View Full Version : Pool Story - 'A Felony Compounded'

08-06-2002, 11:41 AM
Since a number of readers have expressed an interest in pool stories, I have prepared one, hopefully for your amusement. If it gets good reviews, I'll do another one soon. Read on.


It was 10:30 on Saturday night, and Tincup Wallis was poking around
behind the counter in his joint, Tincup Billiards. He really didn’t have anything
better to do. He thought of raffling off one of the $65 cues he kept on hand for
that purpose. He had dozens of them in the back room, done up in plastic
sleeves. He only needed to sell twenty one-dollar tickets to break even, but
there was maybe ten people in the place and he knew ‘em all by name and they
were all tight as a clam’s ass and probably wouldn’t pay a dollar to see Boy
George do the limbo.

Misty was shoving a rack of balls across the counter to a couple of
strangers. The only notable thing about that was that one of them had a
monstrous cue case slung over his shoulder, and appeared to be sizing up the
few players who were still there. A small man looking to be no more than
thirty, he had a little ponytail and a yellow tee shirt from a pool room in
Houston. His companion went to the wall and pulled down a house stick.

First thing out of that big case was a red pool glove, followed by a chalk
holder that attached to a magnet clipped to the guy’s belt, and then a green
Scotchbrite pad and a little bottle of CueSilk and a couple of tip scuffers. All
that came, with some difficulty, from a zipper pocket that must have contained
a lot of other billiard aids as well. Finally the top of the case came off and
revealed a wealth of cues inside. Ponytail picked one of the three butts and
began to survey the shafts, which were packed with the joint down and all the
tips looking pretty much alike. The first one out didn’t pass his inspection, but
he chose the next one and screwed up the cue, scuffed the tip and burnished
the shaft with a dollar bill. Then he put on the glove and began to move his
shoulders around to loosen them up.

By the time he got around to racking the balls they must have owed two
bucks for table time, and the second guy had wandered off and was hitting on
Bricks, who was a regular in the room. It was a fool’s errand, but he had no
way of knowing that. Bricks was showing just about everything she had, in a
pair of short shorts that looked as if she had grown up in them, and a red and
white striped jersey top that a man could have folded twice and put in his
wallet with no trouble. Since Bricks didn’t always wear the same clothes, she
must have undressed sometimes, but I don’t know of anybody who was ever
present for that procedure. Anyway, the game finally got under way, under
the scrutiny of the whole assembly. People like Ponytail don’t wander in every
day. We found out later that his real name was Blake, or at least he said it
was. The other guy was his buddy, named Sandy, and both were from Dallas.

Predictably, Blake didn’t look like a shooter. His feet were close together
in his stance and instead of bending over, he squatted down. His bridge
consisted of a closed fist on the table, with the thumb sticking up. His warm-
up routine was a series of short, quick bank-and-forth motions with the cue.
Belly Gautreaux (pronounced GO-tro) said he looked like he was trying to saw
his thumb off. Blake could make a few shots, no doubt about that, but the cue
ball was pretty much on its own most of the time and the game plan evidently
was to go and find it when it stopped rolling and hit it again. The game was
eightball and Blake won every time. Sandy was just cannon fodder.

Blake bought two beers and broke a hundred dollar bill to pay Misty, and
then he tipped her three bucks. There were more hundreds in his pocket - lots
more. Before long Sandy gave up the pool game and went back to take another
shot at Bricks. Blake looked around and spotted Tincup for the first time and
raised his eyebrows in a silent question. Tincup’s tongue was hanging down to
the second button on his plaid shirt and his eyes looked like two fried eggs in a
bowl of grits. Tincup can play a little pool, but usually only if somebody gives
up the pink and the pop and the last four. That’s why we call him Tincup,
because he’s always begging. You could say he doesn’t believe in gambling, but
will steal if the opportunity presents itself, and here it was - ponytail, red glove
and all. He said he might try a few, although he was mighty tired. None of us
could think of anything he had done recently that might make him tired.

To pluck this pigeon, he would have to play eightball. That was Blake’s
game. Blake liked to comment after each of Tincup’s shots, saying either
‘helluva shot’ or ‘tough roll’, as the occasion demanded. He seemed to be out of
control most of the time, but when he missed he generally didn’t leave much,
and played an extremely lucky game. At least, that’s the way Tincup saw it.
He spent the entire night believing that he would begin stealing within the next
five minutes, but somehow it never happened. Misty and Bricks and the rest of
the customers, except for Belly, were all gone by 1:30 and Rollover Patin
(pronounced PAH-tan) locked the front door after each departure. He was
Tincup’s night manager, and wagged his head in sympathy after each of his
boss’s misfortunes. It was part of his job. Belly lived alone and was not likely
to go home while there was any sort of action to sweat.

