Thread: Unpaid Bill
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:59 AM
vapros vapros is online now
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: baton rouge, la
Posts: 3,269
Default When in China

One of the players I like to watch is the Englishman, Chris Melling. Heís creative and I am fascinated by the long and deliberate motion of his cue. In recent days I have spent some time following his adventures in an eight-ball tournament in China earlier this year. I saw him play a couple of long thin Chinese players I had never heard of Ė Qin Liwen and Abu Lajaing. Fortunately I can prepare this entry in my journal without the need to pronounce them. Writing them is only a little easier. The matches in this event were best-of-29, or races to fifteen, with a time limit of 140 minutes. All the commentary was in Chinese, so I canít give you any details of that rule. Early in one of the matches, as the Chinese player was at the table, the referee walked up behind him and began to count (I think) in Chinese. She finished her count before he shot and she then explained to him (I think) that the time clock had expired and he was done. He took exception to that and the argument continued for a bit more than ten minutes and involved several other officials, both around the table and off-camera. Melling could do no more than sit through it in ignorance, as no one was sent to enlighten him. Ultimately, the official ruling was upheld and Chris was awarded ball-in-hand. He ran the game out. Except for the long duration of the debate, it was a bit like player/umpire in baseball. As usual, the umpire won. Almost, as though in sympathy, in the very next game she banished Melling from the table for failing to drive enough balls uptable. Abu won that one Ė what could be fairer?

There was even an instance of a ball falling into a pocket after lingering on the edge until the next player had approached the table. The referee correctly fished it out of the pocket and replaced it between the jaws. Melling immediately picked it up and set it on the extreme edge, where it obviously was before falling. (Who didnít know that?) She objected briefly but then yielded to his move. Neither Chinese player was timid about calling for the referee to clean the cue ball, and they did so frequently. Mr. Lajaing (maybe he wasnít Chinese after all?), after losing his argument over the time clock and faced with a straight-in shot less than two feet long on the deciding eight-ball, summoned the lady to come and clean his Jojo. His face showed nothing at all and I did not speak his language, but I could tell what he was thinking anyway. Maybe Iím psychic.

Chris Melling was not at his best and lost both matches. He made some incredible shots, mostly in emergency situations, but had numerous costly misses. Both his opponents were using the clumsy-looking cues that I associate with snooker. Straight taper, coarse dark woodgrain showing, tiny ferrules and cue tips. But they used them very well and played crippling safes when needed. Tough trip east, Mr. Melling.

Other than that I noted that the village of Morganza, Louisiana recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the making of the film Easy Rider. In the tiny cafť in Morganza the bikers encountered a bunch of teenage girls and some tough-looking local good Ďol boys and elected to keep riding. I can recommend that on YouTube you search out the brief videos on SEC Shorts, where a group of amateur videographers make fun of the football teams, coaches and programs of the Southeastern Conference. I suppose there are equivalent shows in other leagues, but these are very entertaining, no holds barred. You might also enjoy seeing Nick Sabanís Lake House, which is not a camp by any stretch of the imagination. Donít know what he paid for it, but it is described as a multi-million dollar property. His power boat, with which to cruise the neighborhood, would be envied by James Bond. Itís good to be the king. I watched a video on the life of Boxcar Willie and passed up the one on how to clean a moose. Sometimes I follow a few steps behind the NKF herping guys, but you have to like snakes. Some of them serpents are pretty spectacular. Thatís about it. Over and out.
If it ain't funny, it ain't much.
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