Unless you are a rabid pool player, you know, like you’re a normal ass person, it was something you only see in the movies. You see it all the time there.
Heck, it was the basis of the movie “The Color of Money”. It’s the reason I like the song “It’s In The Way That You Use It” by Eric Clapton. The sheer arrogance of Tom Cruise’s character. Don’t worry, I’ll play the song later. What happened you may ask?
I was in Omaha visiting my brother Kelly. Rick, my other brother, was also in town. We’d gone to The Office, Kelly’s favorite bar and met up with Patrick and Mallory. Beers and pool were on the agenda.
We had to troop outside every 15 minutes for a smoke break because this is Omaha, not Seattle, and people still smoke here. I only know two smokers in Seattle. But I digress.
When we were inside, this kid comes up to my brothers and asked if he could buy a cigarette. Then the ritual of “you don’t have to buy a cigarette; you can just have a cigarette” began. Why is smoking so complicated? Everything about smoking is complicated, but again, I digress.
The next time we went outside, the kid comes up to us again and introduces himself as “Adrian” and immediately my alarm bells went off. Why?
- He was very aggressive and in your face.
- He was interrogating everyone but not seeming to be listening to the answers.
- He seemed to think we were all a bunch of 80-year-olds, i.e. “Are you retired now?” I was the oldest at 57 so this was ridiculous.
For everyone else in our party, the alarm bells went off when “Adrian” asked for a light, but then when he called his friend over and she asked for a light, Adrian was the one who gave her a light. He had a lighter already and he asked for a light.
His friend also sent off alarm bells. She was introduced as “Bambi” (she never saw the movie) and was this thoroughly built woman in spandex and a sports bra.
From a social manipulation perspective, they had us set up. Adrian had asked for several things from us already and had gotten them, priming us for the big ask. They had a huge distraction in Bambi to sidetrack the guys. (My brothers are still talking about her.)
Then they pulled in their third guy. None of us ever caught his name, but we were led to believe that he was Bambi’s boyfriend.
Now this was the Tom Cruise character in The Color of Money. Totally cocky, so full of himself, so dumbass. When the question of playing pool with them came up, he immediately started talking about betting $100 on one game with my brother Rick. Everyone ignored him but we trooped in to play pool.
It took about 20 minutes just to get ready to play pool due to all the drama from these three. The third guy put on an eye patch and there was this whole thing about how he couldn’t see well. Trying to figure out the pool cues. Wild stories. They were actually quite exhausting, especially since Adrian was still interrogating us.
By this time, I’d let Mallory know what was going on while Patrick and my brothers were already aware.
These idiots were trying to hustle us. Specifically, Rick.
Finally, they got a game going. Rick with Bambi, and Adrian with Plumber Crack. Yeah, that’s what distracted me, the butt crack. I watched long enough to see what was going on and then headed outside to talk to the rest of our group. No one at that table was playing at their level of abilities, including Rick.
“It’s starting, Rick’s setting them up.”
Adrian and Plumber Crack won that game. They all headed outside and then something happened that gave the ding-a-lings, or Bambi at least, a clue that maybe they were in over their heads.
Mallory made a side comment, “I want to go home, just finish this.”
That clued Bambi and caused a flurry of discussion with them. She was overruled and we went back in for the next game.
By this time, we were all tired of the three of them. They were acting weird, lying, and clearly trying to hustle us. All we wanted to see was Rick whipping their ass and then get the fuck out of there.
That game, despite Bambi’s “incompetence” was won by Rick and Bambi in a display of talent by Rick.
And Bambi knew for a fact that they were in trouble.
You see, my brother Rick is a ranked pool player. He plays in tournaments all over. He’s been playing for years. He has his own pool table. And he’s an extremely cool cat. He’s learned that is the best thing to do. And he doesn’t suffer fools.
Plumber Crack didn’t take the loss very well and started in on Rick about playing for $100 on one game. Rick don’t play that. He plays for bigger money, with players who don’t lose their shit over losing. The guy’s a pro.
Bambi was cutting in telling Plumber Crack that it was time to go. Staying would be a mistake and she knew it.
Mallory had been doing really well holding it in, but she finally lost it, accusing them of trying to hustle us, telling them that Rick was a ranked player, and they need to get the fuck out of there.
It was probably the most exciting thing that happened in that dive bar in weeks. But, I digress.
Adrian and Plumber Crack lost their shit and acted all offended over the accusation while Bambi both admitted it and admitted that she wasn’t dating Plumber Crack after all.
Both Mallory and Rick let Bambi know that she was saving them a lot of money by pulling them out of the situation. She got it. She forced Plumber Crack into a car and drove off, leaving Adrian there to annoy other customers with his aggressiveness and interrogative manner.
We got a bit concerned that they might follow Mallory home since she was the one who called them out on the whole thing. So, we took precautions, and got all of ourselves home okay.
It was one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen, in person at least, in a long time at least. The Omaha Hustle. And now for your viewing pleasure: