#889 The sound of a solid crack from a good break in billiards

You can just hear it

I am a terrible pool player.

Yet, despite this, whenever someone at a bar asks me to play against them or be their partner, I’m like sure, yeah, I’m totally in.

I mean, I’m having a good time, I’m in a good mood, so I sort of tipsily swagger over to the cue rack on the wall and pretend to be sizing them up. “Oh man, all the good ones are gone,” I always say extremely loudly, my eyes darting around at the other players with a sad little “Yeah, it’s true,” head nod, being careful to plant seeds of disappointment early so nobody expects me to actually sink a ball.

Chalk that cue

After that, I begin a desperate search for chalk. “Gotta have some chalk, gotta have some chalk,” I’ll mumble, as I walk in circles around the pool table, looking underneath it and in all the pockets until I find some. And when I do, I really go to town. Honestly, I rub my pool cue in that chalk and twist it around tightly, and then I flare the edges to cover up all the missed spots.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll keep chalking my cue until somebody breaks. The goal here is to avoid eye contact until the game starts, because otherwise I might be asked to break, and that’s never a pretty sight.

No, the four or five times I’ve foolishly agreed to kick-off the game end up embarrassing everyone involved. I’ll generally skid the cue off the side of the cueball, sending it wildly spinning directly into a side pocket. Or I’ll get under the ball by accident and send it flying across the bar, where it’ll softly roll up against the boot of some pony-tailed, tattooed biker dude, who will then shoot me a cold, piercing stare and begin punching his fist into his palm.

8-ballNo, it’s better for everyone if I avoid the break. Frankly, I shouldn’t even be playing.

But what I will do if I can is peek up from my obsessive chalking just before the break, so I can watch the break, because I love the break, because the break is great. I mean, it’s an explosive crack that rises above the background bar buzz, and captures everyone’s attention as the balls fly in all directions.

Yes, the sound of a solid crack from a good break in billiards is the sound of a good fifteen to twenty minutes of fun getting started. And it’s the sound of people enjoying themselves with a couple of drinks, some good friends, and a great night.

And that sounds a lot like


Even that girl playing on the chair is better than me

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

16 thoughts on “#889 The sound of a solid crack from a good break in billiards

  1. 100% agree here.

    Another one, as a pretty hopeless golfer, is when I actually connect with the golf ball just right and there’s a surprisingly quiet “click” that sends the ball sailing off the tee.

  2. I agree. That crack sound is awesome. Once you hit the ball you know you rather hit good or not. But the crack is what solidifies the awesomeness.

    And I agree with Ian. Hitting the sweet spot at tee off in golf… AWESOME!

  3. so i’m pretty much obsessed with your blog by the way.

    and as for #889 whenever i hear that crack i know i nailed the break, it’s just getting the rest of the balls in the pockets that has to follow that crack.

  4. Interesting perspective. I’ve never seen it that way, I think the game is much more awesome than the break, but hey… The break is one of the most important parts of it.

    However I don’t see it as a start to 15 mins of fun, but to 15 mins of battle and greatness.

    Then again, I play a lot. :P

  5. I used to the think the blue cue chalk was tempting to eat.

    This, as a little kid. Nowadays I wouldn’t dream of eating blue cue chalk.

  6. i suck at pool and suck even worse at the break, but i do love that sound.

    also the sound of the balls falling in the pockets

    and, off topic, but since we’re talking about sounds, i love the sound of a fastball hitting a mitt. or a wooden bat catching that fast ball. the sound of a metal bat on a ball brings me back to my little league days… kinda bitter sweet

  7. I love the sound of a solid crack on the break when I’M the one that makes it. So many times, the cue ball will just skim off the rack, and right into the corner pocket…

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