Saturday, February 23, 2013

right here in River City.

As mentioned earlier, I've been enjoying the idea of putting a pool table in the garage of our potential future house. A new slate-top table is at least a couple thousand dollars, easily stretching to $4000 and up for one of the marquee brands (Brunswick, Olhausen). However, if you look on Craigslist, it turns out that pool tables are like pianos:
  • Hard to move.
  • You probably won't take care of it.
  • Probably not as useful as you thought.
  • Almost guaranteed not to fit in your next apartment.
At the risk of having the same problems as the seller, you can pick up a reasonable-quality table for a fraction of a new table's price, even once you add in moving and re-conditioning costs. (Moving a quality slate table yourself appears to be a bad idea: watch How It's Made for indications why.)

My current sleep regimen requires that I stay up at night a couple hours past when I would like to go to bed, and it occurred to me earlier this week that there are places in the area where I can go pay money to play pool, and that might be a fine way to wind down in the evening before bed, to say nothing of using up my prodigious supply of quarters accumulated over the decades. I went about 15 minutes north to a nice well-lit bar I know, and had a lovely hour or so of shooting pool, both alone and with the other guy who was practicing. (I won, both games.)

I also discovered that basic quality pool cues are not expensive, so I went to the local shop and bought a cue and case. (I grew up using 1-piece bar cues, designed more to withstand being handled by drunks than to shoot well. Dad eventually bought us a regular 2-piece cue for some reason, and the difference was night and day.)

One or two nights later, I thought I would find a place a little closer to home, so I stopped in every bar in my town that I knew had tables. In various places, I found:
  • A dive bar with a nice vibe, but the pool table was blocked by the darts league.
  • Many early-20s street bros and their girlfriends, mostly playing at the dozen beer pong tables. (I did not know beer pong tables existed.)
  • A scary drunk barfly lady who seemed to be in the middle of a game, but when I asked, she just mumbled and continued dialing her phone. She also eyed my cue case skeptically. Then there were the women at the bar ranting about men not being "real" about their romantic relationships. I swear that place was less cranky last time I was there.
There's one other place to check, but as white yuppie scum, there's a good chance I won't be welcome. So, 15 minutes north it is.

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