Five days a week for many years now, I’ve read the contract bridge column in the Sun-Times. That’s really a strange thing, you know, considering that I don’t know how to play bridge and I don’t actually understand most of what I’m reading. But there it sits, a brief column that can be read in less than a minute, nestled among comic strips and Sudoku, which I generally do understand (though The Wizard of Id still eludes me now and then).
It occurs to me that I’ve never been in a room where bridge was being played and I’ve never heard anyone I know talking about playing bridge. Is it possible that the only people who actually play it are that handful of people who have bridge columns in newspapers? Or worse, does the game actually not even exist and the reason the column makes no sense to me is because it’s just a bunch of random comments designed to obscure the shameful truth?
At the very least, I think there should be a column about some card game that’s a little more universally known than bridge, so I herewith offer my pilot column, done in emulation of the bridge column format:
Chuck on Fish
We saw some spirited games of double-deck fish at last week’s 42nd annual convention of the Society To Indulge Fish Fantasies In Extreme (S.T.I.F.F.I.E.), which took place, appropriately enough, in Cape Cod this year. In the climax of the semifinal, Armand Lemaire, the wily European champion, asked for a deuce with 6 deuces already showing. Freida Belcher, fresh off her February triumph in San Diego, could not hide her dismay as she surrendered the deuce to Lemaire. Asked later about Lemaire’s apparent lucky hit, Belcher intimated that Lemaire may have caught a reflection of the card in Belcher’s glasses. Lemaire merely smiled and replied cryptically, “C’est comme le poisson, n’est-ce pas?” Lemaire went on to capture his third Golden Hook in the last five years, and all eyes will certainly be on him going into the World Games in Seoul next month. The competition there figures to be a lot stronger than the field in Cape Cod, especially with the return of defending champion Evan Chatsworth, who’s been sidelined with eyestrain and a torn ATL (anterior thumb ligament).
Expert’s Corner— In a four-handed, single deck game, you are dealt K and 7 of Diamonds, A and 3 of Clubs, and 9 of Hearts. You sit to the dealer’s left and have first call. Which card should you ask for, and from which player? Answer next week!