Four Hearts

Place

The Card Room of the DKE House.

After dinner. Spring Semester, 1971.

Characters

Phil – ironic, arrogant

Dean – sarcastic, tetchy

Dick – aggressive, defensive

Brian – self-contained, slightly smug

Three guys around the bridge table, Dick shuffles and deals a bridge hand, Ideally, there would be two or three cigarettes going. Phil enters, cracks a beer, surveys the scene, sits, picks up his cards. Numbers indicate their positions around the table – Phil (#1), Dean (#2), Dick (#3), Brian (#4).

Phil

Who’s responsible for this piss-poor excuse for a bridge hand?

Dean

nodding to Dick

Your partner, the asshole to my left.

Dick

Yeah, right, I’m the asshole. You couldn’t make three no-trump if you had thirteen face cards. Asshole, my ass.

Brian

So it’s my bid. Pass.

Phil

Two spades.

Dean

Fuck you. Three diamonds.

Dick

Listen to this crap. You’re so full of shit, Dino. Even your bluffing is full of shit. Three hearts.

Brian

I pass.

Phil

Three spades.

Dean

Oh, fuck. I pass.

Dick

Man, you suck. You know that?

meant for Phil

Dean

to Dick

I fucking passed.

Dick

My partner. The stupid fuck across the table.

Brian

Pass.

Dick

Did you hear me bid? Did you? Four hearts.

Brian

Fuck you. Pass.

Phil

Pass.

Dean

Pass.

Phil lays out the dummy hand

Dick

Two spades? You bid two? You’d be lucky to make one.

Dean

Shut up and play, Dick.

Dick takes four tricks in quick succession. The fifth trick get hung up as Brian ponders.

Phil

to Dean

Who are you bringing to Houseparties.

Brian plays a card (not what was led and not a heart). Dick takes the trick.

Dean

Heartless Brian over there. I dunno. I can always get Annie from Caz.

Dick

Caz.

Brian

Caz.

Phil

Caz.

Dean

At least she’s a known quantity. And she can deal with the sanitary situation in the DKE House during Houseparty Weekend. And she’ll keep up till Sunday morning and Gin & Juice. Which is more than I can say for you fuckin’ wusses.

Dick leads. Dean takes the trick.

Dick

So that’s where that was. Okay, Dean.

Dean

And this.

Dean leads a diamond, takes trick. leads.

So, who’s your date, Dickie, huh? That hurtin’ chippy from Wells? The one with the . . . nocturnal propensity?

Dick

She likes you, Dino. Remember?

Dean

Remember this.

Dean leads another diamond.

Brian

So, is she coming, Dick?

Dick

There’s some question.

Dick trumps, leads.

Brian

Bummer. I can ask one of my girlfriend’s suite-mates. The blonde. You know, she hangs out at the Pub all the time. She loves to dance. And drink beer. And smoke weed.

Dick

No more Kirkland. And no more blondes.

Dummy (Phil) takes trick, leads.

Dick

So, Philip. when are you heading to Skids to pick up Mustang Sally? That woman certainly takes a nurturing interest in the men of the DKE House. Regular Mother Hen. Which, of course, makes you The Rooster.

Dummy (Phil) takes trick, leads.

Phil

We broke up. She’s going with some low-type douchebag from Dartmouth now. I’m not gonna have a date this time, I decided. Fuck it. Too much hassle at this point. I’ll find some chick to keep me occupied. There are plenty of ignored dates and they’re always hot to trot.

Dean

Or not.

Dick

Does this light anyone’s fire?

Dick takes trick. lays down his last two cards. Dean and Brian toss in their hands in disgust.

Brian

Wow, that was a fuckin’ lightening round. Last hand for me. I’ve got Rand’s Art History midterm day after tomorrow, so I’m going over to Major to study with my Houseparty date. First, she’ll cook me dinner, then we’ll appreciate art, and then we’ll appreciate each other. Bye, boys.

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