Let’s hope everyone had a good Fourth of July and kept cool in this awful humidity.

I recently met a French foreign exchange student who had spent a year in high school in eastern North Carolin. He told me that when he got off the plane from Paris in Kinston in August, he had never felt anything like the air he was forced to breathe. The next two months could be pretty bad, but maybe the fresh produce and the long daylight and our wonderful beaches make things better. Try to stay cool.

One way to stay cool is to play bridge at the senior center. Sometimes it gets downright cold about 3 p.m. We all have to take sweaters.

Attendance has been good enough lately to have Mitchell movements instead of the dreaded Howell movement. Several bridge students are coming regularly, and that has made the difference.

All games in July except one are special games, paying more master points. Some are charity games; some are North American pairs; some are club championship; and some are local charity.

We didn’t have birthday cake Monday because Mickey’s Pastry always closes the whole week of July 4. Carole and Jerry Ray were enjoying a trip to Ireland last week.

But we did change the cards, and we all got two new Pass cards for the front of our bidding boxes. Thanks to all the players who stayed to make the boards.

Every time Billy Bizzell wants his partner to play a small card from dummy, he says, “Give me a baby.”

Troy Pate got tired of this request Monday, and he pleaded, “Somebody please give Billy a baby.” Can you imagine Billy with a baby?

Scoring in bridge is hard to understand, especially for newcomers. We are so spoiled by the scoring machines that we don’t even have to know how to score a contract because the machine does it for us.

Migeon Knowles was asking Monday what the difference between the score and the percentage is. She and her partner had just gotten a 100 percent score on a board by letting us as N/S make three hearts for a score of 140.

The other two E/W pairs, who had played the same cards, had gone down three in their contract, giving their opponents 150 points. So giving us 140 was better than the other two pairs giving their opponents 140 points. Got it? It is complicated, but new players don’t have to understand all of this at once.

The percentages that the machine spits out after every board don’t mean anything until the end of the game anyway.

The cards Monday were puny. At Table One, only six games were bid and made both ways. There were lots of voids and misfits and lots of going down and part scores.

On Board 18, my partner opened, and I had 14 points. One principle that I hammer in to my students’ heads is that if both partners have opening points, there is a game somewhere.

But in bridge every rule has an exception. And this hand was the exception. Only one pair, Billy Bizzell and Sue Wilson bid and made a game, and they wouldn’t have if opponents had led a diamond.

Tommy and I got a bottom board because I bid four spades and went down two. Other people went down one or made a part score. Bridge keeps you humble.

Congratulations to Bill Allgaier and Ed Wilson, who were first overall last Thursday with a 65 percent game. And Dianna Smith and Susan Best finished second in C, earning a fraction of a master point. Those first points feel so good.

Betsy Harrold and Theria McPhail had a good game Monday. And Kathryn Spicer and Troy Pate teamed up to get part of a point. Congratulations to all. Keep playing; it is the best way to learn.

Thursday’s results: N/S first, Bill Allgaier and Ed Wilson; second, Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell; third, Dayle Pond and Tempie Pierce.. B — second, Doris Baddour and Joyce Pate. C — second, Troy Pate and Kathryn Spicer.

E/W first, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; second, Kaye Langston and Sterling Jarrett; third, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto. C — second, Dianna Smith and Susan Best.

Monday’s winners: N/S first, Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell; second, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; third, Anne Michaux and Lew Rose. C — Bob Meyer and Linda Greenwood; second, Bill Allgaier and Ed Wilson/

E/W first (tie) Pat Keim and Doris Baddour and Bill Warren and Al Takemoto; third, Sherry Owens and Shelby Bizzell. C — second, Theria McPhail and Betsy Harrold.