dislikes the same club members as you do
  • Patience : what players only seem to have when they don't know what card they should play next
  • Gross ignorance : what your dreadful partners are guilty of being 144 times worst than the prevailing level of ignorance within the club membership
  • Feedback : what you get from a critical partner who ate far too many red hot chili bake beans for his dinner
  • Conscience :  ( a ) what is severely lacking in the psychological make up of a cheat and (b) the inner voice which only speaks to a player when there's the likelihood of someone somewhere looking on
  • Amnesia : a condition that enables a player who has endured an extremely severe bollocking to play again with the same foul-mouthed partner
  • Partnership : a classic example of a paradox
  • Table yawn : an honest opinion openly expressed
  • Committee : an institution in which the whole is equal to the scum of its parts
  • Hope : a disappointment deferred

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


  • Ace  :  in the context of flying bridgemates a crack pilot with a unrelenting passion for close encounters 
  • 2nd session : the latter part of a tournament where most players spend all their time wondering why they flunked so badly in the first 
  • Sell out : a decision by players to allow the opponents to play in 3 of a minor when game is on their way 
  • Depression : what many bridge players suffer from when expressing their anger with a total lack of enthusiasm
  • Treasurer : a person voted into office to hoodwink members into thinking the club is in a better financial shape than it actually is  
  • Bridge bore : an extremely pompous player who is forever me-deep in conversation
  • Justice : something that only takes place when the decision goes in the committee's favour at the end of a fiercely contested legal dispute
  • Tomorrow : the day an average bridge player expects his/her game to improve
  • Letter of apology : a written statement of regret , sorry and remorse which lays the foundation for re-offending
  • Bridge prodigy : a child who can steer home extremely difficult contracts long after he/she ought to be in bed

Sunday, 13 July 2014


1. An amazing ability through years of practice of ducking out of the way of low flying objects
2.  An arthritic middle figure from years of over use
3.  A big mouth , a sharp tongue and a disgusting vocabulary to complement both 
4.  An ever-growing appetite for sado-masochistic behaviour  
5.  A disfigured face with a nose having been knocked out of joint on numerous occasions
6.  Several scars on the back from repeated stabbings ,  inflicted by so-called friends and allies
7.  Complete lack of moral fibre , conscience and remorse
8.  A distorted belief that table altercations and out-of-order disputes add a valuable dimension to the game
9.   A misguided view that kowtowing to the club chairman is a mandatory requirement
10. An inability to smile with genuine warmth and affection
11. A reluctance to engage eye contact given that this kind of behaviour at the table is considered as an overt aggressive act  
12. A constant and repetitive facial twitch resulting from years of using highly visual and effective communication methods with partners of long standing and little integrity
13. A passionate pursuit of oneupmanship at the expense of sportsmanship  
14. An unshakable believe that results matter , and that the ends will always justify the means
15. A well developed instinct of keeping one's head below the parapet , born out of necessity and/or self-preservation
16. A deep dread , loathing and fear of those who keep secrets and , of course , a certain kind of dossier     

Saturday, 12 July 2014


Bigot has always been an inquisitive sort of man , keen to poke his nose into the affairs of other bridge clubs and the kinds of awards they choose to give their members. With little to show for his research effects , he then miraculously had a flash of real inspiration. Why not have a whole load of NOSE celebrate the shortcomings and failings of The Human Condition ......which of course are endemic within any bridge club membership ! 

