The Duplicate Christmas Party

‘Twas the duplicate Christmas Party and needless to say
The punch and the season had made us quite gay . . .
“Find your seats and shuffle,” the director had said
As visions of first place danced in my head.
When I checked our position, I got dry in the mouth.
We’d been assigned table 1 – North and South.
Just little novices, my partner and me.
We’d placed fourth once but never No. 3.
Had fate decided to put us to the test?
With two Life Masters sitting East and West
We took our positions and said not a word
But I’m certain our heartbeats could surely be heard.
We shuffled the cards without blinking an eye.
I dropped a card on the floor and thought I would die.
As North I was dealer and though I was green,
I knew to open you must have thirteen . . .
I spread my hand and counted, but alas,
With only 10 points I had to pass . . .
And frankly, I thought, this was a shame
I’d never before seen 13 spades in a game.
My left-hand opponent, East by name,
Opened two diamonds and I thought what a shame.
My partner, South, was trembling with fear
And the bid of two hearts came across my ear.
My right-hand opponent sat straight in his chair
Three hearts as the bid he chose to declare.
Now I had a good suit, but alas
With no help in hearts I had to pass.
My left-hand opponent now bid three spades.
You can imagine now, how I was amazed.
My partner, South, bid four hearts and, shoot,
If they take the bid I couldn’t lead her best suit.
My right-hand opponent studied his hand
And soon 7NT was his command.
It was my time to bid – and just to save face
I doubled ‘cause I knew they were missing an ace.
The next three bids were pass, pass, pass
So I was ready to lead a spade, but alas
My partner was nervous and she led the heart king.
A lead out of turn – what a damnable thing.
The director was called and I can still hear his voice
As he told the declarer he could make his own choice.
With a singleton heart, you must understand
This could be the only entry to his hand.
So he turned to me and looking so smart
He said, “Lead any suit, but don’t lead a heart.”
So, of course, I led my fourth best spade
I guess it was the best lead I ever made.
“Cause in this hand I never lost the lead
And our opponents (Life Masters) had to concede.
Thirteen tricks we took right off the top
When we won the board, I thought I would pop.
Now I ask you, with a board like this
The rest of the game – well how could we miss?
And I overheard the director say, “Who was the lass
Who had thirteen spades – and cleverly passed?”

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