View Full Version : The Twelve Days

01-18-2003, 11:25 AM
The Twelve Days of Mary Agnes Wallis

Pool wasnít the only thing Tincup Wallis ever talked about, in spite of what
somebody might try to tell you. It wasnít even his favorite topic. He talked
about pool so that other people in the joint would talk to him. If he had his
druthers, or if it was maybe raining outside so nobody could leave, Tincup
talked about his daughter, Mary Agnes.

She is fourteen years old and one of the better students at Daigleville Junior
High School, or at least Tincup said she was, so it might have been true. He
lied a lot when he talked about pool, but I always thought he was fairly honest
on other topics. I might be wrong about that. Mary Agnes wasnít much to look
at, but you could say that about a lot of girls in junior high school. You could
also say that a lot of the girls in Daigleville Junior High School didnít care all
that much about Mary Agnes, but that didnít bother her, as she didnít care
much for them either. Her mother, Rose of Sharon Wallis, had trained her to
sort of look down her nose at the other kids because of her Talent, and of
course she was not allowed to visit Tincup Billiards.

Mary Agnes could sing, and no mistake about that. She could carry a tune
and had a fine, strong soprano voice that might rate pretty high on a scale of
one to ten. Because of this Talent, she got all the solos whenever the school
chorus performed for the public, which was several times every school year.
Rita Mae Bonvillain was the next-best singer at the school, and some people
rated the two of them a dead heat, but Mary Agnes got all the solos and Rita
Mae had to sing in the chorus. Rose of Sharon Wallis chalked it up to the
Talent, but some folks suspected it might be because Tincup was sneaking
around and holding hands with Terri Babin, the music teacher. This would
have come as a shock to Rose of Sharon, who thought her husband spent every
evening at Tincup Billiards. Maybe some of you have noticed similar situations
in your own neighborhoods.

Anyway, Tincup and Rose of Sharon didnít think much of one another, if you
want to know the truth, but they both liked to talk it up about Mary Agnes.
They were sure she would be offered a singing scholarship to one of the state
universities. I donít know if there is such a thing as a singing scholarship, but
they had no doubt about it.
Now, as we have all seen, stuff occasionally happens, and it happened last fall
between Tincup and Terri Babin. Whatever it was, Terri not only refused to
hold his hand any more, but threatened to blow the whistle on him if he even
came near her. Tincup took that pretty seriously, as he figured it was a mortal
cinch that Rose of Sharon would take a dim view of the whole thing and might
even bust a cap or two on him. Just to make it worse, Rita Mae Bonvillain was
picked to sing all the solos in the Christmas program at Daigleville Junior High
School, and Mary Agnes Wallis was relegated to the chorus. This was a bitter
pill to swallow, as there are some fine solo parts to be had in the Twelve Days
of Christmas.

Rose of Sharon took it mighty hard and pushed on Tincup to take the matter
before the Principal to remind him of the Talent and all, but Tincup was able to
talk her out of it, saying it would be good experience for Mary Agnes to do a
hitch in the trenches, so to speak. Tincup was not born yesterday and this was
not the right time to make any waves.

So Mary Agnes had to stand in the chorus with the troops, but she didnít go
quietly, you can believe that. She didnít speak to the others unless it was
necessary, and pretty soon they noticed that during the rehearsals Mary Agnes
was sort of improvising her own lyrics and not singing the songs exactly as
they appeared in the song books. You might say it was her little rebellion
against having to stand back there with the kids while Rita Mae stood up front
in the lights and sang the solos. And thatís how it came about that the rest of
the chorus hatched a little plot without letting Mary Agnes know.

Everybody whoís anybody in Daigleville turns out for the Christmas program
every year and they packed the auditorium at the Junior High School. Tincup
and Rose of Sharon were in front row center, as usual, but Mary Agnes was not
in her usual spot at the front of the stage. She was back in the shadows with
the chorus. And when Rita Mae sang ĎFive Golden Ringsí and it was time for
the chorus to come in, they all clammed up while Mary Agnes belted out ĎFour
Crawling T*rdsí in her sweet soprano voice that you could hear all the way to
Podnuhís Barbecue and maybe farther. And then the others came back in with
the rest of the song.

Well, there was maybe five seconds when Mary Agnes didnít know what had
happened, and then there was about ten seconds when she wasnít sure that
anything at all had happened, and then there was nearly a month when Mary
Agnes and Rose of Sharon knew exactly what had happened but couldnít do
anything about it.

Terri Babin was up at the front of the stage, directing the music, so she had
her back to the crowd and it was hard to see her face, but you could see her
shoulders shaking and some said there was tears running down her cheeks. A
lot of folks said she was crying and a lot of others said she wasnít, so you can
make of that whatever you like. Tincupís chin dropped down on to his chest
and his eyes rolled back in his head and Rose of Sharon began to slide down in
her seat until there wasnít anything to see but her beehive hairdo. She and
Mary Agnes didnít even come back after the intermission, so the chorus was a
voice short for the rest of the program. A fine, strong soprano voice.

