Monday, January 10, 2005

stealing candy from babies

"Hey kids, who's winning?"
I had never been in this pool hall before, but it had a nice ambiance to it. There was an unusually good mix of ages in here. It's always good to see kids taking up the sport; I try to make an extra effort to encourage them when I can.
"I am."
I smiled encouragingly and said, "Yeah, I figured as much." I started looking around for an empty table.
The one who was losing spoke up. "Why do you say that?"
"No offense kid, but you kind of shoot like a girl." A little offense was taken, but kids have thick skins.
I wasn't seeing any open tables, but it's normal for one to clear up every five minutes in places like this.
"So, how old are you guys? Eight, no wait.... nine?"
"We're twelve, asshole."
The girl had a mouth on her; I've never heard a nine-year-old use such language. Luckily, I'm pretty good with kids. This one just needed a little soothing, "Take it easy, sweetie." Little girls can be touchy, but they tend to calm down quickly.
The boy piped up, "I'm Gary, and this is Paul. What's your name, Mister?"
Formal introductions - the boy clearly had better manners than the girl. "Mister sounds good. It's nice to meet you both." I smiled politely at the boy, "Don't mind me, feel free to continue your game. I'd let your girlfriend win a few though, kid. She seems upset; let her sink some... it'll cheer her right up."
The girl snapped, "I'm not a girl!" She was definitely in a bad mood.

In scanning the room for a place to play, I noticed a hot brunette a few tables down. She was wearing tight blue jeans and black boots - a perfect blend of being tame and being slutty. She was shooting pool by herself, and I noticed that she had good form when she bent over to take a shot. I continued perusing the dessert menu while the kids behind me had a lovers' spat.

"Let's play this jerk, Gary."
"Come on, Paul... I just came here to have fun."
"I want to humiliate this asshole. Let's play him!"
"God, fine. Hey Mister, want to play a game against us?"
"Hmm?... Oh.. sure, why not? How much are you kids in for?" I flipped through my wallet. Let's see, I need this much to liqueur up the brunette, this much for a cab, then an hour in a hotel... I put a hundred dollars on the table and smiled at the boy.
The male one looked at his girlfriend in confusion.
She was getting even more flustered. "You want to play for money?!"
"Oh, sorry... " I was a little embarrassed. "I thought you said you wanted to play a game; I didn't realize you wanted to play a practice game. I forgot that you're just little kids." I reached for my money.
The little girl was fuming. "Leave your money! We'll put up our bikes!!"
"No way, Paul!"
I thought about this for a second. "You don't have some pink bike with a basket, do you? If I see tassels on that thing... "
The girl started putting more pressure on her boyfriend. "Gary, put up your damn bike!"
The boy was clearly uncomfortable with the situation, but all males eventually succumb to their woman's demands. "Damnit. Okay, I'm in."

I put my case on the table and took out my pool queue. Its blue silk wrap sparkled slightly under the soft light in a way that appeals specifically to moderately slutty brunettes. I checked to see if she was looking; she was. I guess the kids were a little impressed too - their faces went from red with rage to a nice shade of pale white. These kids definitely had a true respect for the sport... I picked the right couple to encourage.

I put my case away, grabbed the chalk, and looked at the boy, "Okay, who's going to break? Do you want to give it a shot, kid?"
A bit of youthful angst was in his voice, and some color returned to his face. "My name's Gary, not 'kid', and Paul can break just fine."
This was good news. "Ahh... good for you, sweetie! The way you shoot, I was wondering why you even showed up, but some people are just good at breaking. It's a good skill to have, even though it's a minor part of the game."
Her color returned just as quickly as the boy's had. "I'm about to shove this pool stick right up your ass!"
"Woah, she's a feisty one!" I nudged the boy, "Hang on to this one kid, you'll understand why in about ten years."
She was angered by that statement; I thought it would have gone right over her head. Nine years old.... they learn about the facts of life so early these days.
The girl contained herself for once, and walked to the end of the table. "I'll break."

