Bridge & Humor: In the Menagerie


The Dispatch – Nov 21, 1996 by Alfred Sheinwold and Frank Stewart

Victor Mollo
Victor Mollo

The late Victor Mollo produced some of the most delightful and penetrating bridge humor ever written. His stories are set in a club full of memorable characters. Mollo’s book «Bridge in the Menagerie» has just been reissued.

In today’s deal from the book. South is Themistocles Papadopoulos, known as «Papa the Greek.»

Papa a good technical player, is usually thwarted by the Hideous Hog, the best player in the club.

REACHES DUMMY menagerie 3

Contract: 3NT Lead 5

Dummy plays low on the first spade and East plays the seven. «Watch.» Papa says. «I can make my contract against any distribution whatever.»

He takes the ace of spades, leads the jack to the king and returns the ten, discarding his ace of diamonds.

The defenders must then let him reach dummy with a diamond trick for the spades or give him time to set up his clubs.

‘Anyone can raise a cheap cheer by chucking aces away: the Hog snorts.