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Bridge: A Matter of Life and Death

Myrtle Bennett: In 1929, when her husband misplayed his hand at bridge, she shot him dead. Naturally, she was acquitted.

Myrtle Bennett: In 1929, when her husband misplayed his hand at bridge, she shot him dead. Naturally, she was acquitted.


While Vandal hordes hammered at the gates, St. Augustine, the fifth-century patron saint of theologians and sore eyes, put his fingers in his ears and theorized that time did not exist before the beginning of the world. Likewise for most bridge players, life did not exist before the Kalamazoo Board.

Other than occasional side trips to the revolving teacups at Disney, my world is divided between Vero Beach and Vermont. In either landscape, the game of bridge is spreading with the speed of slime mold. Some people have played bridge all their lives, learning it from grandparents desperate for a fourth, or in a college dorm where taking tricks beats reading Gilgamesh in cuneiform. Many bridge players, including myself, didn’t learn it the first time around but took the game up later, somewhere between trigonometry and a colonoscopy. Some view the game as a challenge, others as a brain exercise, a form of neurobics like sudoku or trying to take a shower with your eyes closed to help you remember how to find your way home.

Read the entire article in the May 2010 issue