The Safari Club was having its annual tournament and Monster Points were at stake as well as bragging rights. There was a rumor that the Hideous Hog and Papa The Greek had a significant side bet between them. There was definitely excitement at the club.
Word got out that Papa The Greek had a slight lead with one round to play. He was partnered by Otto the Otter and they faced the Rueful Rabbit and Molly The Mule.
"Playing against these palookas, we should be in good shape," whispered Papa to one of the senior kibitzers. This comment went against the principle that pre-gloats are a dangerous thing. Papa didn't care -- he was feeling good.
The first board was a normal 3NT. Then, Papa declared 4♠ on this layout:
The Rueful Rabbit led the ♣J. Molly The Mule played the 3 and the trick taken by Papa's queen. Ten tricks looked to be there and an overtrick if Papa could bring in trumps with no losers.
Papa laid down the ♠A and RR played the queen! Sweet, thought Papa. Then he saw a chance for a second overtrick. He could cash the ♣Q, play the ♥A K to discard a club. A club ruff would set up the thirteenth club if they split 3-3 for 12 tricks.
"Watch how I play, my children," said Papa to the kibitzers. "Your technique will never equal mine, but you can elevate your game by watching and learning from the master."
Papa played the ♣Q and RR produced the ♠3. The queen had been a spectacular faslecard. East-West now took three more tricks -- two diamonds and one club -- for down one.
Here were all four hands:
After the game, the Hideous Hog was celebrating his victory with a bottle of wine: 1989 Rosemont Shiraz Diamond.
"Nobody knows if the Rueful Rabbit accidentally dropped the ♠Q on the table or made the deliberate falsecard," said HH. "I like to think he knew what he was doing, but maybe I'm prejudiced because I like the little guy. I wish I had been at the table to see the expression on Papa's face. It was even sweeter because Papa could have led a second trump to be sure, but he was too full of himself. Can you say hubris?
"This wine is quite balanced. It has a certain complexity, made even better because Papa is paying for it!
"Waiter, another bottle!"