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March 19, 1978 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1978-03-19
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Page 8-Sunday, March 19, 1978-The Michigan Daily

BRIDGE/ ken parsigian


I was already 15 minutes late for a
dinner engagement, so I was anxious to
finish the rubber. I had tried to leave,
earlier, but I was having a good day,
and my opponents wanted desperately
to get some of their money, back. So,
reluctantly, I had agreed to one more
rubber-that was an hour and a half
ago. My partner had become ill, so my
opponents (unbiased and friendly chaps
that they were) invited a nearby kibit-
zer to take his place, and that was the
reason for this marathon set. At first I
wasn't-too concerned because I was so
far ahead I figured to win even though
my partner was a rank beginner. But
when he sat down at the table and asked
innocently, "Are aces high or low in this
game?" I knew I was headed for a
Hand after hand we bid too high (did I
say we?), played in the wrong suit,
forgot the meaning of bids, and lost
oodles of points, and more importantly,
Somehow we managed to make a
game (I really don't remember it, but it
was certainly unbidable, and probably
unmakable too), and-now there was ac-
tually hope of ending the carnage. If we
could just stumble into one more game
contract and manage to make it the
rubber would be over. It was a slim
chance, but I had to have hope, and as I
picked up my hand and I crossed my
fingers and cast a hopeful look up to-
ward the bridge gods. The bidding was
inexplicable, insignificant and almost
certainly wrong, so let it suffice to say
that we were in 5 hearts after West had
preempted 4 spades. I was not confident
about our chances, so that should tell
you who was declarer. These were the

four hands:
North (me)
HAJ 107
D 1097
West East
SAKQJ109876 S32
H H65432
DJ5 DQ83
C106 CQJ4
South (my Partner)
I got up from the table and went
around behind my partner to see his
hand, and as I did East, who had been
licking his chops and looking ready to
double all through the auction, led a
small spade.
"But, uh, I'm sorry, but it's not your
lead," my partner said timidly.
Having been confronted with a lead
out of turn many times, I proceeded to
explain to my partner what options he
had, and he had just enough sense to
give himself a chance on the hand by
forbidding a spade lead. With a spade
lead he would have had three sure
losers-a diamond, a club and a spade
(and with the 5-0 break, a heart, too).
But without a spade lead there was still
the hope of some kind of dndplay. So,
East picked up his small spade, and
West led the club 10. Now my partner
stopped to study the hand (a futile
gesture, but it looked nice) and I joined
Even without the spade lead it looked
bad, but while I was trying to construct
a position of the cards that would allow

the hand to be made, my partner, un-
deterred by the apparent inevitability
of losing three tricks, forged Lhead by
winning the first trick in dummy and
leading a small trump to his 8. When
West showed out, it was panic time, and
my partner turned white as a sheet. I
was pleased to see him shocked,
because it gave me a chance to study
the hand. I knew I had to throw West
in-to have any hope, but that would only
save one trick, and with a 5-0 trump
break we needed to save two. Was there
any way? Finally it hit me. It was a
long shot, but it was our only hope:
partner would have to cash his top
diamonds and top club, and then lead a
spade hoping that West would have to
win it. So far, so good, but it gets har-
der. Next, West would have to be down
to nothing but spades now, and thus for--
ced to lead one. Now for the key play,
my palooka partner would have to
spurn the ruff, and discard a diamond
from dummy and a club from his hand.
He could now make the remainder of
the tricks on a high cross-ruff. It was a
pretty play, and I would have been
quite pleased with myself if I'd made it
at the table. But with this buffoon
playing the hand I was lost. He wouldn't
understand this play when I explained
it to him after the hand, so there was lit-
tle chance he would find it now-unless
I could prod him a bit ...
By this time, partner had resumed
play of the hand, and since he couldn't
draw all the trump (since East had

