Thursday, March 1, 2012

The 8 of Clubs Was Good???

       Cindy and I recently started branching out and playing with other partners. We now play together every third game and with Barb and Joan the interim games. Consequently the skill level in Cindy's interim games has gone up a notch and I needed to get up to speed.

       So it was a pleasant winter's day, sunny and unseasonably warm, when Cindy and I played together for the first time in several weeks. I was anxious to play well and was trying hard to fully concentrate on the game and not write mental grocery lists or think about recent phone conversations with my son.

       I bought the 4 hearts contract. I made my plan and found I needed another trick. I studied the board. I studied my hand. I wasn't seeing it. I commenced play, cashed in nine tricks and was stumped. I implemented the squeeze play, always an option when you don't have a clue what else to do, but I went down. I felt awful.

       "So sorry, partner," I said, not for the first time in my bridge career.

       "That 8 of clubs on the board was good," my helpful left-hand opponent pointed out. "Did you know that?" I had no reply. "You had the clubs set up and you didn't take that 8," she explained. Thoughtful of her.

       I nodded and moved on to the next table. My mind was spinning. "The 8 of clubs was good? How the heck was I supposed to know the 8 of clubs was good. Who would have thought an 8 would be good? I didn't even set up the damn clubs, at least not consciously. I can't keep track of all those different suits - two different colors, four different shapes, all those numbers and those three ghastly people dressed in strange 15th century clothing!"

       On my way home I pulled into the grocery and was surprised when I knew off the top of my head that we needed olive oil, fabric softener, and black peppercorns. And out of the blue I thought about my son's arm that he injured recently skiing. He told me about it on the phone last night...oops! The 8 of clubs was good but it looks like my concentration wasn't. Gotta work on that a little. 



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