4 Out of 5?
By Ernie Reynolds
It was another Friday night playing 8-ball at the local pool hall. I was playing my brother, who is my usual opponent on Fridays. We like to get together once a week to keep the skills sharpened up.
I was shooting pretty well – I probably won 14-15 of the 20 games we had already played. I knew my aim was on because I was making bank shots. When I have trouble with bank shots, I’m usually not shooting my best.
I was going for a cut shot almost the length of the table. I took the shot and got a nice angle on the cut and the ball went in – right after the 8 ball went into the other corner. What the? Oh well, you can’t win them all.
So, I racked the balls and my brother broke. We each got a couple balls in and plunk!, in goes the 8 ball out of turn again. What the hell?? I look over at my brother who’s trying not to laugh, but then he just breaks up into a big belly laugh. Ha ha very funny.
I rack them again and watch as he breaks. We are both doing fairly well dropping balls in when he does it. He bounces the cue off his object ball and it ricochets into the 8 ball and knocks it into the side. We both look at each other and start laughing again. What a strange night of pool playing.
So next game my brother racks and I get to break. I get one in on the break and I’m going to town sinking balls. I get down to about my sixth ball and I have a fairly tough leave. I have to make a real thin cut on a ball and squeeze it by one of my brother’s balls in the corner pocket.
I eyeball the heck out of the shot to make sure I have the angles right and it looks like I can do it. I’m really concentrating when I take the shot and it goes in real pretty-like, just how I aimed it. I come up from my stance with a “yeah baby” on my lips and I hear another big laugh escape from my brother’s mouth. ??? I look around the table and don’t see the 8 ball.
“Where’s the 8 ball?” I ask him. He just points to the pocket behind me to the left as he’s trying to get his breath from laughing so hard. “Ha ha, the cue ball came around, ha ha , and hit the 8 ball, ha ha, knocking it into the other corner here, ha ha ha.” Oh man, I don’t believe this. What can I do but laugh and rack the balls again.
“Ok, one for the road?” This is how we decide that this will be our last game for the evening. “Sure” he says. So I rack and he breaks again and off we go. He gets a nice break and runs about 5 or 6 balls and misses. It’s my turn and I do the same, running out to my last ball. It’s a pretty easy shot, so I eye it up and shoot. I’ll be damned if the ball doesn’t go in and the cue ball knocks the 8 ball into the corner pocket AGAIN!
I look over at my brother and we just both crack-up laughing. He’s laughing so hard his face is all red and he is coughing and laughing and coughing and laughing. I just can’t believe that I just did that again for the fourth time in a row. Isn’t that against the law of averages or something? I am just incredulous. Four 8 balls in out of turn out of 5 games, and my brother did the same thing in the fifth game! Wow!
How does something like this happen? Does some magic switch go off somewhere and say “OK, you’re going to sink bad 8 balls for the rest of the night”? I sink an occasional 8 ball out of turn once in a while, but nothing like this. It started feeling like the Twilight Zone.
Anyways, we took off after that game, still shaking our heads and not believing what just occurred. It’s a good thing I love the game, otherwise I might be tempted to try golf or something else for a change. At least it was good for a few laughs.
I’ll be back to the pool hall next week. I will, however, be paying a little more attention to where the 8 ball is on the table and where my cue ball will be rebounding to. Two weeks in a row of shooting like that could cause serious harm to a guy’s confidence, and we all know that you need to shoot with confidence if you want to win pool games, right?
Sheesh, 4 out of 5?