Dear Portia

—Advice to the Lovelorn, the Overfed and

The Deeply Disgruntled

 

old-ladyDear Portia:

Hey, what is it with all these cold nights we’ve been experiencing here at Lakeside? In the three years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen it so cold. I moved down here from Santa Fe, New Mexico, because I’d gotten sick of the frigid winters up there. Now I am thinking of perhaps moving even farther south. No, just joshing, but really, do you have any explanation for the unusually cool weather?

Curious in Chapala

Dear Curious:

I find complaints like yours rather amusing. It seems that whenever the temperature dips down into the 50s, alarm bells go off all through the expat community. Have these people so soon forgotten what real cold is like--or for that matter, real heat? Try 120 degrees in some parts of the California desert, and 20 below zero in the Midwest. As for your moving farther south in search of a better climate, lots of luck. Once you climb down off our 5200’ plateau, about all you’re going to find is scorching summertime weather. So sit back, bundle up and count your blessings.

Dear Portia:

Like more than a few people in this area who are readers of your publication, I am curious about your identity. Someone connected with your magazine recently let slip that you are a devoted bridge player. If so, please tell me where you play, and on what days, and I’ll try to figure out the rest. But be warned, I am fanatic about bridge and know almost every serious player in town.

Definitely Determined

Dear Determined:

I will have no comment on your inane attempt to “out” me. But just to send you off with a bone or two, I’ll relate a couple of stories that concern the legendary wit, playwright and director, George S. Kaufman, who was (as you may know) also a bridge fanatic. One afternoon, at the Regency Club in Manhattan, Kaufman shuddered at the atrocious playing of a fellow member. When the hand was finished, the bungler sensed disapproval in Kaufman’s stony silence.

“All right, George,” he stammered, “how would you have played it?” Kaufman answered, “Under an assumed name.” Second story (this one a bit ribald): After an exasperating session, Kaufman’s partner arose and announced that he was going to the men’s room. “Fine,” Kaufman spat out, “this is the first time this afternoon that I’ll know what you have in your hand.”

(Note: Letters/e-mails should be addressed to the Ojo, marked to the attention of “Dear Portia.”)

 

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