Gold Crown IV

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

Monday, April 16, 2007

New Rule: Ball in Hand for Talking

A good player stopped by last night
and we played two matches of 9 ball,
each a race to 7 games.

I won both, but not by much.

Neither of us had a break and run,
or even ran a rack after a dry break by the other.
And, to me, that indicates
a relatively low level of performance.
I know that each of us can do better.
So what was the problem?

There was a whole lotta talkin' goin' on.

I haven't seen him in several months,
so there was a bit of catching up to do.
I tried to get these social pleasantries done
before we got started into some serious pool.
But that didn't work out in the long run.

I propose a new rule:
We give up ball in hand if we talk during the match.

You don't see Bustamonte asking Fong-Pang Chao
where's the best sushi in Kyoto during a match.
No way!

There's no social chatting during a chess match.
Or boxing, tennis, track events, etcetera ad nauseum.

I think talking is sharking, pure and simple.
Or else it is loss of self control.
In either case, it shows lack of respect
for the game, and for the opponent.
Either way, it should be penalized, case closed.

A couple of weeks ago
another practice partner wanted to shoot some,
but it seemed all he really wanted to do
was talk about his divorce.

I can assure you, the only person on Earth who
wants to talk about your divorce is your lawyer,
and then only if he's getting paid a lot of money.
Even so, your lawyer might wish he could be
shooting pool at the same time
to help deaden the pain of hearing about it.

But not me.

Pool is a meditation.
It wants the highest level of attention.
Otherwise it's just banging balls around.

If something is worth doing,
(I can hear my parents saying)
it is worth doing right.
And if it is worth doing right,
then it deserves to have the fullest attention.

Attention is a cornerstone of Zen practice.
And maybe that is why I am such a hermit.
Random events are reduced to a minimum.

So there is a new rule at Mikie's Fun House:
Talking during a match gives up ball in hand.
Pass the word, hopefully it will catch on.
And our play will improve.

(blog top)


Anonymous said...

attention to your friends is also a cornerstone, one can't be on a fine edge all the time. it seems the secret is to make it happen when you need to, not always so

Michael McCafferty said...

the "New Rule" allows for talking, and attention friends, before and after the match, and even between racks.

(thanks for the comment)