How do some women stand playing with their husbands?


            North           
KT63
T4
WifeAJT63Hubby
AJ58442
KJ763Q982
Q97SouthK854
QJSQ987T53
HA5
D2
CAK9762


Wife    North    East    South   
1
1Double124
All Pass


1 Negative double         

When West led the 6 (dummy playing low), her husband paused for thought. If the lead was fourth-best, it must be from KJ76 (Rule of Eleven), since an ace underlead was so unlikely. Therefore he privately congratulated himself as he played a clever H8. Declarer scooped up this trick with the ace and proceeded to misguess trumps by leading low to the king and then back to the nine, losing to the jack. West cashed the SA (hubby discarding the 2), laid down the HK, and then demurely led...another heart?

East exploded upon recognizing the impending ruff and sluff. "Why, why, why?" he cried. "I discarded the 2 to show an even number of hearts, and you don't even notice? Not to mention declarer can't even have the queen now because he would have played it at trick one! What's the matter with you?" He slammed the HQ on the table as declarer ruffed in dummy and pitched a club from hand.

But now the contract was doomed, as this was the position:


            North           
-
-
WifeAJT63Hubby
-84-
J7-
Q97SouthK854
QJSQT53
H-
D2
CAK976


There was no way for declarer to establish his clubs without losing another trick, and it wouldn't have helped if he had ruffed the heart in hand. Down one! Had West returned a minor suit, declarer could have won, ruffed a club in dummy, and then ruffed a diamond in hand to run the clubs.

"It's a good thing you discarded a heart instead of a club, dear," West said to her husband as they started the next deal. "But of course, there's nothing ever the matter with YOU..."

-