In June 1959, The Bulletin published a crossword puzzle for the enjoyment of its readers and asked the readers to let them know if they wanted more. The following month a request for original bridge limericks appeared in The Bulletin.
The Bulletin provided the first line and readers were asked to provide the next four. The first request gave readers two choices – “There was a young expert named Boyd” and “An arrogant player from Rhone”.
By September it was clear that bridge players as a group didn’t particularly care for crosswords. But evidently they liked limericks. Bridge limericks appeared monthly from September 1959 to June 1962.
Here are a few of the gems that appeared:
There was a young expert named Boyd
Who was not up to Sigmund Freud
He psyched with his boss
For an 800 loss
Thus Boyd found himself unemployed
An arrogant player from Rhone
There was never a match
He neglected to catch
An error that wasn’t his own
A stranger from Cow Corners Creek
Said, “A partner, female and chic,
Need not play a good game
If I fancy her frame
And her post-game defenses are weak,”
A little old lady from Dade
Said distinctly, “I’ll double one spade.”
When I decried the verbosity
She expressed curiosity:
“Well how should penalty doubles be made?”
A little old lady from Dade
Against me bid seven – which made!
Three finesses and a break
Were icing on the cake;
Then a squeeze and I needed first aid.
There once was a modest Life Master
Whose ego grew faster and faster
He thought he knew morn’n
One Charles Henry Goren
Which led to this master’s disaster
A budding bridge player from Butte
Once called the declarer a brute
She’d lost her composure
The lecher was stripping her suit!
A novice just learning the game
Played in tourneys to earn himself fame
At the end of three years
He won one, three cheers!
But the Bulletin misspelled his name.
A bridge playing full blooded Sioux
Accomplished what Goren can’t do
Though it wasn’t quite fair,
With his long-braided hair,
He entered the women’s pairs, too!
A noted Swiss player named Chard
Was a yodeler; so was his pard
By a mere change of pitch
They could signal a switch
Of a bid or the lead of a card
A rather slow player named Gump
Didn’t know which small card to dump.
To his utter disgrace
On partner’s good ace
Chump Gump plumped a very small trump!
A gifted performer, Camille
Bid a minor on the very first deal
Her game was on ice,
And the payoff was nice;
Her winnings – five diamonds, all real!
A Martian from way out in space
Caused an intergalactic disgrace,
When during an eclipse
He removed seven pips
And tried passing an eight as an ace.
A beautiful player, Louise
Became a Life Master with ease.
Men clamored to aid
The beautiful maid,
When time came to teach her “the squeeze”
A bossy young player named Tweed
To warnings would never pay heed.
Went too far in one game
So his partner took aim –
Six shots were his opening lead!
A Lama who learned in Tibet
Took a fit at a 2000 set
The doc roared, “Hell’s bells
He ain’t spelled with two Ls;
So why send for me? I’m a vet.”
In tourneys, the famed L.O.L.
Quite frequently does very well,
The reason is clear;
She’s such an old dear
That no one can squeeze her and tell.
The final line given by the Bulletin in 1962 was “In a duplicate game by the Nile. . .” Since the vote on whether the column would continue or not, the line was given with no guarantee that any limericks would see the dark of ink. They didn’t.