Excerpt from “No Time For Sergeants” by Mac Hyman ~~Snooker~~

picture-NoTimeForSergeants-HymanSo they laughed and joked and took on that way all down the street, and it was right merry being amongst them. Then Polettie stopped and said, “Right over yonder,” and led the way over to where he said we could play some snooker. It warnt nothing but a pool hall, though, which kind of surprised me; and snooker warnt nothing but just another way of shooting pool. But they was all excited and I didn’t say nothing about it; they got down their cues and powdered them and chalked them up, everybody talking and jabbering, and then Polettie come over to show me how to shoot. He said, “You see those little pockets, Will? Well, all you got to do is take these here sticks and bump it against the ball here – we calls this the cue ball – and knock in one of them red balls in one of these holes here – we call them pockets. Then you get to shoot one of the other balls, see. A red ball counts a point and the other balls count whatever it says on the side. Then you shoot the rest of them in rotation, that means two, three, four and so on. See? Nothing to it, really. The only thing is that it is usually kind of customary to put down a little bet. Now how much was it you said you had?”
“Thirty-four dollars,” I said.
“Well, we’ll just get everybody together and see how much of that we can cover. We’ll let you cover all the bets at first because this is your first game, okay?”
So he went around and collected up twenty-seven dollars and they covered that much of my thirty-four. Then he laid it out on the table, and they said for me to break the balls because I was doing most of the betting, so I leaned over and broke them up and made me a red ball, and they took on about that for a good while. They clomped me on the back and said I was about the best they was and so on, and acted like real good sports about it, I thought. They said, “Okay, Will, you done made one point now. Now you get to shoot a numbered ball, any one you want . . .”
So I picked out the seven ball and sunk it, which gave me eight points, and they took on some more about it, only not as much as the first time. So then I shot again and dropped another red ball, and then the seven again, and then another red one, and then the six, and went on like that for quite a while until all the red balls were gone. And then I started shooting them in rotation like they said, and I kind of got wrapped up in it, I guess, because it warnt until I was down to the last ball that I noticed that nobody had said anything for a while. So I looked around and seen they was sitting around just watching, not saying a word, some of them on tables and some of them in chairs around the place. Anyhow, I stopped then, feeling right bad about hogging all the shooting; I said, “Dont one of yall want to shoot that one? It don’t seem right for just one person to do all the shooting all the time.”
But none of them moved or said anything. Then Polettie put his cue back in the rack and said, “Naw, Will, you might as well go ahead and shoot that one too. We wouldn’t to keep you from learning how.”
“That’s all right.” I said. “There really dont seem to be too much to it nohow. Dont yall want to rack them up for another one?”

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “No Time For Sergeants” by Mac Hyman ~~Snooker~~

  1. Mac Hyman was born in Georgia, USA on 25 August 1923, and died on 17 July 1963, aged 39 years.
    ‘No Time for Sergeants’ was published in 1954, inspiring a Broadway play, followed by a film and later a television series.
    Andy Griffith played the role of Will Stockdale on stage and in the film.
    This character provided the inspiration for the Gomer Pyle television series with Jim Nabors.

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