Make It Your Best

Of Tar Babies and Foxes

by Reg Hardy

B’rer Rabbit and Uncle Remus probably never held a pool cue, but it is from them that I learned a few things that play a role in my 8-ball game today.

“Its what you do with what you’ve got that pays off in the end,” is one of the platitudes attributed to this aging “darkey” that applies to current billiards.

I experienced it this spring this year when a group of us were guests for breakfast at the home of a friend.

Yup, he does have a pool table in his basement.

You never know whether or not to pack the pool cues along with the potluck quiche.

After a fantastic breakfast, about a dozen of the guys drifted down into the basement and that’s when I recalled the Uncle Remus proverb.

The “house cues” my friend has offer a true variety, but nothing that matches up to my two-piece Viking with the Predator shaft.

Ranging from a four-piece cue (one section missing) to three or four one piece cues with slick tips and even a couple of warped shafts.

None compared to my friend’s two-piece Lucassi.

I started with the three-piece (formerly known as four-piece) and learned short cues offer some advantages, but as a general rule, they won’t be much help with a cue ball located at mid-table when the target ball needs to get by a tight spot to make the corner pocket.

Next game I picked one of the glossy tipped one-piece cues. Nope, I didn’t have cue tip repair tools, sandpaper or anything else to roughen the tip.

If a tip is slick, a tip tool will help rough it up a bit. A little steel wool or fine grit sandpaper might smooth the shaft a bit.

There isn’t much you can do for crooked sticks except see which direction it is warped in and turn that side up or down.

It’s about here that noxious little southern rabbit popped into my mind. I actually recalled the phrase “It’s what you do with what you’ve got…”

I picked the lightest slick-tip and decided to get better acquainted. I cleaned off as much chalk as I could and started again with a near fresh chalk cube and kept the chalk close.

Than I conveniently lost all thoughts left or right English opting instead for center ball hits on the cue ball.

Nope, I didn’t become the big winner, but it as a lot more fun than sitting there wishing I had my cue.