Although the e-mail from the Airport Bridge Club announced it as Dale Anderson’s Totally Unorganized Birthday Party, it turned out to be just unorganized enough.
Though it wasn’t orchestrated, the potluck food was fine – lovely pasta and noodle salads, meatballs, an asparagus quiche that I bought at the Lexington Co-op, some fried chicken, even some deli stuff that my partner Selina Volpatti had enough to time to pick up en route from her 4 p.m. meeting in Hamilton, Ont. No birthday cake, but then again, it wasn’t really my birthday. That won’t come until Friday.
Just like when I turned 70 and 71, I treated everyone to a free game. But this time with a bonus. A cash jackpot. Any pair who beat me and Selina would share a $72 kitty. And any pair who beat us by more than 5% would share another $72. To make it even more of a special occasion, club manager Bill Finkelstein broke out some brand new cards.
As for the game itself, with nine full tables, I had high hopes after finishing second overall in the daytime game. But Selina and I struggled sitting North-South at Table 1. We were getting set on contracts where other pairs were making two and three overtricks. It wasn’t until the third round that we even got a number on our side of the scoring sheet.
I have a tradition of doing badly at my birthday game, but this was way beyond badly. It may have been the worst game Selina and I have ever had – 34.29%. We were dead last by a long shot. More than 5%. Everybody got a piece of the $144 jackpot – $4.23.
For good measure, it was the first time EMTs have been called to my birthday game. Midway through, at the other end of the room, Alan Greer apparently had some diabetic dizziness and it took 10 minutes or so before the Rural Metro paramedics straightened him out. And what did he do? Like any passionate bridge player, he picked up his cards and started right in playing again.