Playing Cards With the Minister

by Roy Wilson

Inman Moore played at the Arcadia Bridge Center for about 40 years or more, and for those of you who don't know, he was also a Methodist minister in good standing.  Inman had his own congregation for many years, and after retirement he continued to preach as a guest at many of the churches in our area.  I have a bridge story about Inman.

A very long time ago on a Friday night, Inman and his partner, Sonja, came to my table, and Inman sat down to my left in the West seat.  After a friendly greeting and a few casual comments, we got down to the serious matter at hand.  I opened the bidding and my partner, Jim Gimlett, jumped straight to game, putting Inman on lead.

During the course of play Inman signaled very plainly that he wanted a spade return as soon as Sonja had the chance.  She saw the signal.  I saw the signal, and so did Jim.  Heck, I think the kibitzer at the next table saw it.  Inman surely wanted a spade lead from his partner.

So... several tricks later I have to give Sonja the lead and we all know what she is going to do, right?  Did I say that I have the stiff king of spades in my hand?  I do.

So Sonja leads a spade that Inman has been begging for and I am forced to play my king.  My minister friend has been eagerly waiting for this... very eagerly.  As soon as I put the king on the table, Inman, expecting me to play a small spade, slams the Queen of spades on the table and in almost the same movement he immediately follows with the ace.  All four of us see what has just happened, and speechless we stare at the table.

Have you ever noticed that in a room full of people there is sometimes a lull in the conversations and a hush will fall over a crowded room?  It happened at that moment just as we four were also sitting stunned into silence.  Inman, the good Bridge-Playing Methodist Minister, took that moment to look down and say in a very loud and crisp voice that carried across the room . . ."SHIT!"