Thursday, 11 December 2014


( Acting on behalf of this well known but infamous bridge club , Bigot-Johnson decides to mount another legal challenge against the HM Revenue and Customs ,  to reclaim VAT on competition entry fees. Despite the fact that the EBU lost its case earlier on this year , Bigot was of the opinion that their lawyers had clearly missed a trick by relying on inadequate and flawed arguments. He was determined to get this precedent over-ruled , if only to ensure that bridge is revered as a sport in the same way as boxing. The case came before a High Court judge , who thankfully approached the issue with a fair and open mind. ) 

B-J : Your Honour ........I don't give a fig as to what happened several months earlier when the EBU failed to win its case. The earlier judge got it completely wrong. So to follow the precedent he laid down would be absurd and obscene ......creating yet another example of unacceptable British injustice
Judge : The judge you are referring to happens to be my brother
B-J : Oh....
Judge : Nevertheless I am prepared to hear what arguments you are going to put forward to establish bridge as a sport...... equal to say.....boxing ? 
B-J : I agree that many sports have a physical element to them , but the essence of a real sport has nothing to do with muscles , hand-eye co-ordination or steroids.
Judge : Please go on.....
B-J : Well , first off to call an activity a sport requires of course the element of competition , where each participant enters an arena to pit his/her skills and abilities against others in the quest for glory and fame. Bridge certainly meets that criterion.
Secondly , all sports involve rules , which by and large are designed to create a level playing fields and to crack down on cheating. And let me assure you that the sport of bridge is deluged with rules...not to mention the tens of thousands of cheats who continue to ignore them....
Judge : My God is the problem of cheating that bad ?
B-J : So bad your Honour that in major events screens have to be put up so that competitors can't get to see their opponents.....or their partners. 
Judge : Heavens above......I never would have guessed
B-J : Moreover any proper sport requires all competitors to go through the pain barrier in order to succeed. And nobody suffers more pain then when a bridge player sees his partner bin a simple contract ...or allow the opposition to make an impossible contract. The pain is excruciating... 
Judge : Any other observations ?  
B-J : All sport champions rely on their mental discipline ,  sustained concentration and focus, in order to push themselves to the limit so as never to allow their exceptionally high standards to slip....not even for a second. Again bridge is no exception.
Judge : But how can you equate bridge to the physically demanding sport of boxing ? 
B-J : Boxers and bridge players are in fact very alike. Boxers get physically bruised....bridge players mentally bruised. Each is trying to inflict maximum damage to their opponents. Prior to entering the sporting arena , battle plans and tactics are drawn up , where it becomes essential to identify and play upon an opponent's weakness. Mental stamina is essential if both types of sportsmen wish to succeed. But the main thing that boxers and bridge players have in common is the ability to anticipate what an opponent will do next....and how to counter the move. Moreover , both will set out to seize every opportunity to break through an opponent's defence.
The ability to think quicker and react faster than your opponent is what makes a winner and a champion....nothing to do with physical size , weight or strength. Why the best boxers knock their opponents out with a split-second combination of fast small punches as opposed to one single almighty wallop.
Judge : Yes.....I see what you're driving at....sportsmen need to be " clever " as opposed to fit in order to triumph 
B-J :  Exactly , bunny bashing requires hunting down and outwitting your opponents before going in for the fact I would equate bridge to the fiercest form of gladiatorial combat ...
brutal and beautiful to watch 
Judge :  Well I'll be damned......bridge is indeed the ultimate sport......and yes you can reclaim VAT on competition entry fees. All costs  therefore are to be paid by the defendants.
B-J : Your really are a gentleman and a scholar  
Judge : And my cheque will be in tomorrow's post ?
B-J : Count on it.....       

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