The brunette started making clear eye contact. I caught her bending over for a shot, peeking back to see if I was looking, and then smiling at me when she saw that I was. She was probably somewhat impressed with my interest in encouraging children... I don't do it to get chicks, but I think that fact makes my good-natured actions even more appealing to women.

"It's your turn, Mister. Hurry up and shoot already."
I looked at the table, and then at the girl. "I thought that you were going to break."
She answered softly with noticeable shame, "I did."
"Ahh... that's alright, Pauline... you just keep practicing." I was actually hoping that she'd be as good at breaking as her boyfriend was claiming, but at least she tried her best.

I sunk a few balls real fast, and then scratched on purpose so that I could get to work on that brunette.
"Hey kid, you see that brunette over there?"
"My name's Gary!!!"
"Right... You see the one I'm talking about? The one that's kinda slutty."
"You mean the lady whose ass you've been staring at for the last five minutes."
"Yeah, that one." Observant kid... he really has potential. "Go over there and say that I'm your 'big brother' from the program. Umm... go say that I take you to play pool every weekend because your dad died."
The girl nudged her boyfriend to take his shot.
The boy looked at me with scorn before shooting the ball. "You're an ass, dude. Nobody's going to believe that."
"Hmm. Go tell her that you guys are on your first date, and I'm chaperoning! That'll totally impress her."
The kid missed his ball and sunk one of mine. The girl spouted off, "Goddamnit, Gary!"
These kids weren't going to be any help. "You lovebirds play for a while... I'm going to have the waitress bring her a drink from me."
The girl finally started to ease up. "Heh, sweet... you do that Mister."
I wanted to make sure that she got the most out of her effort. "Remember, Paula, just hit it soft... you have to learn to control your emotions so that you can have a steady hand."
She was noticeably frustrated, but she had been calm for a moment... hey, you gotta start somewhere.

By the time I got back, the kids had nearly cleared their balls off the table.
"Good for you guys!" I was gone for a while, but they were showing some promise.
"I guess it's your turn, Mister," the boy said.
"Thanks kid. Did Paulina sink any yet?"
Her clenched teeth and clenched fists told me that she hadn't.
"Why don't you take a few shots, sweetie... I don't want you going home thinking that only the boys got to play."

The brunette had just received the drink that I sent to her. She was smiling and waving when a man came up to her table. I assumed that it was her brother, and told myself silently, "She must be big on family... you love your family, you love your family."

"What the hell's going on over here, Karen? Who the fuck is that guy?!"
"Oh, I don't know," she said nervously. "Who do you mean?"
"Don't play games with me, bitch! I want to know what the fuck you've been doing behind my back!"
"Well, if you'd spend some time with me, instead of hanging over by the bar watching that damn football game!"
"Holy shit... is this asshole actually looking over here while I'm standing next to you?"
"Oh god," she hid her face in her hands.

I smiled and waved at the brunette and her brother. This was going to be the easiest hookup ever... she was already showing me off to her family. I looked over at the table to see what was happening with the game.

"Jesus, Garrett! What are you doing?!"
The boy clearly wasn't in the right frame of mind, and was startled by my question. "You asshole, you just made me fucking scratch on the eight-ball!"
So much for his manners. "Kid, you were trying to shoot it into the side pocket off a bank, when you should have been shooting for the corner." I was a little disappointed, but I guess I shouldn't expect too much from a nine-year-old.
Paulianna looked at the table and saw that I was right. She didn't say a word, but her eyes were starting to water up in frustration.
I took my money off the table, gathered the keys to the locks that were protecting my new bikes, and made sure to put the final touch on the night's good deed. "Keep at it kids, you really do have potential with the game, and you make a cute couple. You're actually very good for nine-year-olds; I don't think I was as good as you guys until I turned ten."
I looked over at the brunette and her brother - they were clearly waiting for me to come over. "Wish me luck, kids!"