Author Topic: Billiards and Mark Twain  (Read 428 times)

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Offline besilarius

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Billiards and Mark Twain
« on: July 22, 2016, 05:41:51 AM »
Did you know Mark Twain was an avid billiards man? Indeed, he even tried his hand at pool hustling in his youth. In a 1906 speech, he shared this story:

"The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition. Once, when I was an underpaid reporter in Virginia City, whenever I wished to play billiards I went out to look for an easy mark. One day a stranger came to town and opened a billiard parlor. I looked him over casually. When he proposed a game, I answered, “All right.”

“Just knock the balls around a little so that I can get your gait,” he said; and when I had done so, he remarked: “I will be perfectly fair with you. I'll play you left-handed.”

I felt hurt, for he was cross-eyed, freckled, and had red hair, and I determined to teach him a lesson. He won first shot, ran out, took my half-dollar, and all I got was the opportunity to chalk my cue.

“If you can play like that with your left hand,” I said, “I’d like to see you play with your right.”

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m left-handed.”
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along”.  Terry Pratchett.

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