Tuesday night – The Bowling Allies on old 54. As soon as I got out of the car I heard the music but it registered in my brain as loud juke box. It wasn’t until I walked inside that I realized we were going to be treated to live music in the form of this old dude (by old I mean my age) armed with an electric guitar and a microphone. His repertoire consisted of 60’s and 70’s vintage stuff. If it had been played by some virtuoso, say like Eric Freakin’ Clapton, it might have been an enjoyable accompaniment to our pool playing. Unfortunately, Eric Clapton he was not and it didn’t take long before his playing began to grate on me. When he finished a number and some of the crowd started clapping, I would inject, “Please, don’t encourage him.”
One guy, one voice, one guitar – this formula never appealed to me. I remember guys, supposedly friends, back in the 60’s who used to pack their guitars around with them wherever they went and who with little or no encouragement would start strumming and picking and playing for you nonstop their entire catalog. Shear torture! And that’s the mood this guy put me in.
To lighten the moment, there was an old couple – they looked like escapees from the Beach Boys nursing home – who got off their stools several times and danced. I mentioned to one of my fellow players that the guy looked like he had taken one acid trip too many. My friend quipped, “It was probably a half a trip, because he went and never came back!” Funny guy.
Anyway, none of this has anything to do with me getting home by 9 o’clock. For one thing, I had an unlucky draw. First game I had to play Toe Knee (I think that’s how you spell it). He’s the best player on the barroom tour and he counts on winning a couple tournaments a week as his income. The only thing that keeps him from competing against the “A” players in the poolroom tournaments is heart, which he apparently has none of. He would sooner travel 100 mile to steal some bar tournament than travel five miles to the local poolroom for some action with the big boys. If only I could shoot like I could in the 60's…
Anyway, he broke and made nothing. I ran 6 balls, safed myself up, and missed. Then, as you would expect from the best player in the tournament, he ran out. Next, I played a guy who wasn’t too good and I won a battle of endurance. My third and last game went almost exactly like my first game and my opponent ran a wide open table.
As usual, I went home swearing not to go back until they start playing ball in hand. Being able to play safe would certainly improve my chances, especially since I have so much trouble running out.
Oops, gotta go. It’s time for my yogic eye exercises. If they help at all, I’ll let you know.