People who take unimportant things too seriously are such a bore. I recently played pool with someone who was obviously very good at the game. He knew I was useless, he knew he could have beaten me with a blindfold on and one hand tied to his leg. I even said to him - "I won't play you because I'm crap, it'll be a waste of your time." But he insisted. The balls were duly racked and stacked and cues selected. The cues all looked the same to me so I grabbed the nearest one. My adversary however, spent some time inspecting the grain of several, running his hands up and down the shafts in a kind of wish-filled masturbatory motion, weighing the balance, placing the butt end to his eye as if taking aim from a rifle to check the straightness, picking and scratching at the tip like a fussy monkey grooming its mate, before finally deciding on one.
In what turned out to be the only concession to my lack of skill at this game I was awarded the (dubious) advantage of breaking off. I did my usual - whacked the white ball straight into a pocket making plenty of "Look how bad I am at this game isn't it a hoot" type facial expressions and "told you I was rubbish" references to everyone watching, most of whom (conspiratorially) laughed along with me. The "expert" player however deduced none of this mirth, and, making no allowances for my lack of ability, proceeded to virtually clear up with a series shots I'd only ever seen before on the telly. A sports term's thesaurus of top spins, screw backs, check sides, plants, ball bending and cannons. And all executed with the sternest expression imaginable, eyes narrowed, facial muscles twitching, punctilious chalking whilst strategies and alternatives were weighed up and options chosen. Once getting to the table I did a couple more daft shots and while his back was turned hit one twice ( I was getting fed up by this stage) potting a rare ball. Everyone thought it was funny. Except him. He took his free shots after angrily challenging me about my "cheating" and ended the game in a flurry of pocket rattling, ball fizzing shots. Winning was so important to him. There was no place for humour, even though I was no challenge to him. " Another game?" he asked, "No thanks", I replied, and "life's too short" I thought. And it is.
Labels: Pool Fool