It was after 9:00 AM when Blake commented that he sure wished there
was a cook on duty, as he was mighty hungry. Tincup was stuck for three
hundred dollars and beginning to see the light. (It takes longer for some people
than for others.) He sounded a little testy when he pointed out that the place
wasn’t even open on Sunday, and that he should have run everybody out hours
ago so he could go home in peace instead of hanging around and letting some
Texan rob him. So Blake woke up Sandy and gave him $20 and sent him out
to the WinnDixie to buy toaster waffles and syrup.

“Be sure to get a Sunday paper from Baton Rouge, too,” he told Sandy. “I
got about thirty lottery tickets I want to check out. This is the luckiest night I
ever had and I just might bust ‘em with one of these tickets.”

Sandy was back in half an hour, by which time Blake had netted another
fifty dollars and Tincup had finally quit beating what was obviously a dead
horse. So they all sat around another hour, eating toaster waffles and syrup.
Blake stuck to his guns and denied being a player, but admitted to being very
lucky. Tincup claimed that he had never played so badly in his whole life and
Patin swore to it and Gautreaux rolled his eyes and said nothing. Sandy was
at the counter going through Blake’s lottery tickets, comparing the numbers to
those winners posted in the Sunday Advocate.

“Are we having any luck?” Blake asked him.

“We got one with five numbers out of six,” replied Sandy. “Does that pay

“Lemme see that!” demanded Tincup, getting out of his chair. He went to
the counter and verified that there were, indeed, five matching numbers and
one stranger. “Damn, man, that’s a fifteen hundred dollar ticket you got there!
You really are a lucky SOB! You’re the first guy I ever seen to hit it for fifteen

Blake was just finishing his packing, stowing away the cue and the glove
and the chalker and the scuffers and all the rest. “Where do you go to cash in
a winning ticket?” he wanted to know.

“You don’t, on a Sunday. You can get your money tomorrow morning.”

“Tomorrow morning, my ass,” said Blake. “I got to be in Dallas long
before that. There’s no ID on a ticket, so how about if you cash it for me and
you can get the money tomorrow?”

“Make me an offer,” said Tincup, who was having visions of recovering
his losses.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m asking how much you’ll take for the ticket. You already got three
hundred fifty dollars of my money in your pocket, and now you want me to do
you a favor. I’ll give you eleven hundred fifty for it right now and we can all go
home happy. I’ll even add ten dollars for the waffles.”

“Don’t do it,” said Sandy. “For three hundred fifty dollars we can stay
over in the best hotel in town. Don’t give up your cheese now.”

“I can’t stay over, man. I’m not going to lose my job over this stupid
lottery ticket.” Blake turned to Tincup. “Gimme the money and lemme out of
this firetrap. You’re a chinchy old bastard, you know that?”

Tincup Wallis grinned gleefully at this compliment and took a roll of bills
from his pocket and counted out eleven hundred and fifty dollars. He
neglected to add anything for waffles. Blake gave up the ticket and took the
money, folding it once to put it in his pocket. He and Sandy headed for the
door. “Somebody come and let us out, okay?” Patin roused himself and
followed them to the door, unlocking it for them and relocking it when they
were gone.

“What a night,” said Tincup, yawning and stretching. “I guess I’m
supposed to be satisfied, since I figured that money was gone forever. Patin,
look who’s at the door. Go let him in.” It was the janitor, Billy Jones. Jones
had cleaned up pool rooms all over the country for the past forty years or more,
using a different name in each town. Nobody knew his original name, or cared,
but one thing was certain. He knew pool rooms and pool players. If he had
arrived ten minutes earlier, he might have recognized Blake and Sandy, and
might even know if those were their real names.

“Who was that I seen pulling out of the lot, Tincup?” he asked.

“Couple of thieves from Dallas.”

“How come they had a Florida tag on their car?” Nobody had an answer
for that. “You been playing pool all night?”

“Whole damn night, you got it.”

“How’d you make out? Did you go off again?”

“Billy, I went off on the table, but I made it all back on a lottery ticket, so
I’m even for the night. Could be worse, I guess.”

“You hit the lottery?”

“Not exactly. That tourist had a fifteen hundred dollar ticket and
couldn’t stay in town until Monday to cash it, so I bought it off him at a nice
discount. I’ll cash it myself tomorrow.” He related the whole story for Jones’

Billy looked at Tincup for a while, and then at Patin, and finally at
Gautreaux. “Hang on a minute, I better check my crystal ball.” He walked over
to the table and picked up the one ball from the spot and peered at it, making
hocus-pocus motions with his hands. “Just as I thought,” said Billy. “ That
guy bought that ticket this morning at the store, after he seen the numbers in
the Sunday paper.” He made more motions in the air and looked at the one
ball again. “The date on the ticket is for next Wednesday’s drawing.” He put
down the ball. Everybody looked at Tincup, who was going pale. He put on his
glasses and looked at the ticket and then put it back in his shirt pocket, giving
no hint of what he had seen.

