The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXXIII: Fear of Sleeping, Part I
By Ray Adams
Just the other night after a tough game at the local duplicate club, Poor Frank had an even tougher game in his dreams.
North transferred Lucky Archie to hearts after the Lucky One opened 1NT, and North then took a shot at six hearts. The contract appears to have two losers in the absence of a club lead, not a likely choice when the opening leader holds a KQJ sequence. Indeed, Poor Frank led the king of diamonds, taken by dummy’s ace. Lucky Archie then drew trumps with the ace, cashed the ace of clubs, tossing a diamond from dummy, and ruffed a club, hoping to see a doubleton king. This did not materialize, and Archie got bored with ruffing and ran his trumps.
The run of the hearts put severe pressure on Poor Frank, who had the key cards in spades and diamonds. When the last heart was played, he had come down to the queen of diamonds and the king and jack of spades. Dummy had the ace and five of spades and the six of diamonds. East was holding onto clubs, while Lucky Archie had the ten of diamonds and the queen and ten of spades.
The dream Lucky Archie looked puzzled and seemed unable to decide what to do. Finally he said,
“What the hell, partner, lead a diamond.” This went to the ten and Poor Frank’s queen. But now, Poor Frank had to lead away from his king of spades and the contract had been made.
Lucky Archie was ecstatic and jumped up and down. “Thanks, Frankie baby,” he said, “I couldn’t have made it without you.”
Poor Frank woke up then, shaking and gasping in terror.
The next day, he told Janet about his dream. “At the very end, I knew it was a dream because Lucky Archie could never have pulled off such a neat squeeze. Nonetheless, it scared the hell out of me.”
“There, there,” Janet said, patting Poor Frank’s hand. “It’s over now and it never happened.”
“But it seemed so real. And now I think I’m developing a phobia. I’m afraid to go to sleep. I’m terrified Lucky Archie will do terrible things to me in my dreams.”
“But seriously, darling, surely there’s nothing to fear. Nothing he does in your dreams could be any worse than what happens every week at the club.”
“Perhaps you’re right, but I don’t know,” Poor Frank said in a gloomy voice.