It has been neary a year since my status with this hearty little band of bridge directors changed so dramatically - nearly a year since I lured one of their younger males to the altar with the promise of a shiny gold ring and semi-regular meals.
I am now permanently one of their troupe, and free to study them at my leisure. I have made some fascinating discoveries!
I made my initial study of the directors in their exclusive den, but in recent days I have caught glimpses of them in their natural habitat; that is, among lesser primates who the directors call "players".
Following some mysterious instinct, or perhaps the scent of bagels, every day these "players" come in their thousands to the big common area. The directors immediately act with a coordination and focus that is bewildering to one acquainted only with their laidback, and often boozy, behavior.
Like dolphins packing schools of sardines into tight clusters or farm dogs nipping at the heels of recalcitant sheep, the directors separate players into neat groups. Each group sits at a table equipped with four plastic containers, which I assume contain food pellets.
It is at this point that my study falters; I have no idea what the players are doing. They sit in silence for hours while the directors cruise among them issuing reprimands and the occasional slap, seemingly at random.
I thought I had a breakthrough one day when I discovered a "law book" among my husband's soiled garments. I belived this book would prove to be the Rosetta stone that finally explained the directors' behavior.
Alas, it is completely incomprehensible. At one point, it aserts that hesitating during play is a potential violation of the rules. The lowliest UNO player knows and cherishs hesitation, or the classic "psych-out", how can it be forbidden here? (I dare not interrupt the game to ask. When they are working, the directors are as unapproachable as a $5 can of Pringles in a mini-bar). It makes no sense, and so my study continues.
After a long day, the players migrate to Denny's, and the directors to their lair. Their den behavior is much as I remember it. they are generous and hospitable to a fault. (I note that at some point the directors must have discovered metallurgy: their heating device for popcorn has benefited greatly by the addition of a door).
They are still fascinating, these ...directors in the mist.