Hingham Adventure

By Peter McManus

Mom and I had a nice visit with Rich and Cindy last weekend.

While we were there, Mom and I recruited Rich and Cindy into the ranks of bridge players, and in the process we learned something new about Mom. During the first night of play, I suggested that we just play practice hands, without keeping score. Mom seemed disappointed by such a non-competitive approach, but reluctantly acquiesced.

The next night we played again, and, to Momís approval, we kept score. Given Momís faulty memory, Rich kept his iBook close by, dialed in to a Rules of Bridge website. If you ask Mom how to score bridge, she would certainly tell you that she canít remember. But hand after hand she was able to tell us the appropriate score. At one point we encountered a somewhat complicated situation, and Mom finally told Rich to check the website. Before he could do that I asked Mom to take a guess. Three under-tricks while vulnerable: 100 points per trick for a total penalty of 300 points. Rich found that Mom had nailed it!

Mom clearly knows her bridge, as our unfortunate opponents, Rich and Cindy, found when we crushed them hand after hand. Mom got completely involved in the contest, forgetting for a moment where she was. At the end of one hand she tallied aloud the score, ď50 cents per undertrick . . .Ē

Where did that come from? I thought we were playing for points, not cents. Anyway, at that rate, Rich and Cindy would owe me and Mom around $15. Makes me wonder how much money has changed hands in bridge games Mom has played!

Unpublished work © 2002 Peter McManus