I would like to tell you that it all worked out for the best, but that would be a
blatant lie. Here we are in the last part of January, and Rose of Sharon still
hasnít returned from her motherís house in Dry Prong. Nobody knows if sheís
coming back at all. Mary Agnes seems to be doing okay, and Iíve heard she is
even a little bit proud of what she did. I guess she got her solo after all, didnít
she? It will be a long time before anybody in Daigleville forgets Mary Agnes.
Rita Mae Bonvillain is now the star of the music program and Terri Babin is
reported holding hands with the manager of the paint department at Home
Depot. She is not one to abstain very long when it comes to getting her hand

Tincup doesnít talk about anything but pool these days, when he talks at all.
Mostly he is in a terrible mood and he stomps around the joint giving dirty
looks to anybody who wants one. He needs to get his butt kicked, but heís a
pretty big guy, and so far there havenít been any volunteers.

Night before last the place was pretty quiet, with only a couple of tables of
young couples playing eight-ball near the front door. This is not to say there
was nobody else in there, just that nothing was going on. Belly Gautreaux
was doing a little rabble-rousing among the customary rabble at the golf table,
and finally he offered to bet $5 that none of them would stroll back to the table
where Tincup was practicing long straight-ins and whistle the tune from the
Twelve Days of Christmas. Whitney Dugas, who should have known better,
was finishing up his third or fourth beer and he took the bet. He put on his
best stupid grin for the boys and hitched up his pants and walked to the back
of the room and stopped by Tincupís table. He couldnít get his whistle going
right away, as no one can grin and whistle at the same time. You can try if you
doubt what I am saying. So he stood there for a few seconds, trying to get his
instrument primed, and Tincup stopped a shot at the end of his backstroke
and stood up and stared at Whitney without saying a word. You might have
thought he was reading Whitneyís mind.

Misty said later that the grin froze on Whitneyís face and all the color sort of
drained out of his face and down his neck, as if he might have sprung a leak
down around his patella or someplace. It didnít take Tincup long to stare him
down and he stumbled past the table and into the menís room, and none too
soon, either. Just when Belly began to worry about whether he should go and
find Whitney, he finally showed up and walked past Tincup without looking at
him and reported back to the golf table and gave Belly a fin from his wallet.

Belly is not really such a bad guy, and he offered to give back the money, but
Whitney wouldnít take it. He said it was the best five dollars he had spent in a
long time.

Over in College Station, when they talk about The School they mean Texas A &
M. In Baton Rouge, The School means LSU. In Daigleville, they are talking
about the Junior High School. Itís quite a place.

01-18-2003, 11:36 AM
That was good, got any more Vapros?

01-19-2003, 11:36 PM
Yeah, I think this is about the fourth tale I have posted here, about Tincup Billiards. They have not generated very much interest, though, so I guess I just do it for my own amusement.

Chris Cass
01-20-2003, 12:25 AM
I wouldn't say that. I like reading them but I don't reply. You'd be surprized of what others may like or dislike. Myself, I go by the veiws. Some posts take awhile to sink in enough to get a reply. I was just ready to reply to a post and carefully thinking after Rod posted it. I went back and poof, it was gone.


C.C.~~ /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

01-20-2003, 08:34 PM
That was fun, Vapros. Lots of flavor, and very professional control. I'm impressed as hell.--D.M.

(Had a place in Galliano, worked on a boat that was based at Port Fourchon. The boat's cook was a cajun lady: we ate well.)

01-20-2003, 09:03 PM
Galliano, you say!? Glad to hear from you, man. No doubt you met some Martins, Egles, Cheramies, Terrebonnes, Camardelles, Dantins and Danos', along with the usual Heberts, Boudreaux and Thibodaux. Welcome to the world of Tincup Billiards.

Many years ago I worked on a boat out of Venice. End of the world.

01-23-2003, 02:50 PM
Post deleted by Leviathan

01-23-2003, 05:37 PM
I been to Europe and syrup and all them places, but when the damp winter wind off the marsh hits you, man, that's as cold as you can get.

01-24-2003, 01:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nAz:</font><hr> That was good, got any more Vapros? <hr /></blockquote>

here's some more fun reading from our Cajun(?) friend:

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccbboard&amp;Number=34871&amp; Forum=All_Forums&amp;Words=Vapros&amp;Match=Username&amp;Searc hpage=1&amp;Limit=25&amp;Old=allposts&amp;Main=34871&amp;Search=tr ue#Post34871

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccbboard&amp;Number=32247&amp; Forum=All_Forums&amp;Words=Vapros&amp;Match=Username&amp;Searc hpage=2&amp;Limit=25&amp;Old=allposts&amp;Main=32247&amp;Search=tr ue#Post32247

http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=ccbboard&amp;Number=28384&amp; Forum=All_Forums&amp;Words=Vapros&amp;Match=Username&amp;Searc hpage=3&amp;Limit=25&amp;Old=allposts&amp;Main=28384&amp;Search=tr ue#Post28384

01-25-2003, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the research. I have never learned to post the links, as you did. If it's pretty simple I could probably learn to do it.