Thursday, November 08, 2012

Written for a memoir-writing class… A Few Happy Memories My high school physics class. Lucille Lauro was there. Cute as a kitten, sweet as milk chocolate, utterly irresistible. Our teacher: pleasant, elderly Mr. Sotong. The physics book asked: True or false? The speed of sound in air is the fastest speed known to man. Lucille Lauro said true. I shook my head and said No. Mr. Sotong looked at me, puzzled. Lucille Lauro also looked at me, puzzled. “The speed of light IN A VACUUM is the fastest speed known to man,” I said confidently. Mr. Sotong thought a moment. Then he slowly nodded his head yes. Lucille Lauro looked at me, frank admiration in her eyes. But…she wound up marrying a high school football player. +++ Duplicate bridge You don’t have to understand contract bridge to understand what I’m going to say. I was playing duplicate bridge, against a new partner and new opponents, a husband and wife. My partner bid spades, but our opponents got the contract – in clubs, I think. I started the game by leading one of my three hearts. Away from my king, which is considered a really terrible no-no. My partner scowled—because I hadn’t led a spade, which he had bid. The declarer thought my partner had the king and was angry that he was being finessed. The declarer then confidently and smugly led another low heart from the board to finesse my partner, and happily gathered in the trick. He grabbed the cards so quickly, I couldn’t see them. “Could I see that trick?” I asked innocently and sweetly. Sometimes I’m a real bastard. The declarer scowled. I was being persnickety, he thought, asking to see a trick he had easily won. And then…it dawned on him. He was thunderstruck. It was as if a powerful and powerful electrical current had zapped through his body. He realized the worst: I had the king!!! He was going down!!! I cooly produced the king and scooped up the trick and led a spade to my now deliriously happy partner. The declarer, I noticed, instantly fell into a deep state of depression. I still feel a thrill remembering that.