I went to play pool this week in Stockholm with one of my friends. I haven’t played in a while, so it was fun, plus we were evenly matched, which is to say we were both quite terrible.
Playing in this extremely clean, smoke-free, empty pool hall in Stockholm (with pop 80s music on the speakers) got me thinking about where I usually play pool once a year – at a dark backwoods marina in east Texas.
This place is located on the bayou near the border of Louisiana. We always arrive by boat. You can get a great hamburger at this place if you don’t mind that the guy cooking it smokes cigarettes, is 300 lbs and has a stained shirt that probably hasn’t been washed for at least 4 days. (It just adds extra flavor.) While you wait for your hamburger to arrive, you can borrow a bag of marshmallows to feed the alligators in the bayou. Always a treat for the kids. Or you can play a little Ernest Tubb on the jukebox, which is only loaded with old-time country, while you play a game of pool.
You might think it’s nicer to have a smoke-free pool hall all to yourself, but I say it’s missing the ambiance of the little Texas marina. If I ran the Stockholm place, I would make it where you can only arrive by sled, a 300 lb man chewing tobacco with stains on his shirt would make meatballs, and you could feed the moose with marshmallows out back. Now, that would be a real Stockholm pool hall.