Judy Kay-Wolff

Pilfering — With Permission!

Bridge Blogging comes in many sizes and shapes.   This site offers such a variety of topics, views, opinions, suggestions, questions, theories, mathematical approaches, accounts of sectionals, regionals, NABCs, etc. The diversity of subject matter never ceases to amaze me and I read as many as time allows.  I mostly resort to our main site as it is all-encompassing (including photos – which is not my best suit).  When I allude to “main site” – I point out those contributors whose names appear directly below the primary site to the far left.   If you check it out, you will also spot a list of others whose efforts are quite noteworthy, educational and informative and I highly recommend them if you are not already a fan.  However, one stands out like a sore thumb .. and that is Howard Bigot-Johnson’s Bizarre World of Bridge – and he proves it in spades .. although no one challenges how different we are from “normal folks.”  I take bridge very seriously (although sometimes my results don’t testify to that fact) and in today’s world and especially the state of our economy, many situations are in a downward spiral.   That is why it is always refreshing for me to take time out to relax while reading HBJ’s extremely clever and original presentations.   I have been following them for years and Bobby and I correspond with him often.  I usually think the last one I read was the best – but the ensuing one usually changes my mind.   He really should compile them in book form as all bridge lovers would appreciate his humor and plays on words.  (I am not HBJ’s agent – and some day I might wish I were). 

I wanted to share with you one of his latest contributions which I thought was so clever and on point. No doubt after reading it, you will trace back to previous postings  – so here goes!


( This highly competitive and addictive game has often caused quiet mild mannered people to turn into dangerous psychopaths , as evidenced by the following bridge terms which all relate to those who have turned their thoughts towards revenge, violence and murder . )

Bad break : the injury caused to a player’s arm or leg bone by an irate partner wielding a hammer
Progressive squeeze : Once an inept partner has been grabbed by the throat , it is the process by which one strangles the life out of him
Shooting : a popular pastime with members with a score to settle
Lead : the type of pellets most players like to have inside their shotgun cartridges , so as minmise the risk of missing their intended targets
Duck : an perfect target for a shotgun owner, especially when found in a sitting position 
Nasty split : what can happen to a player’s skull when an irate partner buries a machete into it
Axe : a heavy, more effective alternative to the much lighter machete
Cut : the smallest of injuries one can suffer at the hands of a knife-wielding partner
Clubs : useful objects to carry on your person , ideally suited for knocking some sense into bonehead partners
Spades : handy implements to have around to help dispose of any lifeless bodies
Uppercut : the penetration of skin about the shoulders, neck or head
2 club opener : a quick softening up process before the real beating takes place
Small slam : what one should do to close a door in order to cause a substantial injury to partner,  who is known to be following close behind
Grand slam : the maximum force used to close a door in partner’s face ,  as a way of showing just how pissed off you really are with his naff bids and inept play         


paul croninAugust 19th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Hi Judy,

No question that Howard has a way with satire, but do think that his points could be just as well made without resort to vulgarity – an example of which would be the names of some of the “authours” in his Saturday, August 16, 2013 effort.

Many thanks for the BD wishes, much appreciated.


Howard Bigot-JohnsonAugust 19th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

HBJ : Many tx for the endorsement but I fear that your analogy of ” the sour thumb ” is both pertinent and true. I have always assumed that the majority of serious minded full-on bridge enthusiasts (and experts ) would find my contributions to Linda’s excellent bridgeblogging umbrella site as sacrilege.
And to a large extent they are right. I am pushing the boundaries as to where bridge-related blogs can and should go. Bridge blogs should be about the achievements of the best, the art and craft of the game, it’s abstract beauty and all of its subtleties, along with serious debates on the issues, problems, controversies and conflict that beset the running and administration of the game. Taking a swipe at certain stereo-types who operate in an inappropriate or unacceptable way is perhaps not the way to endear myself to a wider audience.
But I am on a journey to prove to the world that underneath the perceived normality of a bridge world, there lurks a weird and bizarre reality. And if have experienced inside many bridge club bars banter of a crude, vulgar ( sex-related ) nature, then some of Pun’s book titles simply reflect that reality.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 19th, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Paul: I respect your opinions and contributions to the bridge site, but I am so sick and tired of other renderings elsewhere, that nothing could offend me. Perhaps they are a bit crude — but when it relieves the exhaustion and frustration of my daily crusades, I am not offended. At the end of a long day, it makes me laugh and I take HBJ’s words as a source of erudite observations — though not with tongue in cheek. I don’t offend easily, but I certainly understand your viewpoints and you are well within yourself.

Keep writing as I enjoy your columns as well.



Judy Kay-WolffAugust 19th, 2013 at 11:39 pm


I can sum it up easily. Those you are targeting bridge participants (whether at the club level, directorship, administration, god awful behavior, etc., etc., etc.) have been a part of all our lives and I am not offended by your calling a spade a spade. There is a great need for restoring the majesty of bridge, which in my opinion, has catapulted from grace in recent years. You are (as they say) — kidding on the level. Sometime the truth hurts.