The Student Exceeds The Master
- From: "Dhakala" <NoPoliticalCalls@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 18 Feb 2006 11:08:07 -0800
I introduced my son to pool when he stood about eye-level to the rail.
Drilled him mercilessly for five years. Had Sheldon Lebow make him a
custom shaft that fits my very first cue. Bought him the case, glove,
chalk holder, Tip Pik, all the accoutrements that Daddy carries. Taught
him to clean a shaft and install a new tip. He got good enough for us
to hustle 20-somethings at Scotch doubles, and he even skinned a few
solo before he was 10. My APA team dubbed him, "Tony Mosconi."
Then he discovered skateboards, girls, and Marilyn Manson. It's been a
lonely three years. :-(
Lately, however, we have been required to appear downtown together at
least once a week, thanks a youthful indiscretion that resulted in six
months of random urine analyses. This would be a total bummer if the
probation office was not just half a mile from the Tarantula Billiard
At first, Tony looked like he was crocheting when he stroked. He hit
every shot as if the pocket was across the street. His bridge hand
floated left, right, forward, and up. His chalk dangled from his pocket
forgotten until I threatened to make him walk home if he didn't start
applying it. I gave him four balls and his choice of the pocket into
which I would bank the 8, and STILL he lost.
Quoting Sheriff Buford T. Justice, I told him, "There's no way, no WAY
that you could come from my loins!" I coached gently. I cursed loudly.
I ruthlessly took his summer job money (what was left after he paid the
court costs). I was ignored with that stubborn totality that only a
teenager can muster. Nay, I was worse than ignored - he did exactly the
opposite of everything I told him to do.
But last Thursday, he kicked my ass nine games in a row and 17 out of
20 overall. He whupped me at 8-ball, 9-ball, and even one-pocket. He
got more of my money than the house did. I had to hit the ATM.
Thinking it was a fluke or a touch of flu, I returned us to the scene
of the crime yesterday. Told him, "No weight for you today, Junior. Do
I noticed that his stroke had straightened out. He chalked before every
shot. The heel of his bridge hand was on the table and he stayed down
until the shot was made or missed. He used the rake instead of shooting
behind his back. He ASKED ME how to masse' around an obstructing ball!
When I returned from a bathroom-and-bar break, I caught him doing some
of the drills we used to do.
Damned if the little bugger didn't empty my wallet AGAIN!
Tomorrow, we're entering a tournament together. Not as a team, either.
I've played all of the regulars in that hall, and I'd bet the grocery
money that Tony and I will face each other in the finals.
Mark Twain wrote, "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I
could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21,
I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
Fortunately, my ignorance set in when Tony was 12 and I've recovered in
only three years. We have that much more time to rediscover the
pleasures of small motions together.
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