I play pool every Thursday with three other guys . Bill wasn’t there last night because he had a knee replaced . Good enough excuse this time . Willie had eye surgery yesterday morning ( Thursday morning ) . Cataract in his right eye . He said that he was bored at home after the surgery and would like to play . He would have had a good enough excuse to bail , too , but he showed up .
Willie played better than ever . He beat Daniel E. and I easily . Strange . Inexplicable . We asked him for the name of his doctor .
I started playing at our pool place ( “pool hall” would sound a little too disreputable ) about fifteen year ago , I guess . My friend and then tenant Todd and I used to go there once in awhile . Then Willie joined us . Eventually Todd dropped out . After he did , the bar girl ( “bar girl” sounds disreputable , doesn’t it ? ) told us : ” Best thing you guys did is drop the other guy”. Well , as Willie said , the “other guy” might have been one of our brothers for all she knew . It was , after all , a bold statement . Todd was a good guy , overall .
The pool place used to be a Penny’s Department Store long ago . I know it was around in the 1920s . The ceiling over our table is in bad shape . Plaster drops like dandruff onto the green felt . If we ever do get much rain around here there might be big trouble on Thursdays . One day the whole ceiling will come down .
Bill tries to tell the owner , Tim , that he needs to invest in roof repairs . Save him loads of dough in the long run . Bill is a surveyor . He knows construction . ” That’s what I do ,” he tells Tim . The guy listens , nods . Does nothing . Years go by .
Bill knows pool , too . We brought him in ten years , or so , ago , to help us improve our game , to teach us a few shots . But , over time , we haven’t improved much . Instead , yeah , Bill’s game has gone down . He shouldn’t really have hung around with us so long . Ruined his game . He gets a few good shots in here and there , but nothing consistent . He used to be upset about his weak performance and about the lackadaisical attitude Willie and I seemed to have . We did entirely too much laughing and Guinness- drinking to suit Bill . He was there to win !
But Bill got over that silliness . Or , should I say , seriousness . It was tough for him . Eventually , nevertheless , he settled down to the idea that we were there simply to have fun . I don’t remember how Daniel E. got involved in our Thursday enterprise . But he fits right in . He’s calm . Good sense of humor .
I guess there are unwritten rules . Check your egos at the door . Hope the whole ceiling doesn’t come crashing down. Tease the place’s owner about the plaster flaking off , and about this , and about that . Tim teases us right back about this , and about that . He practices his golf swing in the back corner when the place is not busy . And we play. Same table in the back near the bar . Year in , and year out .
Ada still asks : ” What did you guys talk about ?” Our pool game , of course !