The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXCII: Poor Frank and the Four of Spades
By Ray Adams
Even in his dreams, Poor Frank is unable to escape his chief nemesis Lucky Archie.
Poor Frank was peacefully sleeping when he found himself dreaming of the four of spades. This card was extremely angry and said, “I can’t even begin to tell you how upset I am with you. Why just the other day, you treated me as though I had no importance at all. You cavalierly threw me on the table as if I were garbage.”
Before the dream Poor Frank could respond, the four continued, “Then you complained you never got any cards. Your problem, Frank, is that you don’t know the value of a card when you hold it in your hand. So I’m going to teach you a lesson tonight.”
Then the small spot card diagrammed the above hand for Poor Frank. “Lucky Archie and his partner were experimenting with a system,” the little four said, “where an opening bid of 2♦ showed five clubs, short diamonds, and 4-4 or 4-3 in the majors. With his solid nine card diamond suit and an outside ace, North then took a shot at 6♦.”
“West led a trump,” the four said, “and you won your ace to shoot back the ten of spades. Lucky Archie won his ace, ruffed a club to dummy and ran all his diamonds. Do you know what happened then?”
Poor Frank clearly heard the sarcasm in the little four’s question, but he said, “I don’t think it matters what I do. There’s no squeeze and six diamonds is doomed to go down.”
“Well, Frank, this might have been true, had you but seen my value. But no, you threw me away on the run of the diamonds. Lucky Archie tossed all his spades and now West was squeezed in hearts and also in spades because of the presence in dummy of that miserable little three of spades. Now Lucky Archie, not seeing the king of spades, played dummy’s ace of hearts and a heart to his king, West’s queen dropping, and allowing him to make six diamonds. All because you discarded me like a bad habit.”
“But this hand never happened,” Poor Frank protested.
“Yes,” the four said,”but it will if you forget to treat me with the respect I deserve.”
“Never fear, little friend,” Poor Frank said. “there will always be a special place in my heart for you from here on out.” Poor Frank kept his word and the four of spades served him well the rest of his bridge-playing days. And Poor Frank’s friends couldn’t help but notice that he played much better after that day that he ever had before.