Monday, December 3, 2007
8 Facts/Habits Meme, Encore
Adrienne, over at Adrienne's Catholic Corner, tagged me for this meme. 8 facts/habits - I'd done this one back in the summer, but since Adrienne tagged me, I suppose I can come up with another set.
1. Fact - the first pet I ever had was a beagle called Mr. Mike. In this picture, he was barking, I was crying, and for some stupid reason or other my mom decided to take this picture rather than rescue me from the kisses of this puppy. As you can see below, I quickly secummed to his charms. I have never harbored a cat. They're okay - for *other* people.
2. Habit - When flying, I always ask for Ginger Ale. I don't know why. I might have picked up the habit on my first flight when I was 6 or so. Perhaps subconsciously I feel if I *don't* have a Ginger Ale, the plane will crash. So if I'm on a plane, and order Pepsi, which I hate, and you're sitting next to me - start saying your prayers - you may want to alert nearby passengers, depending whether or not they grabbed ALL the space in the overhead bins. You're still "safe" if I order a mixed drink with Ginger Ale.
3. Fact - My favorite president in my lifetime was Ronaldus Magnus. When I was young, I rather admired what I read about Theodore Roosevelt. I wondered "where are the larger-than-life American visionaries now?" Ronnie was *the man* as far as I'm concerned. I got to see him twice. Once the eve before he was elected president the first time. His last campaign stop was in the Fashion Valley parking lot in San Diego, a little to the east of where the trolley stop is now. The second time was at a rally at the San Diego Sports Arena prior to his second term.
4. Habit - In coin flips heads/tails - I always pick tails. Just. Because. Other. People. Always. Seem. To. Pick. Heads.
5. Fact - I've never made a cup of coffee in my life, and don't intend to! I like coffee ice cream, and coffee toffee, just not coffee. I've been known to drink a cold caramel coffee frappe, or whatever it's called, a few times a year. Given this is close to liquid caramel ice cream, I don't think it really counts as "coffee."
6. Habit - I never feel like making dinner myself after Sunday Mass. I order Chinese on my way home and pick it up.
7. Fact - I finally learned to play bridge last year from a 20 minute tutorial, whomever wrote it was a genius. I've only played against the computer so far. Bridge IS the king of card games. I've tacked on a funny bridge story* at the end of this, for you bridge fans.
8. Habit - If I'm in a church which is not my own parish, I always sit as close to the tabernacle as possible, unless some pinhead designed it so the tabernacle is somewhere you'd have to send out a search party to find. I haven't been caught out at those churches often, but sometimes when visiting a friend or relative, they have the misfortune of having had that foisted on their parish.
Generally, I end up sitting in the front row. Usually you can find "splendid isolation" up there and as a rule of thumb I refuse to hold anyone's hand at the Our Father - unless some 5 year old wants me to, in which case I do, because 5 year olds can get their feelings easily hurt. 35 year olds can too, but they should know better!
9. Fact - I prefer odds to evens, and I don't have the energy or time right now to see tag 8 given people and leave them notes (that's the longest part of the "Tag" to complete, writing is easy) So if you haven't done this meme and want to, consider yourself tagged. Oh, and Marie down in Australia, if you happen to read this, I'd have formally tagged you because I don't think you've done this one yet.
*Murder, Mayhem, and Contract Bridge The quips just keep on coming in Jack Olsen's The Mad World of Bridge (1960). Bridge is "not so much a game as it is a psychosis." "In the 1930s, America's Bridge players spent an estimated $5 million a year on Bridge instruction, or roughly enough money to pay for 500,000 hours of psychotherapy."
But when Olsen wrote of Whist, "Take this simple game, add a dummy, the concept of no-trump, bidding, and an occasional felonious assault, and you have Contract Bridge," there was a smidgen of truth behind it. In a chapter called "Murder at the Bridge Table," Olsen detailed the many documented accounts of felonious assaults at Bridge tables all over America in the '20s and '30s.
Most of these accounts are of husbands and wives bashing each other after particularly tragic misplays. ("Nothing spectacular. Just a typical evening of Bridge as it is played in many homes.") But there were also a number of deaths (and critics claim that television causes violence!).
The most infamous case occurred in 1929 in Kansas City when Myrtle Bennett accidentally shot her husband, John, following an argument over a Bridge game. The Bennetts were entertaining their neighbors, the Hoffmans, when the game took a turn for the worse. John misplayed the hand, leading Myrtle to remark on his apparent lack of intelligence. John slapped her, then announced he was leaving. He went to their bedroom to pack. The Hoffmans tried to calm the Bennetts down, but Myrtle and John continued to argue and eventually Myrtle pulled a gun. John ran into the bathroom to hide, but as he was closing the door, Myrtle fired twice. The bullets ripped through the door, mortally wounding John.
Ely Culbertson, the first great popularizer of Contract Bridge, called the affair "a lesson in the importance of precise bidding valuation." Myrtle Bennett was eventually acquitted, and the hand that led to the shooting was eventually published in newspapers nationwide, along with commentary from Bridge experts. Culbertson contributed an analysis called "How Bennett Could Have Saved His Life."
After the hubbub had died down, it was discovered that the newspapers had been hoaxed. The published hand was a fraud. Neither the Hoffmans nor Myrtle Bennett could remember a single card that had been played that night. There's a lesson in this.