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February 19, 2024

World's Worst Pool Player

By Robert Paul Allen

World's Worst Pool Player

The old man wasn't sure if he should keep
coming to the weekly pool games.
Who else could completely miss
the white cue ball with his stick
or if he did make contact, scratch
by shooting it straight into a pocket?

He'd won a few games but as a rule,
the balls had been lined up
so a child could have managed it.
He did love the percussive clicks and clacks
caused by colliding solid and striped balls.
His eyes did not believe the other player's
magical spins, bank shots, and unorthodox
grips as their target invariably caromed
off the cushions into the designated pocket.

He leaned over the custom green baized
walnut table studying his shot
while painting chalk on the tip
of his pool cue like the others.
It would be the longest of long shots.
The group watched in polite expectation
of his usual ineptitude, some standing
with cues in hand, others seated,
all awaiting their turns.

After he focused, he struck the cue ball
right of center the length of the table
where it banked off the end cushion
at the exact angle that allowed its return
to kiss the red 3 ball just enough
to nudge it into the side pocket.

He stood stunned, cheers resonated all around.
Out of the corner of his eye he noticed the white
cue ball was still moving. It crept across
the green felt, slowing down, almost stopping,
then stopped but somehow still fell
into the corner pocket with a thud.
Cheers transformed into groans. His moniker
of World's Worst Pool Player remained secure.

Article © Robert Paul Allen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-06-14
Image(s) are public domain.
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