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The Dogmeat Was Hard to Swallow
Jack Olsen
November 14, 1966
Being both a topical essay describing the adventures of two neighborhood-type bridge pigeons who find themselves among a field of wolfish Life Masters in the richest tournament ever held and an illuminating commentary on the vanity of man
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November 14, 1966

The Dogmeat Was Hard To Swallow

Being both a topical essay describing the adventures of two neighborhood-type bridge pigeons who find themselves among a field of wolfish Life Masters in the richest tournament ever held and an illuminating commentary on the vanity of man

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My reveries were interrupted by a frightening enemy. They made a game and then racked up two quick part scores for another game and a 700 rubber, and all of a sudden it had come down to the last hand again and the two Life Masters needed only 70 points, any 70 points, to beat the two stiffs with the smart-aleck grins. The last hand was dealt:

NORTH
(Baer)

[Jack of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[x of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]

WEST
(me)

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Diamonds]
[x of Diamonds]
[x of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]

SOUTH
( Jacoby )

[x of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[x of Spades]
— [Heart]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[x of Diamonds]
[x of Diamonds]
[x of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]
[x of Clubs]

EAST
(Ray)

[Ace of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[x of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Hearts]
[x of Diamonds]
[x of Clubs]

Ray opened the bidding with three hearts, which normally would have been a bad bid but which in this case was aimed at cutting down our opponents' bidding space and their chances to confuse us in this all-or-nothing hand. But Jacoby did not need any bidding space. He said four diamonds. There were two passes, and after a long pause Cave passed because he didn't have any idea who had what and he didn't have the nerve to risk being set at four hearts. The crowd winced. I led a little heart and to my horror Jacoby ruffed it. I could see us losing another match by next to no points and I would never play bridge again or talk to Jacoby or read his column. Jacoby laid down the king of clubs. I didn't take the ace, out of spite, and then he led the ace of diamonds, drawing Cave's one and only trump. When he led another club, I slammed down the ace in a tigerish style and then I returned another club. Jacoby won the trick in dummy and played another club, which I trumped while he sloughed a spade from his hand. When I laid down the king of spades and followed it with the queen, Jacoby threw in the hand for down one. He had held 100 honors, and, therefore, he and Baer had lost the match by 20 points. They were out and Cave and I were in! It was, as some boor loudly observed, the greatest victory for dogmeat since plastic bags.

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