more than he did) he just cashed side-
suit winners, alias the top diamonds
and the top club. The stage was set.
Now partner gave me the break I was
looking for by mumbling something to
himself. Quick as a flash I flicked the
spade 5 on the table.
"What are you doing?" he shouted. "I
didn't call for that-card."
"Oh; I'm so sorry," I replied, "I
thought you said 'small spade.' Well,
it's my fault and I guess we'll just have
to suffer."
My opponents were suspicious of my
magnanimity, but they couldn't dope
out my plan, so they let the spade lead
One down, one to go, I thought.
Now West led, perforce, another
spade, and partner called for a small
trump from dummy. But I didn't .give
up so easily. Instead of playing the
heart 7, I nonchalantly tossed the
diamond 7 on the table. East nearly
spoiled my gambit by pointing out my
misplay, but just before he opened his
mouth he thought better of it and
followed silently with the small spade.
Partner, who was blithely< unaware of
my chicanery, still thought he had ruf-
fed in dummy, so he pitched a club from
his hand and reached to gather in the
"Excuse me," East said curtly, "but
the trick is ours."
"No it isn'.t, I ruffed it," my partner
said indignantly.
"Look again," said East.
And when my partner looked at the
trick again he saw the diamond seven
and shot me a disparaging look.
"Sorry partner," I said, feigning
East was guffawing loudly since his
side already had two tricks, and he still
had at least a trump trick coming-or
did he? A few seconds later partner had
taken the last six tricks with East un-
derruffing helplessly four times. East
and West, who were both on to me by
now, were red-faced and ready to
strangle me, but my partner broke the
tension with his comment.
"I'd probably have made six if you
handn't misplayed dummy, but since we
were only in five, I suppose it doesn't
reakly matter."


(Continued from Page 7)
at writing is devoted to sketches of the
characters and descriptions of the
tough poverty of Hell's Kitchen. It's
boring. One suspects that Stallone is not
very interested in it either, and that
that is why his prose is so self-
consciously primitive:.
Across the street was Mickey's
Bar. As usual, the bar was stuffed
with broad-backed working class
Nobody really enjoyed themselves
in Mickey 's Bar.
They just floated from one brew
.0e next.
From one slool to the next.
From one dirty joke to the next.
T HESE ONE-LINE paragraphs
recur throughout the book. In
some cases a single sentence is strung
out over two or three paragraphs.
Then, midway through Paradise
Alley, con-man Cosmo hits on an in-
spired scheme: he will make a fortune
by turning Victor into a wrestler. Victor
hesitates, then agrees to go along with
the plan. The musclebound iceman,
dubbed Kid Salami (you thought
"Italian Stallion" was corny), begins to
dispatch opponents in seedy clubs
throughout Hell's Kitchen. Brother
Lenny, who had initially urged Victor
not to wrestle, consents to becoming his
manager. He takes over Victor's life,
promoting and wagering heavily, all
the while pushing him . into the
background while he takes Annie
O'Sherlock away from him.- Lenny
becomes a man possessed, relentlessly

pushing Victor to fight several brutal
opponents a week. The continual bat-
tering ruins Victor's face, hearing, and
temperament. Victor becomes
something he has never been - mean.
This part of the novel moves quickly.
Stallone seems to be more in his
element. He has said that he hates the
sport of boxing, and here his dislike of
wrestling is clear. The savage tricks
the small-time wrestlers use to win
their bouts, the effects the fighting has
on Victor, and Stallone's deep feelings
about physical struggles show through
and reach the reader. The irritating
stylistic devices fade a bit.
In the end, Victor throws his big fight
upon which Lenny has bet the entire
winnings from previous matches, and
goes back to being an iceman. Cosmo,
horrified now by the extent to which
Lenny has exploited his own brother,
sticks to more benign scams, and Len-
ny gets Annie O'Sherlock.
How does Paradise Alley compare
with Rocky? Will the inevitable film
version be any good? My feeling is that
Paradise Alley is a lesser work and is
likely to remain so when transferred to
film. It's not full of cultural stereotypes
the way Rocky was - there is no mousy
girl turning beautiful, no hard-boiled
trainer, no Muhammed Ali - but to a
large extent, those stereotypes are
responsible for the almost mythic
power in Rocky. There is more sen-
timent here than in Rocky, and less
compensating emotional toughness.
But Stallone will make a fine Victor,
and a good supporting cast could turn
Paradise Alley into an enjoyable
movie. The film will not have to suffer
the burden of Stallone's unlovely prose.


(Continued from Page 7)
set of poems about Ginsberg's dying
father, and two "hot hearted love
poems" called "I Lay Love On My
Knee" and "Love Replied" are a bit
easier to take.
In addition, Ginsberg has written
simple musical accompaniment, com-
plete with letter-coded guitar chords,

for some of the poems in Mind Breaths.
From the not-so-callow youth ofrthe
Journals to the blissed-out author of
Mind Breaths, Allen Ginsberg has un-
dergone many transformations,
remaining throughout a controversial,
outgoing, intensely generative artist.
This makes these two new books quite
fascinating - if not always nice




Patty Montemurri Tom O'Connell
Books Editor
Brian Blanchard
Cover photo of Tahquamenon
Falls by Alan Bilinsky

on Allen-

Photo essay:
America' s

A 'Rock


Supplement to The Michigan Daily
A !

Ann Arbor, Michigan--Sunday, March 19, 1978r.4,.
. f ~a" "Ffrbs V 4

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