D I A R Y
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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.




Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mark Twain and Pool



The previous post got me to thinking about
other great people in history
and their relationship with pool.
The first one to come to mind is Mark Twain,
who was known to own a table,
and was a good shooter.
One of his more famous quotes:

"The game of billiards has destroyed
my naturally sweet disposition."


- Speech, April 24, 1906

The full text:

The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition. Once, when I was an underpaid reporter in Virginia City, whenever I wished to play billiards I went out to look for an easy mark. One day a stranger came to town and opened a billiard parlor. I looked him over casually. When he proposed a game, I answered, “All right.”

“Just knock the balls around a little so that I can get your gait,” he said; and when I had done so, he remarked: “I will be perfectly fair with you. I'll play you left-handed.” I felt hurt, for he was cross-eyed, freckled, and had red hair, and I determined to teach him a lesson. He won first shot, ran out, took my half-dollar, and all I got was the opportunity to chalk my cue.

“If you can play like that with your left hand,” I said, “I’d like to see you play with your right.”

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m left-handed.”

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