Dumber Than Dirt and Twice as Grimy
It started out innocent enough – me and this guy, Bruce Ignatius "Big" Poozey, a/k/a Butt-Hole Bruce, one of those poolroom bull-shitters who never shuts up, were standing around the pool table discussing methods of shooting balls down the rail at an angle. Sometimes he aimed the forward edge of the reflection of the table light on the cue ball toward the trailing edge of the reflection on the object ball. Sometimes he went for the half-ball hit, blah blah blah. I, myself, prefer to aim at the point of contact and shoot. To each his own.
Anyway, at one point, I cut a ball left down the rail while applying right spin to the cue ball. “You put inside english on that,” he said.
“Outside,” I replied, calmly. I figured at this point that he hadn't been watching closely.
“No, no, no,” Big Poozey insisted. “If you hit that shot with right english, that’s inside English.”
Now, this wasn’t a big deal to me, but I knew what I knew and I wasn’t about to back down even though, by and by, he started getting downright ugly with his insinuations that I was the dumbest mother f’er that he had ever come across. Several times, in the course of his explanation, he took his stance at the table with his cue tip directed to the right side of the cue ball. “That’s inside english,” he’d say. Then, he would scurry around the table to where the object ball sat and frantically motion with his hand along the path the ball would take to the corner pocket. "The ball goes inside the rail and inside the pocket - that's why they call it inside english. I've been playing this game my whole life and I ought to know."
He carried on repeating his argument at least a dozen times and elaborating on it by insisting that if you cut a ball to the left with left hand english that was outside english. Of course, I insisted that he had it all ass backwards. Which he did.
Finally, the guy got worked up to the point – his face was purple and veins were popping out of his head - that he bet me his hundred to my fifty that he was right and I was wrong. I quickly agreed. Then he started looking around the pool room for someone to come settle the matter, but I didn’t want to get anyone else involved. I vetoed that idea and promised to bring a book the following day that would spell out the difference between inside and outside english. “I’ll bring a book,” I said. “If it agrees with you, I’ll give you fifty. If it agrees with me, you give me a hundred.”
“Go on the internet,” he said, still agitated. “See for yourself.” I didn’t bother – I knew I was right and he was wrong. When I got home I found a couple simple straight forward descriptions of inside and outside english, one in Phil Capelle’s Play Your Best Pool, the other in Essential Pool by Arthur “Babe” Cranfield and Laurence S. Moy.
In Capelle’s glossary he defined “outside english” as applying side spin on the opposite side of the cue ball than the object ball is traveling. Conversely, “inside english” was described as applying side spin on the same side of the cue ball as the direction of the cut shot. Essential Pool states basically the same thing, with illustrations. I put the books in the back of my car and carted them to Capone’s the next day.
Well, as I pulled into the parking lot, there was the guy getting out of his car. I gestured to him to “hold it” and stay right there. Books in hand, I joined him at his car. “Let’s get this settled, now,” I said. “No need going inside. Here are the books.”
“Wait, now,” he says, before I even had a chance to open my books “let’s make sure we have this straight.”
“It’s simple,” I offer. “You said if you cut a ball to the left with right hand english that that’s inside English.”
“No, no, no,” he interrupted. “That’s outside english.”
“That’s not what you were saying yesterday,” I countered.
“I’ve known that my whole life,” he claimed.
It was obvious what had happened. Sometime after he made the bet with me, in his ongoing agitation, he had repeated the story along with his ridiculous theory to someone who had straightened his ass out. I later learned that he had cornered Dan, Capone’s resident instructor and expert, and grilled him for a half hour on the subject of inside and outside english. A pretty long discussion on a topic he’s known so thoroughly his whole life. Now, all of a sudden, he was claiming he had been right all along. “What happened,” he was trying to explain, “is you and I were betting on the same thing.”
“You’re backing out of our bet you fucking liar,” I said to him, remembering how ugly he had been the previous day. “You owe me a hundred.”
He continued his lying inside the pool room and I kept to the truth, saying “You owe me a hundred.” I promised him I’d remind him he owes me a hundred every time I ran into him from that day forward till the day I die. But, to be honest, and that’s what this is all about, some days I let him slide and don’t say nothing. Other days, I needle him. But, if his name ever comes up in conversation I feel beholding to tell this little story.
Anyway, I’ve heard since about a friend who had a similar experience with this asshole Bruce – they made a side bet on a game, but, when the guy our welcher was backing came up a loser, he swore he had been betting on the other player. In other words, he changed the bet around just like he’d try to do with me. I’m sure, over time, he’s decided that this is the best course to take when backing out of a bet. And, I bet the line of people he’s beat out of money would reach from here to the backwoods of West Virginia where he hales from.
This is an ongoing saga. To put it succinctly, this guy made a hundred dollar bet with me, lost, then refused to pay. At first, he swore that I had misunderstood him and that he and I were actually betting on the same thing. After a couple weeks, he reversed that and started to put us on opposite sides of the original bet. Oh, yeah, and now he says I owe him money.
I saw him today up at Capone’s and immediately started chanting “Where’s my hundred?” He doesn’t like that. I could tell. That’s why I’ll keep it up. Anyway, when I was done playing and went outside he was waiting for me. “What are we going to do, Ace?” he asks. “You could pay me the hundred you owe me,” I said. Then he went off on a tangent about how long he’s been playing pool, blah blah blah. It was only me and him out there, no bystanders, so I kept saying “What’s the sense of this? I know you’re a liar and you know you’re a liar.” We went back and forth like that, me calling him a piece of shit, him calling me this, that and the other. He was speechless for a second when I mentioned that I'd been talking to other guys he fucked out of money, but only for a second. He was committed to the lie, now. That’s why he was compounding lie upon lie. A consummate pathological liar – he’s been doing this so long he has it down to a science -- he’s deliberately trying to behave as if his lies were true and he truly was the offended party. For show. Once in a while my degree in psychology comes in handy. Take it from me, this friggin’ guy is nuts.
As for the hundred dollars, I don’t even want it any more. If he gave it to me, today, I’d tear it up and flush it down the toilet. Then, I’d wash my hands real well.
There’s a lesson to be learned here -- don’t ever bet with Big Poozey.