Now that America has ceased to marvel at dance marathons, and flag-pole sitting no longer pays dividends, it is not at all remarkable that Yankee ingenuity has provided another spectacle for the vicarious enjoyment of the multitude, which combines an element of sport with the best features of the aforementioned pastimes--namely, the one hundred and fifty rubber bridge match of Ely Culbertson and wife us. Hal Sims and wife at Crockferd's Club in New York.
For the type as well as the bridge expert, there are thrills aplenty in the daily reports of progress wholly apart from the cards and skill in handling them. In the ninety-seventh rubber or thereabouts, for instance, Mr. Culbertson threw down his hand with words which even kibitzers lack the temerity to repeat, and remarked that he "refused to play another card until Hal Sims had removed his big feet from his (Culbertson's) side of the table." When the uprear had subsided enough for articulate speech to be heard, Mrs. Culbertson revealed that it was her foot that her husband had encountered. A slight hush fell on the combatants, and Ely ordered the steward to draw a chalk line on the floor under the middle of the table "to avoid further trouble." Then Sims enraged Culbertson in the one hundred and thirteenth rubber by protesting that eighteen minutes was a little too long a time to ponder before playing a single card.
Poor, persecuted Mr. Culbertson! His income is reported to fall but little short of a million a year from royalties exacted from teachers who use his system, and are forced to buy his playing-cards, score-cards, and other paraphernalia. Yet with it all he found time in his syndicated newspaper article yesterday to give a good word for Sims and some advice to the kiddies. "I have acknowledged Papa Sims as the second greatest card player in the country, but after watching him play the following hand, I, for the moment, forgot myself by stating publicly that he was the first and greatest card player in the world." In the light of this statement, and of the friendly little tiffs during the match, the following advice becomes pregnant with something or other: "My wife and I believe in teaching our children bridge at an early age, as the best training . . . for sportsmanship."