“You read the paper today and it seems like all bridge players care about is eating,” one of the players at the Airport Bridge Club said as the game started Saturday. This player was unfazed by club manager Bill Finkelstein’s “Bill’s better than bagels” game, for which he prepared two trays of ham and cheese roll-ups and laid out at least two dozen bananas. The bagels were the offering of the rival Bridge Center of Buffalo, which debuted a Saturday game to replace the Lockport game, which is suspended while director Marge Schomers recovers from whatever put her in the hospital.
Counter-programming with food is one of the keys of Bill Finkelstein’s promotional campaign to bring back players who drifted away to the other clubs while he was closed for a month and a half for illness. Saturday he had a six-table game, while the Bridge Center had 6 ½ (and gave extra points with a club championship game). None of the Lockport people were at either game.
We’ll see what happens on Pi Day (Wednesday 3/14), when the Bridge Center has a special triple-point game and Finkelstein plans to present each player with a whole pie of some sort. And we’ll see what happens next Saturday – St. Patrick’s Day – when Finkelstein plans to do what he always does on that day – corned beef sandwiches.
Finkelstein’s already planning a dietary duel with Unit 116 on the day of the unit picnic in July by offering a chicken barbecue that day, but he’s distressed to discover that picnic chairman Paul Zittel will be calling on the same caterer for chicken. Zittel noted Saturday that the caterer is his neighbor and one of his family members works for them. Who else would he call?