Untying Strait-laces (Part 2)

Ginger: So hang on, let’s re-cap before going forward.

Ruby: Why?

Ginger: Because some of us are easily distracted.

Ruby: Yeah, good point. Recap: You accidentally cheated yourself out of getting to cheat and be cheeky and make cheesy puns for a whole night then wasted three hours arguing with a perfect stranger in the parking lot while I spent those same three hours destroying a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur.

Ginger: Isn’t that redundant?

Ruby: What, megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur? I don’t think so and I spent more time with him than you did.

Ginger: Okay, I defer to your judgment.

(previously…Ruby has won four games in a row against The Mighty Donald, despite his attempts to cheat, distract and otherwise prove himself a “Mighty” man. Ruby is having more fun with each shot and only thinks how much more fun it could be if her opponent was someone she enjoyed spending time with, such as Fly or Ginger, or her sweet sister Beth. As they enter the fifth game, The Mighty Donald throws a new “twist” into the game…)

Mighty Donald: The Mighty Donald is through toying with you and your girlish notions of shooting pool. This time, we shall play with all 7’s!

Ruby: Okay.

Mighty Donald: You offer no resistance to the gauntlet The Mighty Donald has run through?

Ruby: Do you even know what that expression is supposed to be?

Mighty Donald: Do not try to fool The Mighty Donald with questions.

Ruby: There’s no ‘trying’ involved, buddy.

Mighty Donald: Then the game is set? The challenge is answered? The gauntlet is run?

Ruby: Just rack ’em up.

Mighty Donald: The Mighty Donald takes no orders from a mere female. The Mighty Donald chooses to prepare the table for the next – and final – game.

Ruby: Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night, sugar.

(the game ensues. The Mighty Donald breaks and informs the crowd he is solids, since that particular 7 was a 3. He then continues to take all the easy shots, claiming them to be other solids. When he, graciously, allows Ruby control of the table, she asks which are the stripes. He points out all the shots that are nearly impossible to make, then points to the lone 7 that sits almost in the pocket, anyway, and smiles…)

Mighty Donald: This is the 8 ball.

Ruby: I assumed as much.

(the game ensues…er, again. Ruby, with her billiards skills that are oh-so-impressive, continues to make all those near impossible shots while still avoiding the dreaded 7/8 ball in the corner. Ginger enters the crowd just as The Mighty Donald laughs heartily.)

Mighty Donald: That was not a stripe, foolish female! It is now The Mighty Donald’s turn!

Ruby: What? You couldn’t have made that shot if Fast Eddie Felson was possessing your body!

Ginger: Who?

Ruby: Paul Newman’s character in The Color of Money, pay attention!

Ginger: Sorry. I was kinda asking who ‘The Mighty Donald’ was…

Mighty Donald: You are lucky to be gazing upon The Mighty Donald, woman of no countenance.

Ginger: ‘Woman of no countenance?’ Don’t you mean ‘consequence’ if you were trying to insult me, and you better pray you weren’t trying to insult me.

Ruby: I know, it’s sad, isn’t it?

Ginger: How long have you put up with this?

Ruby: Far too long. How long were you going to stand out there and talk?

Ginger: It was a very important discussion that only true aficionados would comprehend. Unfortunately, he was neither a true aficionado, nor was he capable of true comprehension in the end.

(The Mighty Donald makes an easy shot while the crowd ignores him…)

Ruby: So, he ended up saying Willow was a remake of Star Wars, didn’t he?

Mighty Donald: 8 ball in the side pocket.

Ruby: Whoa! Hold up, there, Donny! That’s not the 8 ball and it’s still my turn!

Mighty Donald: You dropped a solid on your last shot. The Mighty Donald told you so. (sighs) Women, flighty as feathers.

Ruby: You only wish I were flighty so that you could feel special enough to cheat unconvincingly!

Ginger: Yeah, I’ve cheated way more than that–

Ruby: So, it is now my turn to shoot and you can just stand aside.

Mighty Donald: 8 ball, side pocket. (leans over to make the shot)

Ruby: That is not the 8 ball, you pompous ass!

Ginger: Uh, Ruby? He’s really not worth–

Mighty Donald: Listen to your little shaded friend, she knows what she’s talking about.

Ginger: See, Ruby? He doesn’t even know when he’s being insulted.

Ruby: He’s not going to win, not by his rules, not by actual rules! He’s going to lose!

Ginger: Ruby, you do know you’re really starting to sound like me, right? You’re getting way too involved in the inconsequential matters of an idiot cheating in a game of pool. It’s not that important.

Ruby: This is important!

Ginger: I’ve never seen this side of you before…I didn’t know you’d get so competitive…over pool.

Ruby: (pointing at the 7 ball by the side pocket with her cue stick) That is not the 8 ball! (jabs at the 7 ball by the corner pocket) THAT is the 8 ball!

Mighty Donald: (picking up the 7 ball from the balancing act in the corner pocket) If the lady is so convinced it is the 8 ball, (places it in Ruby’s jacket pocket) 8 ball. Side pocket.

(Several things happen at once, and it is difficult to say which the true chronological order is. The Mighty Donald ends up in the fetal position under the pool table twitching and whimpering and rocking back and forth while whispering “red fire, red fire, red fire…” Ruby dropped the cue stick and retrieved the 8-ball-in-disguise from her pocket and several other 7 balls from the table and somehow made what later comes to be known as the Wall of 7’s – nine 7 balls imbedded in the wall make the outline of a man frozen in fear. No one is quite sure how Ruby got her hands on the balls that had already been in the pockets at the time. Least of all Ginger, who ended up doing the only thing she could: before Ruby beaned the idiot in the head with the final 7 ball, she picked up Ruby and slung her over her shoulder and started to leave. The crowds parted before her like the Red Sea before Moses’ staff…)

Ruby: Which brings us back to the present moment.

Ginger: And we’re leaving.

Ruby: What?! No! I still have to–

Ginger: Ruby! Think of the consequences of doing physical damage to the loser in there. First, there’s the bail money I don’t have. Then there’s the lawyer fees which we can’t raise. And finally, how is Fly going to feel when he has to visit you in the state penitentiary whenever he comes to town? And Beth! I’m supposed to write to her and tell her that her big sister sure could use some care packages to brighten the cell up? I don’t think so.

Ruby: But did you see what he did?

Ginger: Yes, I did. And, you should really look at it from a different perspective.

Ruby: What perspective?

Ginger: Think how proud Fly is going to be when you tell him that his girl friend can defend herself.

Ruby: Well, but – You see, I – Yeah, I guess you’re right. Can I call him right now?

Ginger: Sure, I’ll drive.

Ruby: Yay! (gets out her phone, starts to dial) Oh, hey, whatever happened to the Star Wars fan?

Ginger: He and I had irreconcilable differences.

Ruby: He can’t drive stick, can he?

Ginger: There’s other fish in the sea, right?

Ruby: Yeah.

(…and they drive off into the future…but, not like Marty McFly and Doc…more like all of us do every moment of our lives. Well, except the Once-Mighty Donald, who will be reliving the moment of Red Fire every time he sees a pool table for the rest of his life.)


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