Tincup unbuckled his belt and spent maybe twenty seconds tucking in
the tail of his plaid shirt and closing his pants again. Then he walked over to
the table where the balls were still racked for eightball. He picked up the one
ball and examined it, as Billy Jones had done, and then carefully replaced it on
the spot. He leaned across and took the four ball from the opposite side of the
rack and tossed it in his hand once or twice. Then without warning, like a
pitcher making a pickoff play, he reversed his feet and fired the four ball at the
wall behind the counter. The four ball went through the panelling and on
through the sheetrock into the kitchen like an artillery shell and made a
terrible crashing noise that seemed to go on for several seconds. That would be
the cups and saucers on the shelf over the sink.

Then he wagged his head slowly in embarrassment and apology and
walked back to the counter, where he took a paper napkin from the dispenser
and blew his nose loudly and dropped the napkin in a garbage can. He walked
back toward the table, covering the last yard in a sudden lunge and picked up
the ten ball and let it fly at the restroom door at supersonic speed. Again, the
ball hardly slowed down as it penetrated the door and again there was the
sound of shattering glass. That would be the mirror over the lavatory.

Tincup looked at each man in turn, to see if anybody had any questions,
but nobody did. He took the ticket from his pocket and gave it to Billy without
saying a word. He took off his glasses and folded them and put them in his
shirt pocket and walked to the front door and let himself out, locking the door
behind him. They watched him get in his car and leave the lot slowly.

“Jesus!” said Patin. “Man, I don’t know what to say. I ain’t never seen
anything like this night. I’m sure glad all this is over!”

“It ain’t over.” said Billy Jones. “It ain’t gonna be over until Thursday.”

“Lord! What’s gonna happen on Thursday?”

“I’m gonna swear to him that I win fifteen hundred dollars on that ticket
in the lottery drawing on Wednesday night.” Billy Jones hitched up his pants
and began to empty the ashtrays.

08-06-2002, 11:52 AM
EXCELLENT Vapros. ***Lester***

08-06-2002, 12:02 PM
Ain't nooo honor among thieves.../ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

08-06-2002, 12:08 PM
The floodgates have opened. Let the stories begin.

Kato~~~may join in and write a 'lil somethin'

08-06-2002, 12:10 PM
Very well done. I'd say you are a talented writer.

But he didn't polish the shaft with the dollar bill, it was the sidewalls of the tip. Nobody turns their shaft green on purpose, but a few retentives do the sidewall thing every time they get their cues out /ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif


Rich R.
08-06-2002, 12:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> The floodgates have opened. Let the stories begin.

Kato~~~may join in and write a 'lil somethin' <hr></blockquote>
You don't get off that easy Kato. We want you to use that recent training. You have to get up in front of the class and tell us your story. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Rich R.

Scott Lee
08-06-2002, 12:23 PM
Vapros...Nice story!

Scott Lee

08-06-2002, 01:46 PM
For anybody who is in Virginia, throw a couple of beers in me and I'll tell everyone who wants to listen a story. It will probably be about Voodoo stuffing me in the trunk but I guarantee I'll have a story.

Kato~~~Will tell a story using the magic formula

PS. I know how to write stories to, really honestly.

08-06-2002, 03:07 PM
Great story Vapros. Keep it up.


Harold Acosta
08-06-2002, 06:55 PM
The lottery ticket outcome was predictable but what the heck, the story was great entertainment!

08-06-2002, 07:12 PM
Nice job!!

08-06-2002, 07:22 PM
Great Story Vapros!! Thanks!


08-06-2002, 08:05 PM
Very nice Vapros! I loved the way your tag line kinda floated in there at the end. Lovely little unplanned touch!

Rich R.
08-07-2002, 04:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> For anybody who is in Virginia, throw a couple of beers in me and I'll tell everyone who wants to listen a story. It will probably be about Voodoo stuffing me in the trunk but I guarantee I'll have a story.

Kato~~~Will tell a story using the magic formula

PS. I know how to write stories to, really honestly. <hr></blockquote>
I will be more than happy to throw a few beers into you in Virginia, but I think Voodoo's side of that story may be more fun. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Rich R.

08-07-2002, 06:23 AM
Ouch, another jab from my buddy Rich R. That's ok Rich, we'll match up in Virginia, I'll take the 5, the last 4, the breaks, 5 games on the wire in a race to 6. We'll see how you like my story after that.


Rich R.
08-07-2002, 08:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Kato:</font><hr> Ouch, another jab from my buddy Rich R. That's ok Rich, we'll match up in Virginia, I'll take the 5, the last 4, the breaks, 5 games on the wire in a race to 6. We'll see how you like my story after that.

Kato <hr></blockquote>
No jab intended. Playing you even up, I may as well leave my cue in the case. I don't need it to practice my racking skills. Giving you the weight you are suggesting, I may as well stay in Maryland. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Rich R.~~~looking forward to Virginia.