1. Keep One's Nose Clean Awards.....for committee members most skilled in avoiding any suspicion of malpractice being directed at them 
2. Turn Up One's Nose Award .....for the player who refuses point blank to partner anyone deemed to be inferior , usually by expressing sheer contempt for lowly status and ranking  
3. See No Further Than The End Of One's Nose Awards.....for any member guilty of a frightening lack of foresight , perception and discernment
4. With One's Nose In The Air Award......for the most arrogant , pompous, bastard who comes to the table with that high and mighty ,  haughty,  self-righteous , holier-than-thou attitude
5. Put Someone's Nose Out Of Joint Award.....for the rebel , dissenter and renegade who successfully rocks others' boats , scuppering and thwarting their best laid plans  
6. Cut Off One's Nose To Spite One's Face Awards.....for players who commit extremely aggressive acts out of pique or spite , quite prepared to incur greater harm to themselves should things get out of control  
7. Get Up Someone's Nose Award ....for the errant pilot of a bridgemate with a penchant for flying the craft right up close to an opponent's nose 
8. Pay Through The Nose Award .....for the dodgy professional who overcharges sponsors to such an extent police have been called in to launch investigations into obtaining money by , or under , false pretences 
9. Lead Someone By The Nose Awards....for committee members most adept at persuading ordinary members to do as they are told and to vote accordingly 
10. Rub Someone's Nose In It Award .....for the most unforgiving member who specialises in exposing the mistakes of others , by recalling what happened at the table in front of willing listeners looking to have a laugh at someone else's expense 
11. Under One's Award Award .....for the dimwit who regularly misses clear-cut signals , obvious plays and blatant clues at the table, for no other reason except crass stupidity
12. No Skin Of My Nose Award.....for the member who happily picks a fight with another being utterly convinced that he/she will suffer no adverse effect  

Friday, 11 July 2014


The storm in a teacup idiom is now truly dead and buried, having been superseded by a much more colourful replacement " bridgemate across a table ". 
This rather amusing use of hyperbole cleverly attempts to highlight the absurdity of people who over react. Originating from an incident at the Walnut Tree Allotment Society bridge club in 2012, the idiom made its debut appearance in the club's newsletter , which reported the events of what took place that particular night . At the risk of stating the obvious ,  the harmless movement of a bridgemate across a table could hardly be seen as being in the same league as one flung , with real force and venom , straight into an opponent's face. 
However , the very circumstances in which bridgemates are moved across a table might well imply that slight deviations , or even different elevations , from an established code of practice or designated flight path ,  could cause ructions. Unfortunately for the alleged wrongdoer , his or her actions were interpreted completely out of proportion to the real nature of any " offence " which may have taken place ( or not ). 
A bridgemate across a table idiom , just like its predecessor  a storm in a teacup , depicts a sad and common truth, which reveals one of the great failings of The Human Condition : how petty minded people are often driven to make a great fuss about something of no or little consequence.      

Thursday, 10 July 2014


Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Dear Rebecca, 
What really gets up my nose ( other than an unwarranted air strike by a low flying bridgemate ) is the grossly inappropriate , highly patronizing , compliment " well played partner ", when an extremely inept opponent has only brought home the contract by virtue of some dreadful and catastrophic defending.
The other night a totally useless pair overbid their way to a hopeless 4H contract  destined to go off two on any bog standard defence. Despite declarer taking an inferior line for a possible minus 3 ,  my partner then endeavoured to gift him... not three.... but four bloody tricks . He did this by pulling out the wrong card , revoking on trick five ,   failing to remove dummy's last trump and failing to cash an established winner. Yet this patronising prat of an opponent had the gall to compliment his partner on his declarer play.
I ask you what is all this about ?

Yours Really Outraged from Oughtibridge  

Dear ROFO,
I with you all the way on this one. This is Best Behaviour at bridge has without a shadow of doubt gone a step too far. Praising partner's declarer play for getting a miracle score like that has to be a joke .  Why hide the bitter truth that the gift-wrapped result was handed to him on a silver plate ? 
If dummy is to say anything at all then words like " you jammy arse-hole " , " you undeserving bastard ", or " you must be the luckiest man alive " would be far more appropriate and honest , and far less likely to upset sensitive people like yourself.

Yours candidly Rood as ever


Monday, 7 July 2014

CONCERNED PARTNER...............

