BITD, when you walked into a pool room, you could count on being greeted or ignored by a grizzled old timer who had pool running thru his veins and dripping from his pores. As I make my rounds thru the pool rooms of Florida, it's the cranky old farts and S.O.B.s that I miss most of all. Down here, every counter is manned (perhaps that's the wrong word)… behind every counter stands a woman. Now, I'm not one to lump all women together - in truth, they are as varied as the fishes in the sea - but many of those who find their way to the pool room, especially around NPR, FL, are of the same type. The things they do and say, the atrocities they commit, boggle the minds of serious pool enthusiasts who date back to the pool rooms of yesterday. What I am suggesting is that before a manager hires someone of any gender to work in his or her establishment, said manager should give the prospective employee a test. That way, maybe, their customers can be spared the agony of dealing with complete idiots. Toward that noble end, I have composed a sample test. Here it is:
1. When you hear the word "pool," you immediately think:
a) Chlorine makes me itch.
b) that's the opposite of "poosh."
c) it's a game played on a pool table with balls and cue sticks.
2. If a customer requests "different" chalk, you should respond:
a) that all the chalk is the same.
b) that you only have one color - blue.
c) by presenting them with the box of chalk and allowing them to pick their own.
3. A player who is playing on time brings back his tray of balls while you are busy on the phone talking to your daughter. What should you do?
a) tell him you will be with him in a second and keep his time running while you talk with your daughter.
b) start cursing at your daughter to show off your parenting skills.
c) set the friggin' phone down and take care of the customer.
4. Two regulars are gambling on the only table in use when a guy comes in with his girlfriend and his girlfriend's little brother. Which table would you put them on?
a) one right next to the gamblers so that people aren't scattered all over the place.
b) which ever one they want.
c) one as far away from the serious players as possible.
5. You have to deliver a pitcher of beer to a party on the far side of the room. Enroute, you approach a player who is in the midst of making a shot. What should you do?
a) squeeze past him, but try not to spill the beer.
b) say "excuse me" until he moves out of your way.
c) stay as far out of the way as possible.
6. A friend calls and asks you to reserve a table for him. What do you do?
a) Scatter balls on a table, and, if anyone asks, say it's occupied.
b) Tell people the table is reserved.
c) Tell your friend that you can't tie up a table for a nit.
7. When you hear terms like "one-hole" or "dirty balls," how will you react?
a) I've heard worse at other dumps I've worked at.
b) I will be offended and make a complaint.
c) Ignore them - I'm not that much of a sexual deviant.
8. You're scheduled to work, but you're sick. What do you do?
a) Go in anyway - you need the money. Keep sickness to yourself.
b) Go in and tell everybody how sick you are hoping to boost tips.
c) Find someone to sub and stay the hell home, so you don't spread your germs to everyone you come in contact with.
If you own or manage a pool room, feel free to use this test.
Oh yeah, the preferred answer for all questions 1-7 is c. Duhhhhh.
This all reminds me of one of my favorite riddles - Why does God give beauty queens one more brain cell than he gives horses?
So they don't shit during the parade.