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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


On a recent trip back east,
to my college reunion,
I met up with my old pool nemesis John Green,
and had the distinct pleasure to whup him soundly.
That was something I had always wanted to do,
but I always came up short in the attempt.
He was always just a little bit better...

In our conversations about our college days,
he remembered a speech I gave in Public Speaking class.
It was the words from The Music Man,
the ones about Trouble, Right Here in River City,
and about how the game of pool is the work of the devil.
I didn't remember that event, but he sure did,
and for that amazing memory of his, and his great game,
I dedicate this blog.

For your enjoyment, here are the lyrics to "Trouble".
For an audio recording, click here

Ya Got Trouble

A pool table, don't ya' understand?

Well, either you're closing your eyes
to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
by the presence of a pool table in your community.
Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here...
I say, trouble right here in River City.
Why sure I'm a billiard player.
Certainly mighty proud to say...
I'm always mighty proud to say it.
I consider that the hours I spend
with a cue in my hand are golden.
Help you cultivate horse sense
and a cool head and a keen eye.
Didja ever take and try to give
an iron-clad leave to yourself
from a three-rail billiard shot?
But just as I say,
it takes judgement, brains, and maturity
to score in a balkline game,
I say that any boob kin take and shove a ball in a pocket.
And I call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
to the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
your son is playin' for money
in a pinch-back suit.
And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
But a race where they set down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey-boy sittin' on Dan Patch?
Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.
Friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.
Pockets that mark the diff'rence
between a gentlemen and a bum,
with a capital "B,"
and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
And all week long your River City youth'll be frittern away,
I say your young men'll be frittern...
Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
Get the ball in the pocket,
Never mind gittin' dandelions pulled
Or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.
Never mind pumpin' any water
'til your parents are caught with the cistern empty
on a Saturday night and that's trouble,
Oh, yes we got lots and lots a' trouble.
I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers,
shirt-tail young ones,
peekin' in the pool hall window after school.
Ya got trouble.
Folks, right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"
and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
I'm gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
on while they're loafin' around that Hall?
They're tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out cubebs,
Tryin' out Tailor Mades like cigarette fiends!
And braggin' all about
How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.
One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry!
Libertine men and Scarlet women!
And Rag-time, shameless music
that'll grab your son and your daughter
with the arms of a jungle animal instink!
Mass hysteria!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground!

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
that rhymes with "P"
and that stands for pool.

We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,

Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!

Mothers of River City!
Heed that warning before it's too late!
Watch for the tell-tale sign of corruption!
The moment your son leaves the house,
does he rebuckle his knickerbockers below the knee?
Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger?
A dime novel hidden in the corn crib?
Is he startin' to memorize jokes from Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang?
Are certain words creepin' into his conversation?
Words like "swell"?
And "so's your old man"?
Well, if so my friends,
ya got trouble,
right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
and that rhymes with "P"
and that stands for pool.

We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City!
Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!
Ho ho, we've got trouble.
We're in terrible, terrible trouble.
That game with the fifteen numbered balls is a devil's tool!
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble
With a "T" and that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool!


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