Some of my bridge friends took me out for dinner tonight. (“You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” “Which word?” “Friends.” “I have friends!”) In between playing bridge in the afternoon and dinner, I went home and changed my shirt. This exchange took place in the parking lot between me and a very classy woman in her sixties as we were walking into the restaurant:
Her: “You changed your clothes.”
Me: “Yeah, I didn’t think I should wear my ‘Scream Show’ gorilla t-shirt.”
Her: “That would have been okay. We like you for what’s under your shirt.”
Me: *somewhat awkward pause as I glance back over my shoulder at her*
Her: “I wasn’t talking about your boobs.”
Me: “I wasn’t going to say anything.”
Then we both started laughing.
This afternoon I played with Washington and we had a lousy session. One major bidding misunderstanding and a bad bid by yours truly grabbed us two absolute zeroes in one round. In general the hands were running the other direction and our defense ran the gamut from uninspired to idiotic. But nothing that either of us did could compete in terms of pure stupidity to a piece of defense I witnessed from my partner tonight. It had been awhile since I had called the club to pick up a partner and now I remember why. At unfavorable vulnerability my LHO opened the bidding with a weak 2♦ bid. My partner overcalled 2♠. While I was contemplating what the hell to do with this hand:
My RHO bid 3♦. My partner must have a decent hand for his bid and while I don’t think they’re making 3♦, I’m not at all sure that we have a game our way so I double, thinking it shows some values and something in the round suits. If my partner is good enough for us to make a game our way, I think we’re likely to beat them two if he leaves it in. If he has a very distributional hand with long spades and no defense, he’ll probably pull. My ambiguous double ends the auction. My partner leads the ace of clubs and this is the dummy:
My partner makes a joke about leading at strength. I drop the ten of clubs, we happen to be playing upside down count and attitude so this would be taken as discouraging, but in this case a shift to any other suit is so clearly advisable that I actually meant this as suit preference, which is to say I want a spade shift. Either way, it can not be the case that I want clubs continued, but I’m not really concerned about a club continuation because that ace must be stiff.
Declarer follows suit and I’m thinking, “Right, gotta be a stiff ace,” and then my partner leads another club. I’ll let that sink in … not only did he lead the ace from Axx against 3♦X, he continued the clubs with KQJ9 in dummy, when the declarer is marked with a long suit and a weak hand.
I can tell you that the declarer pitched two spades on the KQ of clubs and in so doing made her 3♦ contract which should be down three (the club continuation cost us two spade tricks and a spade ruff). I don’t clearly remember the rest of the hand because I was blind with rage. Our teammates (it was a small IMP game) were down two in 2♦ at the other table. They were not well pleased with the -670 we brought back for a total of -870 or 13 IMPs on a hand that can only make a part score either way. I totally lost it at the end of the hand. My partner claimed his error lay in not taking note of my discard. “Even if I gave you a ‘come-on’ in clubs, you should decide I’ve lost my f_cking mind and switch to something else!” I replied. And later, once I regained my composure, I had the thought which I’ve had many times before when a partner has done something so hopelessly dumb that I’m too astonished to be angry, “This must be what it feels like for [the Mad Scientist] when he’s playing with me.”