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Your 7-Cow Cue

 In a remote network of islands a very average man, an orphan, decided that the slow paced level of most men’s work ethic was too slow for him and his plans and aspirations.  He began by negotiating for items in exchange for his labor and as his reputation for fair dealing and prompt delivery became widespread.

It looked as if he was going to be a very wealthy man, in island terms, at a relatively young age.  It also looked as if he would never have time to marry and begin a family, his travels between islands and wheeling and dealing seemed to always keep him on the go, go, go.  He seemed to have an affection for this one average woman that he knew from childhood, but he never got around to asking for her hand and nobody else seemed to take much interest in her.

Now the social order of the islands required that the groom’s family negotiate for the bride with a dowry normally comprised of trinkets and livestock.  A bargain might be a bride for a few chickens and a cow while the more desirable brides might demand several head of cattle.

The man declared his interest in the woman as a bride, and set a date for negotiations.  The islands were buzzing with estimates of what he would offer.  His reputation as a tough negotiator was balanced with his fairness and the betting line settled in the crack between two cows or three cows.  Wagering got heated and an occasional punch was thrown.  The day of negotiating arrived and the father of the bride braced for a tough time.

Both the maybe-bride-to-be and the maybe-father-in-law-to-be knew of his negotiating abilities and the dividing line between two cows and three. 

Three cows and the father would be victorious and only two would show his weakness as a father. 

The bride was sullen and was sure she would spend the rest of her life being remembered as the bargain bride.

The negotiations began.  “I do not have family to negotiate on my behalf, and I do not have time to spend with days of talk and chatter” said the groom candidate.  “I have one offer, and one offer only, take it or leave it.”

The father winced, for he would have no way to save face and yet would be considered foolish if he failed to approve the wedding of his very average daughter to the wealthiest man available.  He was trapped into saying yes, no matter what the offer.  The father and bride visibly sank in spirit.

The young man, wise beyond his years, stated his offer loud enough for the entire village to hear, for everyone was pressed to every crack and peephole available to watch the social event of the century.

“I regret I can only offer seven cows.  I await your answer.”


 “Yes, seven, I can go no higher.”

 Now the all-time highest ever paid was six cows paid by a rich old codger for the young, perfect 10 of that day.  Six had been the outer limits, nobody remembering a four or five, and here was an offer of seven.

 “He’s insane!”  “A fool!”   “He’s drunk!”

 “Seven?” said the father, not believing his ears.  Both the bride and father leaned forward even though it was loudly spoken.  “I accept!”  The bride glowed with pride.  The father’s chest swelled 4 inches.  Pandemonium.  

 Rather than chisel and squeeze, the man had offered what she was worth to him.  Cows meant nothing.  He had to have her.

 When someone buys a new pool cue, or case or trades for a cue, some players congratulate the purchaser on their new purchase, much like they would for a new car, house, boat, or watch.  But others will posh the deal with “Paid too much” or “Got taken” or “I could have gotten it for much less.”

A Palmer "M" cue with a Meucci butt. 

Chris, Isn't that illegal?  Or at least immoral?

Click these thumbnails of a Palmer "M"

(Thanks to Chris at http://www.PalmerCollector.Com)

 They’ll inspect the cue looking for dings, nicks, discoloration, or any other imperfection to lessen the value of the cue even though the cue is far more perfect than any human that will ever touch the cue.

 They will call the cue ugly, too heavy, too light, out of balance, too whippy, too stiff, and on and on.  A production cue will be berated as too common, while a custom cue will be declared overpriced or berated for having Snob appeal.

 If you buy a cue, paying $1,000, then you have a $1,000 cue.  Period.  Granted, you may not be able to get your $1,000 back, but if you use it for life, who cares?  If you had inspected it, focused on nicks, dings, and imperfections and gotten it for $800, yup, you saved $200, an admirable thing, and now you have an $800 cue.  Period.

 What someone else pays for a cue, or how they bargained for it, is their business and theirs alone.  If it brings them joy, shoots well, and is esthetically appealing to them, terrific.  If not, then it was a bad bargain at half the price. 

 Just like one persons ex-spouse, whom they detest, might become the next person’s cherished loved one, a pool cue purchase is a very personal one and impossible to place a dollar value that crosses all boundaries.

 I have recently acquired a few old cues, some of which are very different than today’s cue artwork.  They are beautiful to me, for when those cues were new, I was a young player that wanted them but could not afford them because children’s shoes and food were a priority over purchasing pretty cues.

 These cues may never hit ball again, being relegated to display items that I can hold and make up stories and manufacture history to my heart’s content.

 The man delivered the seven finest cows to be found on the islands, the father was honored for life and the average daughter turned out to be the most adoring, faithful and beautiful woman as she matured with confidence and the realization of how she had been honored.

 Time marched on and she grew ill and died.  She died with the two of them looking into each others eyes and a small army of family watching as their Grandfather said goodbye to their Grandmother.

One of the witnesses to this whole story, one who had lost a sizable wager on the two-three-cow spread, approached to ask a burning 50 year old question.

“Why did you offer so much?  Why did you offer seven when two would do?  Why?  Why?  Why?”  With a tear in his eye, the groom answered.

“Because I always wanted to marry a seven-cow woman, and I was too plain to ever find one.”

I hope all of you find your seven-cow cue.  I have.  Have Moo?


Nobody paid me any money to put these links here, I just thought they deserved it.  Tell them Carlo sent you, maybe they'll buy me a beer.

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