rules of engagement part one


get mugged
by the best (I don’t mean the IRS)

It gladdens my little tar-covered heart that some of you would actually like to buy my handpainted, full-functional sarcasm. I will be making a few of the “STFU” mugs for sale in the near future. As soon as they are ready to go, I’ll let you know via blog post so that if you like, I can personalize them (or whatever) for you before they go into the fiery depths of hell (the kiln).

If you would like a set like Ms. Q&B (harro!), I’ll take this moment to inform you that there are more designs on the way (I would like a total of four). They will be equally as rude (if not more so), than the STFU mug. Perhaps I should make an Unhappy Meal and this can be the toy. Collect them all!

Anyways, here are some photographs of the newly fired mug (thanks to my friend Aralia). The precision of my ceramic-painting skills could use some work, but then, that’s why this mug is the R&D for future ones. I am really happy with the way the eight-ball and the lettering turned out — both look very nice and make my little OCD self very proud.

I’ll take more photographs, sans flash, this weekend.

shiny! aww yeah



rules of engagement
part one

I went back to the City By The Bay for the holidays. While there, my cousins (who are old enough to play pool and drink) wanted to see me play pool. I didn’t plan on playing pool during the holidays since I consider that vacation time and pool sometimes counts as work. One night, we all had time so we headed out to the bars (oh, yes, you KNOW where this is going) for a little pool and a lot of beer.

We went to a bar that was decorated like a hunting lodge crossed with an opium den crossed with a boudoir crossed with a southern BBQ joint. There was an entire wall of mounted deer heads. They served deep-fried bacon with maple syrup as a dipping sauce. It’s every bit as great as it sounds!

When we arrived, there were three friends, two guys and a girl, currently on the pool table. I asked to play next. I went to get a house cue as I did not bring any of my usual weapons of mass destruction with me, this being a recreational pool outing and not a war. All the cues were made of plastic. Yes, not graphite, or even fiberglass — they were plastic. Oh, well. I got the best of the bunch and sat down to wait my turn.

My first game was against the best player of the lot whom we will name Pom-Pom Hat for obvious reasons. He was a good shotmaker, but had no cue ball control. To be fair, I had no cue ball control, either. Thanks, plastic cue. I scratched once and Pom-Pom Hat informed me that they played ball-in-hand rules. This was good as it meant they probably played by BCA rules and not by some random, inconsistent set of bar rules written on centuries-old parchment posted up in the restroom.

During the first game, I made a spectacular bank and after my object ball went in, the cue ball hit one of my opponent’s balls and sent it into a pocket. I knew this would happen as I fully counted on using my opponent’s object ball to stop my cue ball from scratching after the shot. Pom-Pom Hat put out a hand and told me it was a foul. I was surprised. This was not a foul by any rules I had ever played by (and I have played by some crazy-ass illogical reams of bulls—). At the very worst, I might lose my turn, but this was never grounds for a ball-in-hand penalty. I debated this with him a bit and asked him by what rules, exactly, was he playing by. He said, these were official rules known throughout the world. I asked if he meant WPA (World Pool Association), BCA (Billiard Congress of America), or APA (American Poolplayers Association). He said BCA. I then informed him that what I just did was NOT a foul by BCA standards as I had made my intended ball in the intended pocket on a legal shot and the cue ball itself had not fouled. Pom-Pom Hat smiled at me condescendingly and said, “My table, my rules.”

I could not argue with this.

I conceded the ball-in-hand.

I won that game very shortly thereafter.

As some of you know, other peoples’ idiocy often becomes a tremendous driving force for me. I soon began to demolish Pom-Pom Hat and his friend, game after game after game. This was because Pom-Pom Hat had irritated the bejeezus out of me. Yes, he had been right about “my table, my rules”, but I was annoyed with his ignorance of what he professed to actually know. In the ensuing dozen-plus games, I lost just once. I was surprised that I played as well as I did with a plastic cue with a plastic tip. At one point, I broke and ran a rack.

As Pom-Pom Hat racked the balls, his lady-friend, let’s name her Pom-Pom Boots for obvious reasons, decided to engage me in a battle of wits and logic.

“You can’t do that, you know.”

“Do what?”

“You can’t make the ball without telling us what pocket you’re going to put the ball into.”

“Oh, you mean calling the shot. Well, it’s kind of noisy in here, so that’s why I POINTED VERY OBVIOUSLY to each pocket I intended for the ball.”

“But, you have to SAY which pocket. Otherwise, you didn’t mean it.”

“I didn’t mean it? Okay, so you’re saying I didn’t mean any of my shots?”


“You’re saying that last game — where your dude racking over there never got a shot because I dropped two balls on the break and never missed — you’re telling me I didn’t mean any of those shots.”


“You’re saying I got lucky on every shot, that I don’t have the skill to actually play that well.”

“Yes. You just get lucky. Unless you SAY which pocket — it’s just luck.”



I went and broke the rack. I didn’t make a ball. Pom-Pom Hat lined up a shot and I watched him carefully, as did Pom-Pom Boots. He made the shot. “Now,” I said. “Your boy there didn’t call a pocket and he made the ball. And he’s continuing to shoot. So, what about him? Does that mean he has to give up his turn now since HE DIDN’T CALL A POCKET?!”

Pom-Pom Boots looked a little uncomfortable that I had caught her in a logic trap. I was a little uncomfortable that people who could be trapped by such simple basic-ass protozoan logic could drink, drive, and vote — simultaneously! “Well…” Pom-Pom Boots searched about for an explanation. “Um… It’s okay for him.”

“It’s okay for HIM?! By what f—ing logic, pray tell, is it ‘okay for him’?”

“Uh, because, we, uh, know that he’s a good player — and that he means the shot. And it’s okay for him to get lucky sometimes.”

“Oh, I see. It’s okay for him to get lucky because he’s a good player — so it’s not really luck. A good player, eh? I’m beating him and your buddy with the glasses while YOU are too scared to play me yourself — but HE is a good player, and I am not.” I looked at her steadily for a while. A rather long while. Until she shifted to face the wall. “Well, let me tell you something: you guys don’t play that well. And, one more thing, since you guys haven’t won this table back yet, this is my table. My table, my rules. He has to call every pocket, too. If he doesn’t it’s a ball-in-hand foul.”

Pom-Pom Boots had no reply to this infallible logic regarding rules, given that it was Pom-Pom Hat who originally instituted those rules. Pom-Pom Hat heroically emptied his pockets for more quarters until he was busted. Afterwards, the trio of morons migrated elsewhere for the evening.

Tune in next time for Rules of Engagement: Part Deux


15 Replies to “rules of engagement part one”

  1. the good lord invented pool halls for a reason. 😛

    with the advent of iPhone, i wonder if the wpa/bca/apa rules are available as an app.

      1. nope, but there is a light saber app. u can get an app for that. or the app that makes a gunshot noise. and the ever popular random insult generator app. not that u need help generating insults. 😯

  2. i would like the first professional set that comes out of your sweat shop, and I would like it to have a serial number of 0000001… is that possible (I have been watching too much of Barrett Jackson car auction).

    As always your adventures at pool halls are incredible. Are you making this all up? 🙂

    1. The first completed set will be yours… and serial numbered as such. 🙂

      I wish I was making this all up. But, no, truth is more depressing than fiction, hahaha!

    1. Ah yes, the highly addictive NUTZ… I will have to make a ceramic treasure chest with which to store the nuts! 😉

    1. I’m glad you are enjoying these stories and I hope they make you laugh, even as they make you cringe. 😀

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