I have been a scientist/programmer/physicist my whole life. If fact, I started this insane life of cue sports because of a physics experiment I tried to do for extra credit during undergrad studies. Yeah, Iím one of those guys who screwed up the grade curve by doing extra credit problems.
But the experiment was a complete failure because I didnít take into consideration such mundane things as speed, angle, spin or friction. Duhhhh. Cue elevation was not on my mind, either.
Some of the Worldís greatest players canít calculate a simple algebra equation, will never crank any logarithms, nor bang a few trig formulas, much less grind out partial differential equations or the dreaded calculus integrals.
In fact, some of them have really warped ideas about how this pool thing works, but they have the uncanny ability to deliver the cue ball to the object ball and thence the object ball to a hole whilst leaving the cue on line.
Some are even Idiot Savants. An Idiot Savant can do something incredibly well, but is basically a doofus in all other aspects of their lives. We can all name a few of these.
The mental model of what happens when stick hits ball, ball hits ball, or ball hits rail is something all pool player are convinced they have 99% correct in their cranial compartment.
That means they leave 1% opening in their brains for words of wisdom from any Master Player willing to share secrets, even though the Master may have a befuddled view of what is really happening and would actually be sharing mental madness.
So several gentlemen of the pool world, including at least one BCA Certified Master Instructor, guys with their feet firmly on this planet, with a few bucks to blow on a super high-speed camera, and too much time on their hands got together and filmed these collisions in suuuuuuuuuuuuper slow motion.
They got together in Jacksonville where the equipment lived to do their experiments, and being quite ingenious, named them the Jacksonville Experiments.
Of course I had to have the tape. They might make $90,000 off of the tape or barely break even. I donít care. I had to have the tape. So, I have the tape.
So here I am, other people are watching Rambo reruns, dodging never-ending car commercials, or jiggling along with Bay Watch, and I am watching sub-millisecond slo-mo of pools balls and chalk clouds and flexing cue shafts.
The visual proof of what disgusting things happen during a miscue is enough to curdle milk, shrivel up your manhood to gnat size, and cause butt clenching strong enough to crack walnuts.
Not to be outdone, I too have rented a super high- speed camera, trained it on occupants of my pool hall and recorded incidents that normally go undetected by the naked eye. They reveal incredible detail and explain all of the bizarre events that occur in my pool hall.
I wanted to name them the Jacksonville Experiments to steal some of the pool-scientists thunder, but my lawyer threw a hissy-fit, threw a punch and then threw up. I relented, and after days of deliberation, deemed these the Dallas Experiments. Quite clever, arenít I?
The tapes revealed many reasons why some players are doomed to failure and why others will persevere at the many games of pool. The observations were quite revealing. Additionally, what goes on in the background is enough to amaze and astound.
First observation: when a female player is playing pool with a male partner/opponent who insists on pointing out where to hit the object ball or rail she will make a lightening-speed move. The female player will (too fast for the naked eye) flip the pointer-guy the bird, flash a naked breast to male players on the next table to subliminally indicate ďcome take me away from this creep,Ē and write her phone number on some studís arm for him to find later. A millisecond, tops.
If he insists on putting his hands on her hips, she might do one of two things. If she dislikes his presence, she will (again, too fast for the naked eye) put Vaseline on his cue tip, steal his car keys, Mickey Finn his drink with anti-Viagra, and show cleavage to everyone sitting on the rail. If she LIKES his hands there, the Vaseline goes elsewhere. Man, can those women move.
Also, the reason that you can smell a womanís perfume is not that the air currents bring it too you, it is that the perfumed ones blur past you once every half-second or so to deposit their perfume. Its all on the tapes!
While they are close to you they inspect for wedding rings or their indentations in your pockets so donít every try to fool them by stashing the Wedding Ring on the way into the joint. They donít miss. Then they put a little infrared marker on your forehead for the other scurrying and sedentary females. This way they can efficiently spot you as a wedding-ring-hiding rat-dog.
Some of the greater players are aware of certain femalesí ability to flash past at warp speed and enlist them to use their subliminal powers to distract you from your shots. Have you ever had trouble concentrating on a shot? Everything distracted you? Well, it was one of those nymphettes-on-speed just messing with your mind.
Then there are those few men with the uncanny ability to attract babes. They too, have moves faster than the eye can see. They whisk past, whisper some Nasty in the damselís ear, and resume their previous pose, while the heat slowly rises in said female.
I hate them. I always knew it wasnít me, just that they had some kind of trick. All you have to do is zoom over, talk Nasty, then get far enough away so they think the Nasty thoughts are their own thoughts and look at your butt.
The most startling and devastating to me was the final visual revelation from the tape. I got a short glimpse of the phenomena and had to investigate further.
I set the camera on super-extra-high-turbo-speed and caught one in the act. I couldnít believe my eyes! There it was, black and white, proof positive, captured on media, doing itís thing!
For years we have blamed good rolls and bad rolls on the Pool Gods. Freezes, hooks, corner hooks, roll-backs, settles, clusters, marry-ups, holes, sharp-turn scratches are all attributed to the Pool Gods. ďWHY ME!Ē you shout and wail!
I saw him. Errr, I saw her. Err, I saw it. It looks more like a Pool Troll than a Pool God. Long pointy fingers, bad nails, bad teeth, constant grin, scruffy hair and pocked complexion. He/she/it was wearing dozens of earrings it found lying about and had a penchant for snitching the last few drops of your beer.
The Pool Troll would run from table to table, pushing balls into trouble, clustering them up, hiding chalk, effecting scratches, and generally reeking havoc. Pool Troll seemed to enjoy his work and loved to get right in your face to see the anguish and stress.
Most, if not all, bad smells in a pool hall are from the Trollís breath as he laughs right in your face.
Not a Troll but a BCA teammate with a 12-pack
The Pool Troll definitely steals change and likes to knock over pool cues. He will spike your beer with ďInsta-DrunkĒ so the two or three beers you drank actually have the effect of twenty-two or twenty-three beers. Heíll also steal money from your pocket as if you actually bought and paid for twenty-some beers.
He carries this little gnarly tool and uses it to make little dings on your cue. When the place is empty, he practices making those dings on the house cues, which is why all house cues that are more than a few weeks old are all dinged up. Troll practicing their dings.
He's the one that spreads secret goop on top of plastic pockets so when you run you cue over a pocket it gets this rubber skid mark effect. He also files and sharpens the grooves in metal corners to put long gouges in your shaft.
He makes the coin toss go wrong and delights in finger-stopping a 9-ball on the snap so it hangs in the pocket for your opponent.
Heíll help you get from down 8-0 in a race to 9 all the way to 8-8, but will hang the 9 on the last break and let your opponent off with a big sigh. Pool Troll will be laughing his little butt off.
He presses your bladder so your mind shifts from angle-speed-spin to pee-pee-pee. He polishes automobile windshields so the light forms a blinding headlight for your flat shot to a side pocket.
He puts a light dusting of chalk on cut shots so theyíll jump on you, and talcs-up a spin shot so it slides off.
He spits in chalk and puts goo-goo dots all over your glasses. He steals good chalk and leaves behind crappy chalk.
He moves so fast, the only hint you have is when cigarette smoke swirls.
Iím pretty sure I think he said his name was BOB.
Iíll produce tapes-for-sale if anyone is interested. Send cash.
Nobody paid me any money to put these links here, I just thought they deserved it. Tell them Carlo sent you, maybe they'll buy me a beer.
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