The Tale of Val, Sal and Hal

Hi there, guys and dolls! You know, I just love Monday Night Bridge Club. Now of course, I don’t have the first clue how to play. I basically follow along, sometimes I take home a little lunch money, other times I leave after writing a check, hoping it will clear. Come to think of it, out of the 20 or so regulars of us who show up, I think there’s only about 4 or 5 who really know the game. Why do I go? For the pure entertainment value. Where else can you really get the true news of the world and the best gossip of the group? Take for instance, the salacious tale of Val, Sal and Hal.

Bridge Night

Last night started out as normal, all of us neighborhood ladies filtered in around 7. Drinks were poured, snack bowls were filled, fresh cigarettes set out on the tables and teams allotted. We always vary under the guises of good sportsmanship, but the truth is if we rotate our partners, you get the chance to get fresh news to share that you swear you’ll keep to yourself. What’s great is that by the time the next week has come along, all those confidential conversations have been spread throughout the gang and exaggerated in blown out details that by time they reach the subject of the gossip, they don’t have any clue the original story was about them.

Is this how Val gets the yard done?

Anyway, back to Val. She’s the new girl in the neighborhood, still not really knowing very many of us. A recent divorcee (scandal in itself!) with a terrific alimony settlement (she ended up with the big house on the corner, complete with a landscaper who seems to be there much past daytime hours, if you know what I mean), she just popped in one Monday night, bringing a homemade coconut cake and asking to join. Automatic in!

She was at my table last night, paired with Sal. My partner, Betty Sue, was a keen no nonsense play, not above cheating to give me signals that I sometimes picked up on, so chances are I was going to go home flush. Val looked especially glowy last night, while Sal looked a little surly. Betty Sue efficiently shuffled, while I hid behind my cards, hoping no one would draw attention to my recent singes (see yesterday’s post, re. the flaming disaster). Fortunately, I was ignored as Sal remarked on Val’s enlightened appearance.

Val giggled, saying she’s found a new beau. Sal remarked that it was awfully fast work, given that the ink must still be dry on the divorce paperwork. Val brushed that off, she didn’t care. She started elaborating on her new man, how distinguished (would that be old and paunchy?) and smart (wore glasses?) and funny (okay, now that just means fat) he was. The only thing that was a drawback was that he wasn’t free in the evenings (and that would be universal code for married). Val was convinced that she would change that.

By the fourth round of both cards and drinks, Sal was sick and tired of hearing Val wax rhapsodically about this new dreamboat. She asked her what he did for a living. Val said that he was a plumber, that’s how they met. He had really showed up to ‘fix her pipes’ the first time, Val tittered. Sal’s jaw tightened. And what was this charmer’s name was her next question. Harold, Val answered. Sal set her cards down, grabbed her clutch purse from under the table and took out a picture of her precious Hal out of her wallet and showed it to Val. Val blanched, realizing her Harold was Sal’s Hal and Val better vamoose. Up flew the folding card table, cards, pencils, ashtrays, nuts and bolts mix flying (I saw it coming, grabbed my drink in time and in one swift move, slid my chair back and watched the show), Sal lunging at Val, Betty Sue frowning, trying to keep track of her winning hand.

They had a great knockdown, drag-out fight, till our host Madge stepped in, warning that if they break her Limoges China Doll collection, she would sue. At the end, Val was down a beau and gained a black eye. Sal affirmed her martial status to her faithless flake and was down a new green satin wiggle dress, as it was split beyond repair.

I Love Bridge Night.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

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About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
This entry was posted in 1950's, 1950's California, 1950s fun, 50's Slang, Alter Ego, Authors, blogaday, Blogs, Bridge night, Cat Fight, Characters, cocktail culture, cocktails, Conversation, creative writing, Creativity, daily blog, Drinks, entertainment, Etiquette, Fiction, Fictional Characters, Games, historical fiction, Humor, Ladies Night, Nostalgia, opinion, Parties, Perspective, Pop Culture, Social Mores, Socializing, stories, Uncategorized, Vintage, Writers, Writing, Writing Ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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