Clenched Butt Behind the 8-Ball
The Urethrostomy Manoeuvre
In a few months it will be winter once more. The snow shovelling season and the Old Fart's Winter Pool League will soon be here.
The ‘C’ league, which is the official name for the Old Farts League, is no longer. Too many of us have shuffled off or are recovering from major surgery. The survivors – of whom I am one - have been moved up to the ‘B’ League. This is an exponential leap. The members in the ‘B’ league can actually play pool; they are the type of players who say things like ‘I’ll try a cross-side double with the 4 and the 11, ’ and then have the audacity to finish the manoeuvre perfectly before I’ve even identified the balls which to me are simply either striped or not striped.
When I turned up at the Rack-Em-Up Billiard Hall for my first match of the season, I was greeted by jeers and shouts of ‘Jesus; you had the nerve to come back?’ The owner of the hall told me that I would be playing a different opponent.
“Huh! Mark decided to give me a by because he knows how good I am, that’s it, isn’t it?”
“Not quite. He sat down to watch television last night and died, just like that.” There wasn’t a lot I could say to that bombshell, even although I was dying to ask what programme had killed him.
His 85 year old league replacement was dragged out of convalescence and moaned loudly about the pins in his elbow and his broken left wrist as he trounced me. He then had the cheek to say that ‘he used to be a good player.’
My second match, and perhaps my last, was against another ‘B’ class player who had major surgery during the summer. He was about my age, and seemed to be in good health. The matches for the ‘B’ division are held on Tuesday mornings at 10.00. This time I thought I would get to the hall sooner than my usual 9.59 arrival. I would turn up at 9.30 and have a couple of games of practice so that I might at least win one game.
When I did turn up I explained my strategy to the halls’ owner. “Your opponent is outside having a cigarette and he’s been here since 8.30. Some of these guys practically live here.” So much for strategy. The procedure for the matches is that we have a couple of warm-up games; the winner of the second game breaks first in the 15 game matches.
I won both of the warm up games and was feeling confident until my opponent’s buddies came over to congratulate him on his recovery from surgery. That was when I made my big mistake – I asked him what his surgery had been, thinking by the conversations I’d overheard that it would turn out to be prostate cancer.
“They cut my penis off,” he stated, making scissor like movements at his crotch.
“Yea, right,” I laughed as I readied myself for the first break of the match. The break was perfect; one of the best I’d done. It was to be my last decent shot. As my opponent contemplated the spread of balls on the table he carried on explaining.
“Mmm, the cancer was at the base of my penis; they cut it out but it was a very aggressive type and it returned within weeks. The only answer was to cut my dick off." As he continued, he spread his legs wider and made a slicing motion from back to front beneath his groin.
“I had to have a slit opened up down here of course. But it’s a bit of a pain in the ass having to sit down like a woman to pee.”
He beat me 10 to zero. As we shook hands after the game, he apologised. “My operational procedure is known as Urethrostomy. I should have told you that when you asked.”
“I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about,” I shrugged.
“Exactly,” he said. “You might have concentrated and beat me. But by giving you some of the graphic details I freaked you out. You did very well considering that your scrotum was in suicidal sucked-up mode and touching your clenched butt. Were you aware that as you were setting up for each shot your legs were crossed?”