Guess Who I took a Shower With?
Most 8-Ball and 9-Ball players I know initially entered Team BCA League play under false pretenses, with grandiose plans for inflicting pain and suffering on the opposition and little thought about selecting their teammates beyond their apparent skill with a cue.
Now a teammate who can carry their pool-shooting weight is certainly a plus but after a season or three it becomes apparent that cue skills are only part of the equation.
I can name a handful of excellent "A" players who will borrow money, sponge drinks, shark even their teammates to stay ahead in the rankings, and secretly pull for the opponent if a teammate’s average gets close to theirs.
They’ll pinch their teammates change from the bar and flirt with the teammate’s lady or daughter -- fully expecting their animal charm to chemically sway them into action. I’ve even seen it work. No justice.
I can name a handful of excellent players who would rather power down drinks so they would have a built-in excuse for losing. “I just want to have fun.” I’d rather win first, then take my chances with the fermentation fairies.
I can name a handful of excellent players who would fight to the death to win a game. They act like a pro wrestler if they win and consider it your blind, stupid luck when you beat them, even one game. Even if you just accomplished a World-Class precision run-out, they are upset at your "Luck."
I can name a handful of excellent players with whom I could team but I wouldn’t want them to know my address or where I worked. Come to think of it, I don’t want them to know what I drive. They are stone thieves, soon to be shot in the act. Texas’ law is pretty cool in that regard. I'd prefer they don't even know my name, come to think of it.
I can name a handful of excellent players that would rather argue with their opponent, teammate, staff, and innocent bystanders than breath. They obviously hate everything. I wonder why they play? I guess so they can be supplied with a never ending stream of combatants. Why else?
I can name a handful of excellent players who are always late, will always be late, and will frequently do you a no-show. They are only on time with excuses.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, these are players you do not want as teammates, unless your only purpose for living is winning. Even then, the fourth man will be drunk and the fifth man will no-show and you’ll only lose by two points, but a loss is a loss. To boot, you’ll get stuck with 4 weeks dues at the end of the season.
Well, my team has finally rounded up a core of friends who pay their bills, show up on time, hold fights to a pool player’s genetically programmed minimum, and even enjoy each others' camaraderie.
New players on our team are trained for a season or two which forcefully adjusts their attitude and fine tunes their sense of humor. Basically, we beat civilization into their thick, competitive skulls. Entrenched teammates regularly need refresher courses, too, and some are retrained biweekly.
Occasionally we pull off a Coup.
We pick up a player who is a solid player, pays his bills, shows up on time, pays his bills, has a great sense of humor, pays his bills, is not hunting for quail (anyone else’s quail,) pays his bills, avoids arguments, pays his bills, is socially compatible, pays his bills, pops for a round now and then, pays his bills, and has been known to hit dead punch at the appropriate moment and thereby save the day which includes another level or two of tournament bucks. Whew, come up for air, man.
We did that last season. It has been a joy for the whole season, both 8 and 9 ball, and now the turd-head reports he is moving for employment reasons.
Now we all agree that honest employment (which equates to survival for most of us) is right up there with family life and health and spiritual well being and good citizenship and Boy Scouts and motherpie and applehood.
“Take care of family and business, then work on your kicks” has been our attitude, and an honorable one at that. Pool is a hobby that must take a back seat to that which is really important.
B.S. You heard me, err, read me. B.S.
I think I’d rather train a new spouse than try to replace a fine, well balanced teammate. Man, everything was fine and HE put works ahead of POOL! What blasphemy!
Most of my teammates aren’t all that well balanced, so when we finally get a good one, the damn fool accepts employment elsewhere and is going to move away.
A year ago one of the other good’uns tried to transfer away but we found out where his Regional VP lived, took his dog hostage until he un-transferred our man, Deadly Tedly. It took wire-taps, magnetic homing devices, and a whack to the jaw with a house stick to get this VP to give it up. Total investment, about four grand (mostly for liquids while plotting how to keep him) and a lot of gumshoe.
In Dallas alone there are about a million women, and a hundred top players, and most of those players are taken on other teams or mentioned at the start of this article. It’s easier to find a cooperative woman than a well matched player-teammate. Besides, in a pinch you can do without a woman, but not without a teammate! It is illegal, but possible, to rent a woman. It is impossible to rent a good teammate.
So, Manuel, my Hispanic 1-der, you think you’re going to transfer to Houston?
Great, like Houston is really short of top players and can’t live without another. I hope they beat you brains in on the table. I hope they give you the 6-out and take your lunch money. I pray they’ll give 10-5 and the break and fry your fanny, Manny.
Oh, why, oh Mystical Powers? What have I done to deserve losing another, compatible teammate? A teammate who can kick and draw from anywhere and doesn’t dump me in side games. A teammate who stays down on his shots. Yeah, yeah, he likes to spin his rock too much, but is that style. Why are you taking him from us?
Oh, Pool Gods, you have forsaken me yet again! Weeping and gnashing of teeth sounds go here as soon as I find out what a ‘gnash’ sounds like.
Oh, Serpents of the Billiards, what have I done to deserve these trials and tribulations?
Oh, Gremlins of the Green, what penance do you exact? What sacrifice do you demand?
Maybe if I threaten to disclose the time I had both his lady and mine in the shower at the same time, fear of the shame of it would keep him from flight? I wish I had pictures. (Truth is, I had remodeled my shower and during a party I coaxed he and his bride into it to show them how large it turned out. Fully clothed, no water.)
Hold everything. What did you say, Ted? WHO is available and wants to play on our team? WOW! With Him, we might really have a shot at it! Sign him up! Now! I’ll pay his BCA dues. Get him before he gets away! That fills Manny's slot.
Uh, Manny, never mind. Have a good time in Houston. Write often. Take care. Drop in. Bring cash, I'll take the 8. Don’t work too hard. Don't let the pool hall door hit you in the ass. I gotta run! We gotta go start training the new teammate!
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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