The Scented Llama of Doom Best not to ask really...

A Pool Survival Guide

It is a little known fact that pool is a contact sport. I’ll even wager that the risk of personal injury is higher than that of more benign sports - like wrestling. Especially if there’s money involved and if, for some reason, someone gets the strange idea that one might’ve cheated. Accusations begin to fly. You may attract angry glances. Rash words are spoken and things can degrade into physical violence. I remember a time…

Memoirs of a Llama (excerpt)

Having given the above from my memoirs I propose to do my bit and write a pool survival guide. This would be invaluable to proponents of the game as it can reduce the risk of injury by as much as ninety four point five percent. Just follow these simple rules and you should be safe.

A Pool Survival Guide:

1. Resist the temptation to say “But if you’d just put a bit of left backspin I’m sure you would have got it in…”
2. Resist the temptation to talk to the balls. Comments like “Go, go you bastard go!!” can sometimes be misinterpreted by those with sensitive feelings.
3. Never smile smugly after you’ve just put away 6 balls in a row and your opponent fouls. Some people can take this the wrong way.
4. Whenever you break sending the cue ball into an innocent bystander thus knocking him forward onto a table where two professional players are having a tense game that involves money - it is vitally important to cultivate the art of becoming invisible.
5. Try not to slap someone on the back just as they are playing a crucial win or lose shot. For some reason this tends to annoy even very passive people.
6. If a six-foot-six snooker afficionado makes a comment about pool being an inferior game then try not to make any sarcastic replies. I’ve found snooker players to be awfully good at cue-fencing.

Note about cue-fencing: Should you ever get into a fight where cues are being used as weapons my advice is to find another pool hall…
7. If the daughter of the owner proposes a friendly match involving a goodly sum of money: Just say no.
8. Never, ever play against a woman who has had more than two shots of tequila. (This can hurt an unsuspecting male ego).
9. It’s always safe to blame the table if you’re playing badly. However never blame the 11 beers, 3 whiskeys, tequila, vodka, miscellaneous shooters and bottled water you consumed before the game. Many people think of this as w(h)ining.
10. If there happens to be a dispute about the rules remember the case of IRVING vs SHAW 1899 when Irving quoted the World Rules to Shaw who then replied callously that “You can sticke it where the sun shineth notte”. Irving (who was an accountant) hurt by Shaw’s callous disregard for the rules then gave a speech about fair play and was lynched by a mob of frenzied lawyers who never liked him anyway. His son later sued Shaw over the rule dispute and the case was eventually settled in the supreme court. The Ruling: If a player is consistently subjected to various chicken noises and other farm yard impressions by his opponent thus reducing his concentration and attracting attention from interested bypassers thus adding pressure to the situation and causing the player to experience feelings of apprehension and existential doubt - not to mention anger and possible homicidal feelings - then it shall be deemed to be a foul. Shaw was happy with the verdict feeling justified in calling the then existing rules into question and feeling little remorse over Irving’s untimely demise. The entertainment industry mourned Irving’s passing as - to quote one famous director - “he did the best chicken impression in Hollywood”.

Following these simple guidelines I have little doubt that your pool playing experience will be much enhanced.