The 3WW Wednesday words this week are heartache, jangle and reckless. A little scene for you:
We play bridge at a small square table in the corner of the staff room over lunch. The game starts when we have our four players. Today I'm partnered with Elka, a Polish woman from the art department. She irritates me in so many ways. Her jewellery is pretentious. She has dangly gold earrings and a golden necklace that looks like a dog chain. There are rings on each finger and countless bracelets on her arms that jangle every time she plays a card.
I could possibly tolerate Elka if she would just eat her lunch and play cards; but for her, this would be a waste of a captive audience. She imposes tales of hardship, misery and heartache on us. She is a perpetual whinger, who complains not only about the present, but also about every wrong committed against her, real or imagined, that she can remember or invent.
Elka is in fine form today, and I'm sick of it. I decide to provoke her further with a reckless bid to eight hearts. She drops her rambling and tells me to repeat my call; she's sure she can't have heard properly. Bob, on my left, doubles my bid. She is stunned now, and tries to rescue us to nine clubs.
The hand is unwinnable, but Elka is silent as she concentrates, trying to make something from nothing. Her pride forces her to fight to the death. I recover my smile as I get myself another cup of coffee and leave the staff room for the fresh spring air. Life's too short to keep playing a game you're not enjoying.
(Edit 28/10/2009: changed "heart properly" to "heard properly". Thanks Mattrozzi.)