Overheard on BBO…

Not having been on a bus for six months I feel starved of the joy of hearing strange snippets of conversations. I’m having to resort to snippets I “overhear on BBO”. Today we have:

“I’m playing with a ROBOT today because Margaret is at the hairdressers”.

Online TDing…. generates a few strange TD calls!

Yesterday I was called to bridge table by a player holding

S —
D KT98743
Q A865

Player “I can’t see my hand, the bidding box is blocking it”

Jules “OK, could you try clicking on the box”

Player “Still can’t see”

Jules “Can you try dragging the bidding box?”

Player “No, that doesn’t work”

Jules “Is there a play button, or a back arrow that you can see?”

Player “Nope”

Jules “OK, trying signing off and on again to see whether the problem resolves itself”.

Player “I’m back. I still can’t see part of my hand.”

Jules “OK, so what part of your hand can’t you see?”

Player “My spades….”

Jules “!!!”

Of course as online TDs we can’t actually see what the player can (or can’t) see on their screen, so really just trying to proffer a series or “useful suggestions” to try and resolve the problem!

Ode to Bridge, shared by Kestrel’s, Sara Mit—

I’m giving up Bridge –
tonight’s my last night,
it’s Amen to Stayman, I give
up the fight.
The insults and muddles are
giving me troubles;
I can’t sleep at night for
remembering doubles.

What to bid, what to lead
and which cards have been
Did my partner’s discard
mean she wanted a spade?
So for now it’s all over – I’m
off to the backwood,
I’m bidding good riddance to
Gerber and Blackwood.

I can’t stand the hassle, I
can’t stand the pain,
I’m getting those bad cards
again and again.
I’m giving up Bridge –
tonight’s a bad night,
Declarer is horrid and
nothing’s gone right.

My partner’s quite hopeless
but tends to blame me,
When we go down in four
though should have been in three.
I sit there in dread when
I see her bid double.
She does it a lot and it
always means trouble.

My points are not high, and
I’m wondering why,
she keeps on and on
bidding up to the sky:
We’re in seven hearts and
my nerves are frayed,
when wonder of wonders
our contract made!

We have all the tricks,
the defenders look grey,
and I have to admit my
partner’s ok.
But—I’m giving up Bridge,
tonight’s my last night.
Farewell to conventions.
I give up the fight!

So I end with some words
that I know to be true,
Bridge is a game, not for me
but for you.
So be kind to your partners,
and don’t mind their cheek,
for it’s only a game, and yep!
I’ll see you next week.


My first bridge tournament

Shortly after arriving in Manila for my husband’s new posting I soon realised there was a pecking order in the social circles. You were asked 3 questions while you waited for your kid’s school bus, What position does your husband hold in the company , Which “Village” do you live in and Do you play bridge?
Having passed the first 2, I encouraged 3 other new arrivals to have Bridge lessons.
We had 3/10 lessons when the British Ambassador’s wife (a keen bridge player) held a charity games morning . The group decided we would pass on the scrabble, backgammon etc and Instead play bridge.
We were so bridge naive, Never having heard of duplicate bridge or even played a game other than in our class, we took along our notes!! We could not understand why we were given 4 boards or why the ladies were so exasperated with us and kept taking the boards away while glaring at us. We were still playing our 1st board when they had finished 3 of their 4 boards still waiting for our board. We were oblivious of what was happening around , we were busy reading our notes in order to bid. Eventually Having messed up theIr movement , they threw us out the tournament but grudgingly awarded me a bottle of wine for the deuce prize!!!
I hasten to add … I have improved since.

Lockdown Lingo

Are you fully conversant with the new terminology?

The ups and downs of your mood during the pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one minute but suddenly weepy with anxiety the next. It truly is “an emotional coronacoaster”.

Experimental cocktails mixed from whatever random ingredients you have left in the house. The boozy equivalent of a store cupboard supper. Southern Comfort and Ribena quarantini with a glacé cherry garnish, anyone? These are sipped at “locktail hour”, ie. wine o’clock during lockdown, which seems to be creeping earlier with each passing week.

Le Creuset wrist
It’s the new “avocado hand” – an aching arm after taking one’s best saucepan outside to bang during the weekly ‘Clap For Carers.’ It might be heavy but you’re keen to impress the neighbours with your high-quality kitchenware.

As opposed to millennials, this refers to the future generation of babies conceived or born during coronavirus quarantine. They might also become known as “Generation C” or, more spookily, “Children of the Quarn”.

Furlough Merlot
Wine consumed in an attempt to relieve the frustration of not working. Also known as “bored-eaux” or “cabernet tedium”.

An overdose of bad news from consuming too much media during a time of crisis. Can result in a panicdemic.

The elephant in the Zoom
The glaring issue during a videoconferencing call that nobody feels able to mention. E.g. one participant has dramatically put on weight, suddenly sprouted terrible facial hair or has a worryingly messy house visible in the background.

Quentin Quarantino
An attention-seeker using their time in lockdown to make amateur films which they’re convinced are funnier and cleverer than they actually are.

Covidiot or Wuhan-ker
One who ignores public health advice or behaves with reckless disregard for the safety of others can be said to display “covidiocy” or be “covidiotic”. Also called a “lockclown” or even a “Wuhan-ker”.

The sudden fear that you’ve consumed so much wine, cheese, home-made cake and Easter chocolate in lockdown that your ankles are swelling up like a medieval king’s.

Antisocial distancing
Using health precautions as an excuse for snubbing neighbours and generally ignoring people you find irritating.

Coughin’ dodger
Someone so alarmed by an innocuous splutter or throat-clear that they back away in terror.

Extra make-up applied to “make one’s eyes pop” before venturing out in public wearing a face mask.

The 10lbs in weight that we’re all gaining from comfort-eating and comfort-drinking. Also known as “fattening the curve”.