Whoever called snooker ‘chess with balls’ was rude, but right. — Clive James
Neil Davis is a three time World Snooker Champion. He is traveling from New York to Florida and makes a stopover in a tiny nowhere town. In the local sports bar he spots Paul Burnwix playing pool. Paul looks like a lumberjack to Neil, due to his clothing and build.
Paul challenges Neil to a game of American pool and Neil accepts. The two exchange only first names. I must say that Ms. Blaise came up with more pool and sex related innuendo than I realized existed. Some of them were quite funny, what with the balls and shafts and all.
Eventually the innuendo and flirting gets Neil and Paul thrown out of the bar. At some point in the evening, Neil tells Paul his last name and what he does for a living. They head to Neil’s hotel for a one night stand. When Paul wakes up, Neil is gone but has left the cue ball from their game the previous night. Paul decides it’s not over between them yet.
A month later Paul shows up in England at one of Neil’s snooker tournaments dressed in a business suit. He introduces himself for real this time, as the owner of a company that makes pool tables. Paul has brought along an eight-ball. This is the ball that needs to be sunk to win a game of pool. He challenges Neil to another game and the stakes are a date. As Paul bends Neil over the table and kisses the breath out of him, it is obvious that the challenge has been accepted.
This short story left me feeling satisfied. It didn’t hint at a backstory that I would want to know more about. It was self contained and stands alone quite well. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Tina