of a

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.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Tonight was a crescendo of stress.

I felt jinxed from the start:
it's a dinky bar box pool table.
Real pool players let their stroke out
on the regulation full-size tables.

(My only losses last session were on bar boxes)

Tonight was the last match of the session.
Our team was in a tie for first place.

We needed four wins
to cinch the Division Championship.

I needed to win
or the team would lose.

I needed to win
to stay undefeated
and win the Perfect Session trophy.

All of this was hanging over every shot.
The games were long.
Lots of safety play.
Every shot was a potential match winner/loser.

Now, for the heart-stopper:
My worthy opponent
(Seth Walter, skill level 5)
only needed 3 games to my 5,
and he got himself to the hill 2-2,
so I needed 3 in a row to win.

Must win 3 games in a row.
For the undefeated Perfect Session,
the team,
the Division Championships...

If I lose,
I'm a choke, and a joke,
and my name will be spat from the mouths
of pool shooters far and wide.

If I win,
there will be great joy in the land,
and I will bask in the glory of

These are my possible futures, it's true.
But either of these futures is
the result of what I do Now,
each instant of this match,
as it plays out.

First of all, I must
get my mind back in the game.
So I go stand alone,
away from team distractions,
and look only at the ball layout,
and think only about
what I will do when I get a shot.

Right then, about 3 major babes,
in matching green slutty dresses,
and spike heels,
entered the bar,
cruised around talking with customers,
and then left,
all within about 2 minutes.
I didn't catch what they wanted,
maybe selling tickets or something...

Right there you have an example
of how un-focused I was on the game.
If I was truly in the game,
I would never have noticed anything
other than the game,
not even triple babe-aliciousness.

I am living through a nightmare match,
my head is completely up my butt,
I am within minutes of becoming a Loser.

No place to hide.
I was on the ropes.
Going down fast.

In aviation they have a phrase
to describe the moments prior to disaster
when the pilot-in-command
"runs out of altitude, airspeed, and ideas"
all at the same time.

Everything was on the line...

What man could rise to such a challenge?

The pressure was at volcanic levels!
Human beings are not built to endure this.
The heart will blast through the chest,
or an artery in the brain will erupt.
Explosive ear hair growth!
Instant goiter!

Spontaneous combustion!

And then, of course, death.

it wasn't my day to die.

I rose to the challenge.

It was ugly.
But I won.

Like they say:
"The record books don't say How, only Who".

As of tonight,
the record books will forever confirm that
during the Summer Session APA 8-ball,
ending August 9, 2007,
Michael McCafferty
did achieve:

the MVP trophy,

the Perfect Session trophy,

the Division Championship,

Skill Level Seven,
(the highest).

As I write this,
I'm enjoying a pint of Murphy's stout
with a Bushmills Black depth-charge,
and getting philosophical about how
this could have turned out so differently,
with a bit more of a roll one way or the other...

Which god favors me so...
Fortune, Destiny, Chance?
And, why?

For the answer, stay tuned...

Until then, here's a clue:

Begin It Now!

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which
kills countless ideas and splendid plans:

That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor
all manner of unforeseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance, which no man
could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it.

Begin it now!


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Blogger Cary said...

I like that you won on a bar table (which, being the norm in NYC, I have grown quite fond of playing on). I had been meaning to update my links to add your blog. Finally did so today, lo and behold you have this good news. Congrats

Friday, August 10, 2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Johnson said...

I just had to read on to see if you exploded or suffered spontaneous combustion or something. Whew! Glad to see the happy ending.

Regarding "not how but who", history might make an exception for Barry Bonds.

Hey, I didn't get an extra thing for "perfect session". I am envious. But, I got a "super 9" patch in the mail yesterday. I had a losing streak this session (unlike the perfect one last session) for 9 ball but I won last night -- with the help of my little, lucky patch.

I celebrated my win by buying some "Washington Apples" (without the cranberry) for me and my friends. Those have a nice bite to them. Oh, and beer too, as usual.

Friday, August 10, 2007 2:31:00 PM  
Blogger poolminnow said...

Congrats, Fast Mikie! I'm so glad to hear that you were able to rise above the perils of bar pool. (I watched my own team's chances to go to Vegas slip away under similar circumstances last year).

But, you can't leave the APA now....doesn't that mean you'll have a chance to win a slot to go to Vegas?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:40:00 PM  

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