Sunday, March 30, 2008

If You Knew 8-Ball, Don't Bother Reading This

I'm going to be honest up front. If you knew 8-Ball, were friends with 8-Ball, looked up to 8-Ball or thought highly of 8-Ball, please stop reading right now. I did not know 8-Ball. I know very little of his life's work, and everything I will write from this point forward is my personal interpretation of 8-Ball's story. Don't bother writing to correct me. Don't spam me with messages about what an unholy beast I am, talking about 8-Ball so soon after the tragic events. Don't try to convince me that 8-Ball walked on water, cured the lepers and wrote 5 top 40 hits. The fact of the matter is, the truth of 8-Ball isn't as interesting to me as the reality I have built in my head. So once more, if 8-Ball means something to you, stop reading now.

So by now I'm sure you're wondering, "Who the hell is 8-Ball". That's a fair question and one that I can answer to a small extent. Be warned that I'm treading into gallows humor here, as the events I'm describing are only about 31 hours old. Yes, 8-Ball was real. Yes, 8-Ball was killed very close to my home. No, I did not know 8-Ball.

I came home yesterday to a massive traffic jam and several news helicopters hovering above my home. After taking some back roads to get to my domicile, I couldn't help but take my roommate to go investigate what all the hubbub was about, particularly since I could see LOTS of crime scene tape just a little bit up my road. (For the record, crime scene tape is to me what fast moving objects are to a man's testicles; an irresistible attraction.) In fact, my first statement upon seeing the tape was, "Cool! Maybe there will be a head in the road." My second statement was, "Let me grab my phone, it has a camera." (The short time I spent in the Cub Scouts before they threw me out taught me to always be prepared.)

However, yesterday was not my lucky day, and in fact there was very little to be seen. The road was closed off and there were police everywhere, but all I could see was a car that was somewhat banged up. They were taking oodles of photographs, but any bodies, pieces of bodies or small chunks of pieces of bodies had already been removed from the scene. What remained seemed to be of great interest to the local law enforcement.

Unable to glean any real information on what had transpired, we made our way home. My roommate immediately turned on the news, but was unable to find any information. I laughed at his archaic means of information gathering and cast my nets onto the web. Within minutes I had found a small amount of information on what had transpired.

What I know of the truth is this: 8-Ball was assaulted by four men at a local gas station and shot. He then proceeded to take off in his car and rammed a utility vehicle just a few hundred yards down the road. He was transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Having only this miniscule amount of information my mind set to work trying to fill in the gaps of what actually happened in 8-Ball's tragic final days. What brought him to this untimely end? Who would seek to end the life of 8-Ball, and most importantly, why?

The name 8-Ball, to me, invokes the seedy underbelly of illegal pool hall gambling. Perhaps 8-Ball was a rebellious young player in the underground leagues, making his own personal stab for glory, while at the same time stepping on the toes of his rivals to make it to the top.

Perhaps 8-Ball was the last remaining member of a team called "The Stripes" who have one by one been summarily executed by their blood rivals, "The Solids". With all of the other members taken out, they have only to sink the 8-Ball to claim their place as the rightful rulers of the local pool hall.

I picture 8-Ball being cornered by the gang of four: the dreaded Bank Shot, End Rail, 9-Ball and Scratch, their hatred palpable as they move to strike, and 8-Ball, on cue, makes a break for his car, lest he end up being pocketed.

So 8-Ball dashes off in his vehicle, but the loss of blood begins to weaken his constitution. Upon impact with the utility vehicle, it becomes evident that 8-Ball has indeed been sunk.

I can see the police arriving on the scene, forcefully wrestling 8-Ball from his corrupted vehicle, violently shaking him and demanding answers, receiving only short utterances in reply.

Signs point to yes.

Cannot predict now.

My sources say no.

I see him lying on the ground as the police further interrogate him, eyes slowly glazing over faintly uttering his last living phrase before slipping into unconsciousness. The final words of 8-Ball.

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Anonymous said...

wtf are you talking about? i have no idea what this blog post is even remotely about.

E said...

I chose not to link to the original news article. 8-Ball was the nickname of a gentleman who was murdered just outside my home last Friday.

EuroYank - Virginia Hoge said...

Tony you still alive? What goes? Please forward to Tony ... Email me -