Gold Crown IV

Gold Crown IV
FastMikie's Fun House, Del Mar, California

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Singing Pig Award

"Never try to teach a pig to sing
It's a waste of time and annoys the pig."


Last night was my first match in the Masters' pool tournament.
I was feeling pretty smug going in
just thinking that I would be playing only the best in San Diego.
With no handicapping. Mano a mano. A true test of my ability. An opportunity!
The pool gods were with me last night,
and I won every game.

Needless to say, I slept well,
and awoke with a smile.
And now, in my morning email,
words of praise from my Instructor (and pool legend) Tony Sorto:

"I teach and wonder if I'll ever see
anyone learn how to play the game,
but I never thought I would see
someone reach the level of excellence
that you displayed last night.

We can now say without hesitation that
you can play great pool Fast Mikie."

Tony Sorto

(Original email on file at Mikie's Fun House)

There is no trophy more valued than those words.

But in the grand scheme of things, this moment is fleeting.
It is simply a milestone along the Way.
While I now "can play great pool", it still must be done.
One ball at a time.

Many times in the last year of instruction
Tony and I would laugh at the ridiculous situation of
trying to teach me to shoot pool.
I would liken it to trying to teach a pig to sing,
and Tony thought that was just hilarious,
probably because, from his perspective, there was so little evidence that
his pig was learning anything at all.

But eventually, almost glacially slowly,
the faintest evidence of understanding would appear.
And with it, Hope.
Hope for the teacher, and Hope for the Pig.
And with more Time, and Practice, and Attention,
yes, even a pig can be taught to sing.
But it may be more to the credit of the teacher than the pig,
especially in this case.

I have Googled "Singing Pig Award",
and it seems there is none at this time.
But I think Tony should be recognized as the
Singing Pig Teacher of the Year.