I'm in NYC, away from home, on (cue the shock music) Valentine's day. The wife and I went out for dinner on Friday, well before the madding crowds, but it still feels bad to be away on the designated lovey-dovey day. Especially since the daughter insisted on wishing me thrice --once yesterday (before I left), the next this morning over the phone and again in the evening. Girls!
For dinner, therefore, I decided to go for Pathos. I found a restaurant serving Ramen noodles and what can be more pathetic than eating a bowl of Ramen, all alone in a strange city, right? Only, this is New York. The ramen noodles turned out to be delicious -- there is no way the bowl of soup I had tonight has any relationship with that thing you get in plastic packets or styrofoam cartons.
Another problem with ramen noodles is that it tends to get over quickly -- no big production involved for the dish, even in a sit-down restaurant. Since dinner had finished early, I decided to go to the Manhattan bridge club. I went to the bridge club in London when I was there last year and had a grand time -- it's so nice to go to a strange city and find companionship among a group of fellow addicts! The owner of the NYC club had told me to come, promising that it would be unlikely that I would not find a partner. Only, this being Valentine's day, there were not many people. "Not many people" at the Manhattan bridge club turns out to be one pair short of 8 tables. (For comparison, we average 3 tables at our Norman club game).
"If no one comes, I will play with you," said Bill, the director of the game, "but if another pair shows up, then we'll have eight full tables and I will give you a free entry for your next time." "But ... but," I wailed, "can't you have a sit-out?". Turns out the NYC clubs don't believe in sit-outs because New Yorkers don't like to wait 20 minutes for their next set of hands!
Luckily, no one else showed up and Bill and I played. He is an excellent player (with 30 times my matchpoints), so my job was mostly to stay out of his way. We ended up with a 62% game, good enough to win in both directions. Later, looking at the hand records, I see that even our "bad" boards were quite good -- we held the opponents to the tricks they were entitled to -- it was the other pairs that goofed.
But this is a blog about mishaps, so here is a disaster that could have been avoided (I was South):
Or maybe the mishap was having fun on Valentine's day away from home ... I may be paying for this in spades ...