Saturday, 5 July 2014


  • Why Is It That I Always Seem Unable To Win ?.............................Bjorn Tafayle
  • It's Not Much Fun Being The Weak Link In The Team.....................Liam Duck
  • For God's Sake Don't Ask Me How I'm Doing !...............................Fay Lynn Badleigh
  • What Makes You Think I've Got A Defeatist Attitude ?....................Gavin E. Selly
  • I've Read Countless Bridge Books But To No Avail..........................Stella Dimwitt
  • There's Only One Way To Describe A Player Like Me......................Bryn Les Moran
  • Why Is It That My Partners Are Such Complete Asses ?...................Don Keys
  • I Know My Partner's Upset With Me But Where Is He Now ? ............Ed N. Holme 
  • Whenever I Feel Pressure I Just Crack Up........................................Gunter Pieces
  • Silly Things I Do At The Bridge Table...............................................Sacha Pratt  

Friday, 4 July 2014


The other day I bumped into of the club's most prolific players , who for some unknown reason had missed out on his Thursday night duplicate.
" Where on earth were you last night ? " I politely asked.
" I spent the evening in Rotherham with a bimbo of a partner  "
" Doing what ? "
" Playing cards of course.......what else ? "
" Poker ? "
" I should say so.....and on several occasions .....between each set of boards "
" What ? "
" The silly bint needed constant reminding about our agreed system "
" What ? " 
" Mind you I did find using sharp pencils far more effective than my stiff index finger ! " 


Thursday, 3 July 2014


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

BIGOT-JOHNSON'S INVALUABLE GUIDE ON HOW TO BE THE PERFECT CLUB MEMBER ( or how to keep a hold on your membership )

1.  Know your place in the pecking order ......and be happy to stay there
2.  Never be seen or heard making critical remarks about committee members
3.  Be fearful and reluctant to ask searching questions 
4.  Become a devoted disciple of the three monkeys 
5.  Possess an unshakable faith that those in authority and power know best 
6.  Keen to march in tune to the sound of a beating drum
7.  Loyal and supportive to the committee to the bitter end 
8.  Quick to bury your head in the sand if awkward situations arise
9.   When shenanigans are going on around you, happy to see it as the norm
10. Able to live in an environment where bedlam , chaos and lunacy rule
11. Sensible enough not to raise your head above the parapet , especially when bullets have   
      your name engraved upon them
12.  Willing to place compliance and obedience above any notions of resistance and rebellion
13. Eager to develop the art of grovelling and all manner of sycophantic arse-licking behaviour 
14. Always prepared to drown yourself in a cocktail of apathy , ignorance and inertia
15. In the event of ever being " shafted " , happy to give a warm smile and say " thank you "
16. Unperturbed and laid back about attending crowded, well orchestrated AGMs held in 
      pitch black rooms 
17. Philosophical and understanding about the imposition of ultra-strict zero tolerancerules
      and restrictions on free speech  
18. Always keen to step forward and donate generously to any fund raising scams dreamt up 
      by the committee
19.  A willingness to accept there's only ever one side to a story , namely the committee's
20.  And when things go belly up , quick to take responsibility and shoulder the blame 
       ( by claiming that the committee were nothing more than humble servants, acting on behalf
       of those who voted them in )   

  • My Partner Jumps Me At The First Opportunity..........................Earl E. Rizor
  • I'm Resigning My Position As Bridge Club Chairman..................Annie Takers 
  • Is There Anyone Out There Who Can Make This Slam ?.............Ike Ken Duett
  • One More Mistake Partner  And You're A Dead Man...................Omar Godd
  • Oops So Sorry Partner,  I've Just Made Another Mistake.............Ima Gonah 
  • Make A Mistake With My Partner And He Would Kill You.............Cy Coe
  • My Way For Relieving Stress During Play Really Works...............Ruben Yakoc 
  • Our Club Chairman Is A Total And Utter Tosspot..........................Kent A. Bydim
  • Someone Should Put A Bullet In His Head...................................Ann Meah Gunn
  • After Eight Straight Zeros I've Lost The Will To Live......................Carrie Mia Waye
  • In The 1930's Professionals Charged A Flat Fee Rate.................Arthur Crown
  • When You're A Gay Bridge Player Partners Just Come And Go.....Ivor Nugent 
  • My Partner Has Completely Lost All Self-control..........................Ron N. Wilde
  • Opponents Kept Turning Us Over Board After Board....................L. Averday
  • Oh Dear That's Another Slam I've Binned....................................Eva Sue Sorrey