A Bridge Phantasmagoria




At the club’s Xmas party, members are given the opportunity to display their talents, musical or otherwise, and two of the acts had bridge connotations.

You may recall the Paul Daniels television programme featuring the ‘Bunco Booth’ spot, or ‘Heads I win, Tails you lose.’ One member Bill Fraser, introduced as Daniel Paul, had ensconced himself in the ‘Bunco Booth’ and spoke up. “Roll up, roll up, play the hand and win a fiver. Only 50 pence a try. How should the hand be played in Four Spades when West leads the nine of diamonds? All answers by 11 o’clock. Paper supplied. Prize giving at midnight.”

This was the hand displayed on a large blackboard.


S K87432
H K98
C 653


S A5
H J6
D 987654


S -
H 1075432
D QJ1032


S QJ1096
C 108742


Came midnight and a smiling Daniel Paul. “The whole proceeds will go to the club funds. Nobody got it right. Very carefully I asked how the hand should be played, not how South should play the hand. The defense has a part to play.

“After the ace of diamonds, South plays the ace and queen of hearts and overtakes the king to ruff a heart and strip the red suits. Should West overruff with the ace, there is no defense. He could play a club but after the ace and king, East has to concede a ruff and discard so West does not overruff but discards a diamond.

“If South were now to play a trump, West could play the ace and another while East rids himself of the ace and king of clubs and West will come to three club tricks. Nobody mentioned this possibility. Accordingly South leaves trumps severely alone and leads a club at once and East is end played.

“You ought to know that nobody wins in the ‘Bunco Booth’.”

There were loud cries of “Foul,” but all in good part.

In regard to the second act, most of you no doubt will remember Englebert Humperdinck’s theme song ‘Release Me’. Having rewritten the lyrics, I got myself introduced as ‘Dinky Englebert’ with the ‘Nice Girls’ backing group, who sang the chorus to start off and also after every verse which I sang, accompanying myself on the piano. Here are the lyrics and I am not claiming any copyrights.


The Chorus:

Please release me let me go
For I don’t love you any more
To cling to me would be a sin
So release me and let me start to win.

The Verses:

You bid One Spade, I raised to two
You tried Three clubs, I stretched to game
You bid again, it was no good
How could you, why did you use Blackwood

I bid One Heart, Four Clubs, you said
I guess I knew what that bid meant
It was of course, the famous Swiss
Eight clubs you had, ‘twas my Swiss Miss

In Three No-trump their only hope
Was that the heart ace was onside
When the king did win South said “what luck”
It was not luck, ‘twas your “clever” duck

I doubled their Spade slam for a lead
and you did lead what I did need
Down two but I was fit to choke
The slam was made, you’d made a daft revoke

O’er my One Club next hand said double
Then round to me I cried redouble
Having just three clubs, it was an SOS
You passed with two, ‘twas a proper mess

And we were bidding gaily on
With Spades I thought the suit agreed
And then my heart void I did cue
You passed me, ‘twas a day to rue

Their club pre-empt you doubled loud
I thought we used the take-out kind
I went to game, they crunched with glee
Six clubs king high was for penaltie

And then there came the final blow
They bid to six with trumps, queen high
When the queen was led, you were so rash
You put up the king my ace to crash

Final chorus in lament mode!


by Carl Dickel