Yesterday was a strange day. Yesterday the Women’s Professional Billiards Association descended on the American Tobacco Campus for the Carolina Classic 9-Ball Tournament. To kickoff the tournament, the world’s top 12women players teamed up with amateurs to play in a pre-tournament ProAm contest. Fortunately, Chaz and I got to be two of the amateurs.
The evening started simple enough. We went down to the tournament area at a little bit before 7. As we entered, we each received a complementary cue that we would play with for the rest of the evening. I was teamed up the #5 ranked player, Sarah Ellerby. She was a true professional and did a great job in putting up with my serious lack of talent.
Right off the bat, Sarah suggested that we just share her cue because it was much better than the one that I had. Made sense, although I don’t think that the cue was much of the problem with my play. After playing for a while on a number of different tables, the main competition ended and it was time for the final. We didn’t make the final but the pro player and celebrity billiards person Jeanette Lee, the “Black Widow”, did.
Right before the final, all the amateur players got our cues’ autographed by our teammates and the other top players. Since I hadn’t been playing with my cue, I went back to my first table, where I had set it down. Coincidentally, this was the same table where the final match was being played. Ok … you see where this is going. Yes, it is bad.
So, I had Sarah and another professional autograph “my” cue and then walked over to the final. Just when I was strolling past the table, the “Black Widow” glanced around to look for her cue and saw me holding it. Then, this reality hit me. I just had her very nice and very expensive cue ($2k?) permanently autographed by two of her competitors. Needless to say, it was a very awkward moment and initially she was prettymad, which was completely understandable. In the end, she played in the final and her team ended up winning the whole event.
Fortunately, she and the WPBA folks had a good idea. They had the cue signed by all the players and they’ll auction it off to charity. Nice twist to a very big mistake.
This episode was about as awkward (and comical in hindsight) moment as you can imagine. So, “Black Widow”, if you are out there, let me know how I can make things right — drinks, shoes, bronto, free core edition account, etc. Let me live another day. I have a small children.