I arrived at The Pig & Whistle, ready for a little savory to offset the chocolate I’d been enjoying all afternoon. I ordered a Hefeweizen, grabbed a corner table, and debated between the Sheppard’s pie and fish & chips. The fish and chips sounded great, but in the pantheon of culinary options available to me, probably not the healthiest choice in the world. I decided to go “healthy” and selected the Sheppard’s pie with a side of vegetables.
While I sat at the Pig & Whistle waiting for my order, I pulled out my iPhone and started reviewing match notes I had taken at the Billiard Palacade. Anytime I play a “serious” match, I always take game by game notes then review them later so I can identify opportunities for improvement. After I reviewed all the notes, the thought occurred to me that I might want to write a blog post about the match and provide a narrative of each game. With that in mind, I went back and numbered each game, all 17 of them. Hey, wait a minute, we tied 8-8, there should be only 16 games…I must have made a numbering mistake. I double checked my typing. Nope, no error, we really played 17 games. Sh*t! Who won? I tallied the games and discovered that I actually beat him 9-8 and didn’t know it! At some point I must have forgotten to move my coin up the rail. Crap! I got no credit for the win and he got to keep the cash! Oh well, at least I know who really won! I guess my biggest lesson learned is to get better at keeping score!
Note: poolriah pointed out that I left without paying my table time. Ooops!
I finished up my meal and walked next door to Family Billiards. I was quickly reminded of pool rule number one – if you’re hustling pool (which I’m not), never walk into a pool room carrying a custom cue case. Why? Well, as soon as I walked through the door, a rail bird glanced at me nonchalantly, then did a double take when he noticed my cue case. His eyes darted from cue case to my face to cue case to face, trying to figure out if he knew who I was. Nope, I guess he didn’t, but he kept an eye on me pretty much the whole time I was there. I think he was sweating a match at the front table, otherwise he probably would have followed me around the room. The only table available for play was in the back, so off into the underground jungle I went. After spreading the balls and completing my warm up routine, I stopped to take a picture of the place and realized the rail bird was trying to clock my game from across the room. Rail birds, always looking for new action to bet on!
I only stayed 45 minutes at Family. The room was hot and humid, the tables were cramped, and the kids at the table next to me always seemed to be shooting from the same spot: right in my way. Uggghh! I’d had enough. I left the heat, humidity, and rail bird behind, and headed for home.
As I drove home, I was reminded of a car accident I had passed earlier in the morning while headed north to San Francisco. The wreck had happened on the south bound lane over a bridge that spans a ravine that’s at least 150 feet deep. I had originally passed the wreck just a few minutes after it happened. Based on the skid marks that were decorating the pavement, the two cars had collided and at least one of the cars had crashed into the rail on the edge of the bridge, spun around, then somehow hit the side rail again fifty feet further down the road. Thankfully, the rail held tight…that’s a looong way down! Without a doubt, at least one of those drivers had soiled underwear! You could still see a few car parts on the side of the road as I flew by.
I finished the evening at California Billiards, had a couple drinks, enjoyed a fried shrimp basket with french fries (so much for the healthy eating!), and spent a couple hours discussing pool improvement strategies with a friend. What a great way to spend a Saturday!