I'm continuing to work my way through my 101 list, and I embarked on one of my goals this week. I have long wanted to play pool with some degree of acceptability. I've always been a crummy pool player. I sucked at physics and geometry in high school, and it has been years since I've studied angles. In addition, I've never been the sporty type. About the only "sport" I've done with any regularity is running/jogging, which requires little coordination and no strategy. I've barely "danced" my way through musical theatre roles in the past, always billing myself as an actor/singer who can walk. So clearly, the deck is stacked against me when it comes to playing pool well.
But Sandi told me a while back that her husband is a pool player. And when they came to dinner a week or so ago, he invited me to come play with him sometime. (The schmuck. He clearly had no idea what he was getting himself into, poor thing.) To my utter shock, he actually called later in the week and invited me to come out on a specific night and start learning how to play pool. (I ask you, how much more pronounced can the will of the universe get? If people are calling ME up to help me accomplish my goals, I think that's a sign. Somebody up there loves me, right?)
On Tuesday night, off I went to a pool hall. The place is in Byram, and it's called This Is It. (And I'm still not sure if that's meant as "Eureka! This is it!" or, after a dismissive glance, "You mean, THIS is it?") As one who doesn't spend much time at pool halls or bars, I don't have much to compare it to, but it seemed pretty nice and reasonably safe. It was packed with pool players, and everyone looked to be having a good time.
We got there early to practice a bit (and Lord knows I needed it), and I learned a little more about this venture. Turns out, this guy is in a pool league. And they were having an "official match" that night. And I was playing in it. Wha . . . ? THEN I learned the real motivation behind everything. He's on a team with a high handicap, meaning that all his team's players are pretty good. This handicap hurts the team, because it means they all have to score more points to win games. But by signing up a REALLY SUCKY player, their handicap improves. After the light bulb over my head went off, I said, "Oh, you need a BAD player? Well, shucks, then! I'm your gal!"
Over the next three hours or so, I did learn a few things about pool. I still stink, but, hey, practice makes passable, right? I lost all my games, and I think I only scored a few points all night. (Though I did knock the cue ball in repeatedly. Ooops.) But I'm learning. I'm learning something new. And I have to admit, I did have some fun. The other guys on the team were really sweet and didn't mock me for being awful. And I'm super-hoping that I improve over the next few months, because I'd hate for all their goodwill to be in vain.
Anybody got The Hustler on DVD? Or their old high school geometry book? Bueller? Bueller?