Never have I seen so many guys who profess to know all there is about pool but who actually know nothing. Here’s a warning: I expose jerks.
I recently had an encounter with an annoying chump who claims to be from Boston. You can bet he never spent much time in poolrooms up there, because, if he had, he certainly would’ve been kicked out of them.
I refer to him as an annoying chump because, first off, he’s a chump - everybody beats him. He’s annoying because of the tiresome litany of excuses he offers up explaining his pool play. It’s the tables, the cloth, the pockets, the cushions, the balls, the atmosphere, and the alignment of the planets that make him lose.
Then there is his repertoire of adolescent shark moves. He walks around the table while you’re shooting and manages to slide into your line of sight when you’re ready to shoot. He goes to an adjacent table between turns and bangs the balls around. He yaks constantly airing his list of complaints to anyone willing to listen. He never sits still; he never shuts up.
A new pool room just opened up down the road. Fittingly, it’s called Hammer Heads. Where else would the king of grammar school shark moves hang out? I went there to play in what was billed as a tournament for non-A players. What it actually was was a tournament for C players and A’s masquerading as B’s.
So, I win a few matches and lose one and come up against Boston Sharkie on the one-loss side. Now, if you don’t already know it, the cardinal rule when you’re playing against a chump who can’t possibly beat you is not to give him anything. This means don’t leave him any easy combos or caroms and don’t leave the nine hangin’ in the jaws because even a choke artist like Sharkey might manage to score in those situations.
Well, ignoring my own rules, I left Sharkie an unmissible carom. Then he managed to shit the nine in on the break. I’m behind but I come back and pocket a table length straight shot on the nine and follow with a run out from the two ball. Senor Chokee is starting to sweat. I know he’s done. He knows he’s done.
I guess there’s nothing so scary for someone who is sick of losing as the prospect of another public humiliation. So, to put it off, he started bugging me about the rack. He complained that I was not placing the one ball on the center of the spot. It was on the spot, just not dead center. Now, everyone I have talked to since then, witnesses and those who just heard about the incident, are in agreement that Sharkie is an asshole. Still, I tried to placate him. Unfortunately, when I placed the one dead center, upon lifting the rack the one would roll forward and the only way I could keep the rack tight was by nudging it forward a fraction. Time and again, he complained. I called for the tournament director to come over and straighten the chump out but he had stepped out of the building. Finally, I just scattered the balls and quit. Not admirable, but going farther in the tournament wasn’t worth having to deal with the shit head.
Hammerheads has an open 9-ball tournament on Tuesday nights. I'd play in that with its better class of opponents except for the fact that it doesn't end until 2 A.M. Too late for me. Sharkie most likely will pass that one up, too – he won’t want to expose himself to more public humiliation.