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.