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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Thursday, June 14, 2007   |    How To

How to Win at Pool

by Gareth Giles

Dogs Playing PoolA few extracts from a new book by Richard “Chess King” James, a.k.a. “Mr Chess,” “Chess Daemon” — How to Win at Pool.

Becoming good at pool is a bit like taking a trip to a remote monastery somewhere in northern China. Not only does it take a lot of dedication, but let’s face it—you won’t be meeting any women for a while. You’ll have to get used to the touch of a man’s delicate flesh. And what better kind of manflesh is there than my pink, pudgy fingers gliding over this keyboard, typing a strategy out for winning at the ultimate American game?

Me, a ten-time Pool Hall of Fame entrant, who earns literally tens of dollars on the world circuit. You, a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast who spends his time in his basement, eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and searching for pornography on his supercomputer. Well put down that bucket, fatty. With these simple tips, you’ll be hustling big guys, spending the money, and getting beaten the crap out of in no time at all. Get your coat—you’ve Pooled.

The Equipment
Let’s pretend for a second that you don’t laugh when I say, “Let me show you my equipment.” I’m about to let you witness what, for all pool players, is their ultimate sanctuary—their church if you will. I like to call the hardwood, hand-carved, felt-lined case that I use for competitions my own personal Jesus. Why don’t you come inside him?

The most important weapon in the pool player’s armory is the pool pole. Look at mine. You see those pink tassels? How about that volume dial and whammy bar? And maybe the V6 engine deserves a mention? Ladies and gentlemen, that’s style.

Fun Pool Fact: The Pool pole was actually named after the inhabitants of Poland, who valiantly defended their homeland from German forces during the World Cup. Never Forget.

You may need a pole. Be careful not to fall into the trap of purchasing equipment for another sport, e.g. tennis racquets, bowling balls. You’ll also need some chalk. I’ll give you a clue about what this is for. Weightlifters put chalk on their hands to give them more purchase on their weights, similar to a felt tip of a wooden pole needing purchase on an ivory ball. You guessed it! The chalk is for your hands! We can’t have that pole slipping away from you, can we? It happened to me before at the Indian Embassy—that time it caused an incident which left one person dead and two permanently disabled. Embarrassed faces all round!

The Playing Style
I like to alternate my playing styles, to keep my opponents guessing. One day I may play right-handed, the next left-handed. One day I may not turn up for a match, the next turn up drunk and smelling faintly of hobo. It’s always worth going that extra mile to increase your chances of winning. It’s also worth going the extra mile for a bigger bottle of Jack Daniel’s. Some places don’t sell alcohol late at night on a Tuesday, so when I say “mile,” read “as many miles as it takes for you to get drunk enough to hook up with a cheap, dirty prostitute.”

Remember that a moral victory is as important as a real victory, as long as you steal the trophy. I can’t tell you how many gold cups I have around the house with names on them such as “Blazing Jack Higgins,” or “Johnny ‘The Danish Detonator’ Davids.” If Jack or Johnny are reading this—joking! But I’m not joking.

The Lifestyle
Being a pool star is described by many as a blur of planes, women, and casual drug usage. I’d say I was close to this lifestyle, because basically my life consists of plain women and casual drug users. My agent is always telling me, and I quote, to “Stop calling me!” I like to think of this as a bit of advice—you can’t always rely on others for happiness. You’re good at pool—the world is your oyster! (My editor tells me lonely geeks don’t usually eat at fancy restaurants. Feel free to replace the word “oysters” with “microwave meal-for-one”.) You may like to spend your Friday nights at a Star Wars convention. I spend mine as a Portuguese escort named Rosario De Silva. Don’t ask questions of me, I won’t ask questions of you. It’s called a private life!

The most important thing to remember about the game of pool is that everyone’s a winner! However, in reality, it is only me that is the winner. Therefore, the lesson you should learn from this book is abandon all hope. I only wrote this for the money, you chump! Why did you even buy it? Ha! Dance, monkey, dance!

Gareth Giles is a student from London. He recently queued until 12:01 a.m. for the new Harry Potter book--Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He sometimes uses chat-up lines on women, but more often drugs. He also loves playing Strip Snakes and Ladders, sometimes to the early hours of the morning. Gareth has a healthy fetish for young men in tight shorts.