One of my favorite things about bridge tournaments is going out to eat near the playing site between sessions and watching people watch us. Suddenly restaurants are packed at 4:30 in the afternoon, full of people who appear to be speaking English...but, wait, what? Each individual word is English, but none of this makes any sense! Is this some kind of alien invasion?
Last week in San Diego, I was walking into a restaurant as a couple was walking out, fighting. I only heard one line of the fight, but I knew they were bridge players when I heard it:
"I didn't have the right hand to balance with a double!" she screamed.
Now, I get this. You get this. But to a non-bridge player, what could this possibly mean? Someone who doesn't even realize these are bridge players...what would the chance observer deduce from such a line? I've been taking submissions via Facebook, Twitter (follow me @jianantonic), and LiveJournal for lines from a common bridge discussion, and asking my non-bridge friends to translate. I'm not looking for their guess at what it means in bridge terms, but rather, what they'd think if they just overheard this one line out of context. I think this project will make a great post, so feel free to submit your own lines, and to send your non-bridge friends here to make their guesses.
Here are the lines I have so far:
1. I didn't have the right hand to balance with a double!
2. You're supposed to have a stiff when you splinter.
3. Why didn't you try a double strip squeeze?
4. I was five, five, two, one with hearts and diamonds.
5. I was trying to save the beer card.
6. We used the VCR to find the grand.
7. I tried to signal for a club, but I only had high spots.
8. Jack third isn't a real stopper.
9. It was a two-suiter.
10. I couldn't make it after I got stuck in the dummy.
11. My righty hit it in the pass out seat.
12. Who won the Swiss?
We really do take for granted that we speak a whole other language when we play this game. Please send your friends this way and have them give their best translations -- I'll be using my favorite submissions in a future post and will see if I can get it printed in the bulletin. Thanks in advance!