The Telegraph – 19 Dic 1946

I wouldn’t be surprised if the shift from bridge to gin rummy lowered the divorce rate in this country. When two families make up a bridge foursome, it’s usually Mr and Mrs against Mr and Mrs. How skillfully Momma plays determines whether Poppa wins, and the other way round.

Bridge scraps have made hash out of many a marriage. A trumped ace is often responsible for the little woman feeling like to new man. This happens all the time: During the day David calls Claudia every hour on the hour and blows kisses over the phone. That night they dine with the Joneses, and after coffee the bridge table is set up. As usual, David’s life-partner is his bridge-partner.

They lose the first rubber because Claudia had one of her diamonds mixed in with the hearts. They lose the next rubber, and David cracks about her bidding being more pathological than psychological. By eleven, they’re heavily in debt —a dollar twenty including the cost of the cards.

On the way home there’s not much talk. As they get to the house, David says, «Be careful getting out of the car, darling or you’ll break your confounded leg!»

Inside, the post-mortem begins:

DAVID: «How could anybody make seventeen errors playing thirteen cards?»

CLAUDIA: «How would you have played ‘the hand?»

DAVID: «Under an assumed name!»

CLAUDIA: «I didn’t do so bad considering I had three people playing against me.»

DAVID (who has read George S. Kaufman): «I know you learned the game this afternoon—the question is, what time this afternoon?»

CLAUDIA:   She concludes the discussion by presenting David with a 24-piece dinner set, a piece at a time, and goes home to her lawyer.

Gin, one the other hand, is simple, mostly a matter of luck. Divorce is so common nowadays lots of people are burning their bridge tables behind them and switching to gin. They want to stay married, just to be different.