Dirty double-dog dagnabbit,
I’ve been double-double dipped!
I hate to admit this to anyone. I’m sorry that I have this problem. I suppose I could seek counseling, or maybe take Valium or something. A shrink’s couch might be the first step towards inner peace.
A minister, a rabbi, or even some island shaman might utter words that return me to the path of humanity and serenity.
My problem: Damn I hate to lose at anything, especially cue sports..
Hey, if somebody puts a back-to-back pair of 5-packs on me or I play 4 sets and never see a reasonable shot I know I have run into a player whose skill surpasses mine by a furlong.
But there is this funny thing that happens in tournaments. Here is the sequence of events. Somebody wins the winner’s bracket. The losers wale away on each other and the last standing loser has to beat the winner’s side winner twice. In a row. Back to back. And the winner’s winner is very probably the one who put the loser’s winner on the loser’s side where each match was for their life.
Odds would seem to be with the winner's side winner. They have no scars, maybe a few close calls, but no scars. They are rested and have been warming up while the last two losers are slugging it out for survival.
The money starts to ramp up pretty good so this is probably not just chump change and bragging rights. Maybe both losers are hell-bent on getting to the winner, because both losers have been put on the left side by the same winner.
You walk by and you hear “there goes the winner's side winner.” Even though your ears are on forwards, you can hear that kind of stuff behind you at 40 yards in a crowded poolroom. You might even get asked for an autograph, even in an amateur tourney. Head gets large. Your schvantz hangs low, well, at least lower than normal.
But I wonder what the stats are? How many times does the loser succeed in beating the winner twice? You hear fellas say, once they land on the left side, that “you get more play for your buck over here” or “well, I prefer to win from the loser’s side.” Yeah, well, I’ve been on both sides at the end and I prefer winning the Winner’s side, hands down.
Let’s think this over. If you are the loser, and you lose to the undefeated winner, you did well, made a few bucks and tried to dethrone the king of the hill. If you are the winner and you beat the loser right off, well, you were supposed to, for you were the “Winner.”
If the loser wins the first one, but loses the second match, well, the loser snuck up on the winner while he was cold but the winner warmed up and showed why he was the “Winner.”
Pretty cool, so far. But then it happens. The loser beats the winner, and then beats them again to win the tournament. The loser-now-winner is ecstatic and the winner-now-loser is dumbstruck. “How could this happen? To me? The Winner’s winner? Not possible! But it just did.”
Thoughts of giving up the game forever go through your head. “Man, am I am loser!” Never mind that you just beat how many tons of players, but you couldn’t pull it off. You lost twice in a row to a team you have already beaten.
They have a special name for this. It is called being .........
You lost twice, as in “He double-dipped me. I just couldn’t get a roll. His were jelly.” Softly spoken, of course. No exclamation marks.
Maybe adding an occasional “What kind of roll was that?” to make sure they remembered the crumby freeze up that cost you the match. A real friend mentions it first so you don't have to come to your own defense.
Maybe you won twice from the loser's side as in “I double-dipped him ! ! ! My break was crushing the balls! ! My position was on a dime ! !” Note that all sentences end with an exclamation point or two or three. Can't you just see a big grin?
But my millennium memory will be about being double-dipped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . twice.
A freaking double-double-dipping, and I don’t mean chocolate sprinkles.
Twice. Duo. Dos. Binary 10. Two. One plus one. Again. Repeat. Rewind. The blue ball. Pair. Couple. Deuce. Back-to-back.
To make matters more communally painful they were both team events. Five man teams battling for glitter and gilt.
The first was the NPA tournament in Biloxi. We put those dregs-of-humanity over on the loser’s side and meant for them to stay there. In fact, everyone we put there stayed and died there, but this team. Last year’s winners. We were pretty cocky when we did it. But they caught a gear, we stripped ours, and I’ll be hornswaggled, they double-dipped us!
Big bucks difference, too. It would have been an extra $1500 in Carlo’s bucket, but noooooo, not to be. Oh well, it was a good tournament, most everyone were gentlemen about the matches, and they just shot great pool. Grrrr.
At the banquet, I successfully horned in on their Championship photo shoot until someone yelled and ratted me out to which I replied “Hey, I belong over here with these here winners! I was outnumbered 9 to 1, so I should at least get my picture taken!”
My teammates were not particularly happy about my implication of 4 of them supporting the other team’s efforts to win but they saw (some of) the humor in the remark, and besides, without a score sheet in front of them, each was introspecting about it possibly being true. I love confusion and self-doubt; it is built into every pool player at birth!
A few weeks later we win the Texas State BCA 9-ball league winner’s side, giving up buckets of weight all the way. Hah! This is in the bag! We had one close scare, in fact it went to a tie breaker round where we play up to 5 games and the first 3 game-winner wins. The first game we broke and ran, the second, they broke and sat, and Carlo broke and ran the case game leaving our two Master/ Pro players with nobody to shoot at. Life is good when you sink a team tie breaker winning shot!
Off they go, table shaking their heads, to do battle on the loser’s side of the chart. As we stroll off to lunch and our ears attuned for “There go the winners” and “good shooting” accolades. Egos love being stroked.
We lounge. They struggle. We watch TV. They struggle. We warm up. They struggle. And suddenly they are back in our faces. They are growling, encouraging each other, back slapping, hands slapping, and head butting.
I think I heard them emoting chants and incantations while burning incense. They were about to offer a burnt sacrifice to the Pool Gods, but the owner of the food (a steak) they were about to sacrifice objected emphatically.
They got a tiny handicap, but it was fair and expected. They were ahead the whole first match until we tied it up, but they put it away. The second match found us shooting tight and making silly mistakes. As it neared the end the rolls turned their way and their shooting stayed solid.
Damn. Double-dipped. Again.
Their team is a classy team of competitors. I’ve been teammates with some of them before, and hope to be again, someday. Some of the players who were in Biloxi were involved in this tournament.
“Hey Carlo, what happened? I thought you guys had it?”
Remembering my 9 against 1 remark from Biloxi, and factoring in the fact that I had a well-respected Pro player on the team, I modified my battle ratio to explain this recent double-dip loss.
“I was outnumbered 8 to 2!”
They laughed and we headed up for liquid refreshments and BS slinging.
Twenty minutes later we had forgotten who was on whose teams and were matching up for the next round of friendly pocket picking.
The way I figure it, I still have 7 to 3, and 6 to 4 before I have to blame myself for a double-dipping! Pool players have this inimitable and uncanny ability to shift blame in multiple directions at the same time, leaving behind only a cloud of a smokescreen and a few hundred excuses.
Then I remembered the real importance of this year, for this year I will become a Grand Parent for the 2nd time. The first one is a charmer (with a 30” cue) and so I hope for the second to follow in his older brother’s foot stomps.
My daughter gets to do the double-dipping diaper routine and I double-dip being the Grand Parent. Yup, I got a cue on order for both of them already.
So being Double-Double-Dipped is no big deal in the big picture of life, right? Right? RIGHT? Naw, I didn’t believe it either.
Darnit Dirty Double Dog Dagnabbit I hate being Double-Double-Dipped by a bunch of Dismal Ditzy Dastardly Dopey Dippity Doos!
AARRRRRRRRGGGHHH ! ! !
I can't take the embarrassment. That does it, I'm switching to pinball.
Wanna buy my cue?
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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