Sweaty Hands

A Legend in his Own Mind
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Carlo's Table

No Sweat! 


Keep your Glork to yourself!

 Perspiration.  Exudation.  Transudation.  Beads of moisture.  Dampness.  Glow.  Wetness.

 Perhaps some of you read my diatribe about head bonking

It was the one where I had gotten over my dislike of opponents who would scamper around the table, often impeding my mobility, to view the remnants of the table they had left to me.  I’d consider head-butting them, accidentally-on-purpose, as a penalty.  They would be looking at the shot, and I’d be plotting an intersecting collision course.

 Similarly, I have had issue with those players, mostly in league but also found in tournaments that insist upon shaking hands before the match. 

 Now I feel that I am a social sort, a gentleman of the game, and not such a rabid competitor as to not shake the hand or press the flesh.  However, I shoot this wonderful gaggle of games Left-Handed.

 Southpaw.  Lefty.  Gauche (French for Left, I think.) The unclean pooper hand in Arab cultures.

 Now custom has it that we shake hands with the right hand.  No revelation there.  If someone has lost their right hand in an accident shaking hands backhanded with the left hand is acceptable, but not in normal mode and is considered an insult by some folks. 

 But, Lordy, Lordy, that right hand is my bridge hand.  And Dammit, I want to keep it dry!

Decades ago, in a land far, far, away I began my pool playing in central Illinois in a pool hall that was heated but not air-conditioned.  In summer time, when it was hot outside, it was hotter inside.  Humid out, more humid inside.  Sticky out, more sticky inside.

Playing pool with humid, sticky balls is not fun.  (Delete that visual you just had!)  Besides being uncomfortable, they plain old act weird.  Worse yet your hands get sticky when you rack them.  To make matters worse, if your hands sweat the damn cue stick won’t slide.

Talc and an open bridge works, at least until talc + sweat turns to goop.  Add tension and your hands get sweaty and clammy all by itself.  The pressure of an expensive shot will bring out the droplets from many players’ hands.  Yuck.

My right hand, the bridge, for some wonderful trick of human anatomy, simply stopped sweating.  Now the left hand, the grip hand, did not matter so it just kept on sweating.  Amazing!  No skill on my part, just physiology working to my benefit.

Now YOU, you want me to grasp that greasy, clammy, moist-handed, cold, part-dead, appendage of yours in a gentlemanly gesture know as the handshake, with my beloved BRIDGE hand!?!?

You want to TOUCH the dry, clean, smooth, snagless, hitchless bridge I have WILLED to not sweat!?!?   No freakin way!  Period.

 But the gentleman in me say, “Now Carlo, it is only a game, and it is the proper thing to do so get over it and SHAKE THAT HAND!”

 So I shake the hand.  A trillion molecules of some kind of foreign GLORK is transferred onto my pristine bridge hand.  Revulsion wells in my soul, and I consider retching.  About 100 wipes of my bridge hand on my pants and I might be ready for a shot.  Talk about a distraction.

Now let me tell you one thing I try to do is avoid distractions whence shooting pool and this GLORK is counter-damn-productive.

I tried having my pool cue in my hands at all times before the match and using the “my hands are full” handshake avoidance technique.  Works good, but the clammiest of the clammy will sneak up on you and extend a hand and yelling “BOTH MY HANDS ARE ON MY CUE AND I DON’T WANT TO TOUCH YOU!” is not particularly courteous.

I tried shaking hands backhanded with my left hand, holding my cue in my right hand and it kind of works, but again, it is odd and not a particularly kosher handshake.  It is plain weird.

I tried taking the offensive after putting a table between us, and saying across the table “Good Luck!” but that only encourages the GLORKiest to jump up and circumnavigate the table to deliver their GLORK load to my bridge hand.

GLORK.  That which makes a cue stick stick in you bridge.  So much for speed control and a smoooooooooth stroke.  Watch the finger flesh rotate all around the finger bones stuck to the shaft and sliding, not. 

I don't want GLORK.  I don't need another excuse to miss.

Then the light dawned.  I discovered a way to re-define the GLORK handshake to my benefit! 

Hallelujah!  (Organ music goes here.)

When Opponent d’jour shakes hands and I perceive it is clam-city, it is because he/she/it/they are AFRAID of me!  They are shook!  Cool!  My confidence soars!  By golly, they be begeebered, they are all befuzzled and behoodled over playing against me.  I own them!  Carlo's reputation has preceded him into battle!

So now when I shake-the-paw, and it is clammy, I simply wipe it on my towel (or pants,) smile the knowing smile that I own them because their GLORK hand told me, and I proceed to crush their little hearts and spirits with my world class cuesmanship.  They are toast.  Grist in my mill.

Oh, oh.  Flip side.  I hate flip sides.  Now when I shake hands and their hand is NOT drizzly and GLORKy, does that mean they own me?  Awwwwwwww, man!   

Question:  Has a drop of sweat, running cold down your back right at a critical time ever thrown off your shot?  Has it run down the valley of your back, under your belt, skivvies and made that turn down towards the total and utter darkness of inner cavities?  Did it cause you to involuntarily shiver and wiggle like an insect was cruising your anatomy looking for a home?

Yeah, a natural reaction and there is an answer as to WHY it happened.  To be perfectly honest, it happened because you were playing .....


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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