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Seeing Red at Seeing Red

You know what sucks? Red chalk. Allow me to explain.

Tonight, I worked late at the office. I had an opportunity, though, to take a little 'breather'. A buddy and I met at a pool hall/bar near my office, for a couple of beers and a friendly match of eight-ball. A nice break, amid the midnight oil I was burning.

Now, those of you familiar with the barroom style of billiards will know that there are, at most, two types of chalk available. In the poolier places -- yes, I just made up that word, let it frigging go, would you? -- you'll see a block of 'hand chalk'. This chalk is white, usually comes in a sort of gutted pineapple shape, and is meant to keep the cue stick from dragging along your thumb or finger skin. It's generally pretty unobtrusive, though it can be a bit embarrassing if you happen to absent-mindedly wipe your nose while 'wearing' the chalk. At best, you'll end up with that milkstachy look; at worse, you'll seem crack-fiendish. Neither of which is going to help you when you're trying to impress a potential mate with your 'two-rail three-ball no-look billy baroo' combo shot. Just for future reference, there, Romeo.

The other kind of chalk, of course, is 'cue chalk'. This comes in little paper-wrapped cubes on the table, and goes on the end of your cue stick. It's important stuff, because it keeps the cue tip soft and true, improving your accuracy. You wouldn't want to try the old 'billy baroo' without a soft, true tip, now would you? Oh, billy billy billy billy billy.

It's also important to note that cue chalk, while you're busily engaged in your table snookering, has the tendency to end up eeeeeeverywhere. On your hands, on the floor, on your shirt, on your chair, all over your pants... on the ceiling, if you're not careful. You might even want to wear a hairnet when you play, because chances are, the chalk will end up there, too. Also? A diaphragm, just to be safe. I'm just saying: eeeeverywhere.

Now, traditionally speaking, this 'cue chalk' is blue. Which is frankly not a poor choice for cue chalk color. Imagine you're out at ye olde poole halle -- taking a break from work on a Monday evening, maybe -- and you play a few games of billiards. In the process, you end up covered in blue chalk. You look like Pigpen in a blueberry patch; you're positively filthy with the stuff.

You know what? Fine. First of all, if you're anything like me, you're wearing jeans, anyway. They're already blue -- they can't get much bluer. If you get chalk on your hands, for instance, then maybe hit the head, and get blueness smeared around your zipper area, it's probably not even noticable. And if it is -- so what? Unless you're the type of guy known to solicit oral sex from smurfs, what's the big deal? Clearly, it's just chalk.

Ah. But now, imagine the chalk is red. And just suppose, theoretically, that you've just arrived home to your sweetie after a long day of work and a couple of games of pool. With a red crotch. Maybe even some red around the collar, or the neck, if you happened to reach up there. Suddenly, those smurf hummers are the least of your worries. You look like you've either spent the evening crotch-slapping Tammy Faye Bakker, or just finished up a sixty-nine session with a Ronald McDonald impersonator.

('Impersonator', because we know the real Ronald would never engage in such shenanigans.

Clearly, it's Grimace and the Hamburgler who are bumping purple uglies. Ron and his big fat clown shoes just look the other way. McPansy.)

At any rate -- red chalk bad, is what I'm trying to say. Why the chalk can't stay blue -- or be green, or yellow, or McMuffin golden brown -- is beyond me. Red just seems the most unfortunately, easily misconstrued choice of hue possible. If it doesn't look like 'lipstick', it's 'blood'. If not 'blood', then it's 'ketchup'. And if not 'ketchup', then 'chili powder'. And if there are four things you should not be wearing on your crotch when you come home and greet your wife, then those four are them.

(Okay, fine. I suppose you could come up with four worse things to be wearing on your crotch. Like, oh, say, 'Vaseline', 'a tiara', 'Cool Whip', and 'a Hilton sister', for instance.

But this is about chalk, dammit. Don't be quibbling over crotch fouls with me.)

Actually, the easiest way to get around the red chalk problem is to do what I do -- just rub it all over your whole body. As long as you've got chalk everywhere -- on your back, on your legs, on your elbows, hands, and nose -- then nobody's really going to notice whether you've accidentally wiped some on a 'danger zone' like your crotch. From a distance, you may look like a raging axe murderer, sure -- but if you're anything like me, then is that really so much of a change? And just think how much faster the attendant will get your car out of the garage for you when you're ready to go home.

Hey. Maybe this 'red chalk' thing isn't so bad, after all.

Permalink | Comments (2)


old 'billy baroo' without a soft, true tip, now would you? Oh, billy billy billy billy billy.

i count six times for billy.

that will be $36.18 for trademark fees.

I've never seen red cue chalk. I miss playing pool. Where are you? This was gold.

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