Posted by: commonpoorwill | June 13, 2011

The Origins of “Pool”

Whilst in recovery from my incident in the freezer (see previous post), I was advised by my surgeon, Dr Janine “The Rock” Zither, to take up a sport. I decided to take up something on the gentler side, on account of my thin, brittle ave-bones. So, I left the nest of the emergency room after 3 months and assembled my Diggers to form the first ever Ornithologist-only team for competitive pool, the
“Plumbeous Water-redstarts”. Like our avian namesake, we thrive around fast-moving streams… of balls! After falling through a worm-hole and receiving 9 solid months of training in another dimension, we returned to earth to enter the annual pool-meet. The diggers and I felt a bit ‘alienated’ as we arrived for our first game, as we had recently been rejected by the ScienceBlogs administrator, Simon “Sea-Eagle” Jones. Nevertheless, we took home the trophy, which is now the centrepiece of my king-size bed (I sleep on the sofa).

Even though I only ‘dove’ into this game for rehabilitative purposes, the excitement of winning the pool-moot provoked my natural scientific interest in the origins of this wonderful game. Not wanting to do any actual research, I spent 4 months watching the greatest moments of the sport on, I went to sleep on the fold-out, and came up with this theory. I hope you like it.

Upon the return of Columbus to Medieval Spain from the Americas, the Spanish King was presented with a variety of exotic, sensual gifts from this brave new world. Among these many trinkets, which were for the most part distributed evenly among the great kings of Europe as well as the mightiest warriors and matadors (“matadores”, as they say in Spain, in Spanish), was a cluster of eggs from perhaps the most mysterious avian beast in history: the Andean Condor. One afternoon, while toying with the eggs, the Spanish king left them lying about on his coffee table while he went to get himself a Fanta. While out of the room, a guard stumbled in and knocked one of the souvenirs – the whitest egg of them all – with the butt of his halberd. The egg shot across the table – similarly to the streams around which one might find a plumbeous water-redstart – colliding with and sending askew the entire, multi-coloured collection in an maximum-entropic nightmare. Luckily, the king had earlier that day hosted a small gathering with his school friends at which they had been served small, treat-sized enchiladas, but the ingredients had been unfit to eat and so the foods had been scorned by his guests and left at each corner of the table to rot, hanging in small enchilada pouches in an upright position. The king, re-entering the room at this very moment, dropped his Fanta and shrieked in terror, but due to the unique angle of the clumsy guard’s halberd when striking the first egg, the entire collection miraculously spun into and was supported by the enchiladas’ soft fillings in each pocket. After having the guard deported, the King was eager to replicate the fluke stunt, and that was basically how pool became a thing.

30 years later, after mastering the game with enchilada-pockets and rare eggs, the King attempted to refine the game props to allow for more frequent pool-meets in the Spanish colosseum. Eggs were replaced with stones, and enchilada pockets with cloth sacks. In keeping with his pompous, power-hungry arrogance, the Spanish King continued to use the most expensive eggs – recently plucked from beneath their poor mother, still faintly pulsing with the heartbeat of a tiny life – and tortillas whenever he played, until one fateful game on the last day of his life in 1999. The King was challenged by a poor p(h)easant on his way home from a family meal at Pizza Hut, after the King had liberally taken advantage of the free soft drinks to the point of mild hyperactivity. Evidently the King liked to force peasants on the street to carry his eggs and other treasures. In his caffeine-induced fugue, the King arrogantly thrust a bag of eggs into this peasant’s backpack without even asking first. The peasant recognized the King, and seeing the chance to give the power back to the people, challenged him to a match of pool. The King had been playing all day long, and after too many victories and maybe a slice more than he should’ve eaten, was bloated and way off of his game. In this state, he forgot that his eggs in all their brittalic splendour would be no match for the peasant’s strong, albeit primitive, stones. The peasant’s first shot destroyed two eggs and their contents, the King voluntarily took up a dishy job at Pizza Hut in his shame, and Spain was at last liberated from its harsh rule, becoming a democracy in the year 2000. Thus, the phrase “to kill two birds with one stone” was hatched, as the peasant had both won the game of pool and lifted Spain from years of cruel sport-based dictatorship in that one game.


Digby 1


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: