A little explanation is warranted so here goes: I was seventeen and in a pool hall with a school group. A couple of my friends—let’s call them Adrian and Denise since their names were Adrian and Denise—seemed to be having an argument.
“I’m telling you I can hit two balls with one shot,” said Adrian.
“There’s no way,” replied Denise. “There’s no way you can hit two balls with a single shot.”
The details are a little fuzzy because this was, well, let’s say it was a few decades ago because it was a few decades ago, but I was intrigued. Even now I think it’s plausible that someone could hit two balls positioned at opposing corner pockets with a single shot, if that someone happens to be, say, Mike Massey or Charles “Spitball” Darling or anyone else skilled at trick shots. I’d seen Adrian play pool, though, and I doubted he could do it. I’m pretty sure Adrian and Denise asked for my help solving the argument, though, and I agreed to help.
“Okay,” said Adrian, “I need you to stand at the end of the table with a finger on each of those balls.”
This is the point where, in retrospect, I feel really stupid. This is the point where I wish I could go back in time, grab myself, and say, “Don’t be a schmuck!” And in the moment I did briefly wonder why, if Adrian was going to hit two balls with a single shot, he needed me to stand at the far end of the table. And why he’d arranged a few coins into a small ramp right in front of the cue ball. The details are a little fuzzy but I think I was about to ask when Adrian drew back on the cue, propelled it forward and hit two balls. And Denise, quick with the camera, captured the moment for posterity.
It was an experience I’d mostly forgotten until I found the picture in a box of old items. Anyway here’s a mural on the side of the La Rosa Café in Nashville.