The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLX: Bad Karma
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank needed a good board against his rival on the last hand of the night and they drew the following cards:
Lucky Archie led the queen of hearts against Poor Frank’s small slam. Poor Frank could not help but notice when the dummy came down that there was a slight flaw in this contract. He was missing the ace and king of spades! But ever the trooper, Poor Frank gave away nothing with his expression and labored on.
He won the lead in dummy and drew trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy. Next came the ace and king of clubs and two spade sluffs. He then played the king of hearts and ruffed a heart. Now all suits but trumps and spades had been eliminated. He led a low spade from hand, and Lucky Archie made the fine play of ducking. However, when Red Dyeman won his ace, he had to give declarer a ruff and a sluff. Poor Frank soon claimed his bold slam.
The normally phlegmatic Red suddenly became angry and yelled at Archie, “You dolt, why didn’t you lead a spade? Now he has no chance. No chance at all!”
“But, Red,” Archie said, “how would I ever know to choose a spade when I have the queen, jack, and ten of hearts?”
“They argued for about ten minutes,” Frank told Janet later as they discussed the evening’s boards. “I have seldom seen Red so mad. And you know what, I agree with Archie. He made a good lead and a good play when he ducked the spade.”
“Yes, darling,” Janet said, “but think of all the bad karma Archie’s accumulated over the years. Think of all the times he’s been congratulated for being an idiot. It was about time he got criticized for doing the right thing.”
“You’re right, sweetheart,” Frank said. “Maybe that’s why Archie looks so stoop-shouldered lately. It’s the weight from the invisible backpack he’s using to carry all that bad karma.”