Hi there, guys and dolls! Hope your weekend was full of fun and romance. The highlight of mine turned out to be Bridge Night, which you all know I love. And not because we play the card game (that’s the dullest part – then again, maybe one day I should learn to play…), but for the shenanigans that surround our own little Peyton Place. Settle in, I’ll tell you about it.
Usually, we take turns who hosts the Monday night event, but most often than not, it ends up at Madge’s (no one wants the hassle, the mess, getting the women out the door after they had too many, that sort of thing). You see, Madge likes to think of herself as the leader of the pack, the Queen Supreme of the neighborhood, and what better to exude her powers than at bridge. She takes the game very seriously (I think she’s the only one of the gaggle who does), and so she decided to name herself President of the Official Monday Night Bridge Club, complete with capitalization!
Anyhoo, we all file in around 7ish, about the time the married ones have been able to placate their husbands to pipe and slippers domesticity and us single ones have been able to drag our sorry butts home from work after a TV Dinner or weekend leftovers. Immediately, we were assailed with the overwhelming sent of disinfectant and plastic. All the furniture in her living room was covered in clear slipcovers (for goodness sake, her sofa and chairs are vinyl to begin with!), no ashtrays, drinks or snacks to be seen and not a thing out of place. There was this eerie silence as we all wondered what the heck was happening. Susie (the most timid of the group) turned pale and ran out. Nobody paid much attention, she was always like that anyway.
Before we could get started, Madge called us all to attention and told us that she had decided that we needed to get a little more organized and had assumed her reign. She then said there were just a few little rules we had to abide by in order to continue our weekly event. Oh my!
First of all, there would be no smoking. She was tired of picking up the butts and the smoke in the air (with that, Bertha was out the door – there was no way she could get through a game without her weekly cigar, no way). Then there would be no snacks, as we were all getting to be too husky (speak for yourself, Tub o’ Marge, er Madge) and it would behoove us to pay more attention to the game.
Oh, the list goes on – no spitting (really, I could go for that one, I mean, who of us spits, although there was often a mysterious ‘ping’ that came from the urn in the corner which I thought was Madge’s Aunt’s ashes, guess it was a spittoon…), no swearing (gol darn it, it’s a card game for cripe’s sake) and no funny decks or cheating (What the heck? – It’s a card game that no one in the neighborhood knew how to play except for her – there’s nothing but cheating!).
Then came the double whammy mushroom cloud of the evening – no gossiping as it was distracting to the matches, and no alcohol, either being served or from your own flask.
Well, that did it. The next thing I see is mass hysteria stampede out the door. Women in tears, panicking to get out the door, looking for a safe place, as Madge’s had turned out to be the new hell. Mind you, I sat through the whole thing, amazed at what maniacal Madge had dreamed up (that, and I couldn’t peel myself off the plastic cover without making a rude noise, worried that she would interpret it as the sound of swearing…).
Eventually I was able to make my escape while President Madge was reviewing her notes. As I fled out the door, I could see the lights on in Betty Ann’s house. Why, there was music, carousing and general mayhem happening! Add in the smell of cigar smoke (and I do believe possibly the presence of that wacky tabacky, too), the string of cuss words and I think the faint ring of what sounded like a spittoon, plus I believe a sailor or two.
Hurray, Monday Night Bridge Club had moved to Betty Ann’s!
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