April 10, 2004

Air Force Blue (part 10)

Other bits and pieces of my life can be found under the Boring Stories and Seriously categories.

I don’t remember exactly how we got invited to the party, but it was some sort of semi-official function. There were four Canadian exchange officers there, and one of them was in full piper kit. Since I love the bagpipes, I got to talking to them, and we all hit it off pretty well. Being young and enlisted, my roommate and I drank way more than we should have, and the Canucks matched us drink for drink. We got a lot of disapproving stares from the other guests because other than us, it was a rather reserved crowd.

It was around midnight when we left the party. My roommate and I went to the Visiting Officers Quarters (VOQ) with the Canadians and we continued the party there. They broke out bottles of Meyer’s Spiced Rum and we kept right on drinking. Sometime after 1am we got thrown out of VOQ for marching up and down the hallway singing filthy drinking songs and being generally disruptive.

Since the night was still young, the Canucks accompanied us to our dorm, and that’s when things got really fun. We got there, and suddenly our new friends got wildly enthusiastic, because we had a pool table. They started to tell us about a game they played called Crud.

Between the rum and the fact that this all happened some 20 years ago, I’ll try to describe the game. It was fun as hell, but that may just be because we were all drunk.

Ok, first off, to play Crud you only use two of the balls: the cue ball and the 8-ball. Cue sticks are not used. So far, so good.

The object is to use the cue ball to knock the 8-ball into a pocket. That scores a point. Likewise, if the 8-ball stops moving before you hit it with the cue ball, the other team scores a point. The main rule is that the 8-ball cannot stop rolling. You hit the 8-ball with the cue ball (trying to get it into the pocket), and then the other team has to grab the cue ball and they have to hit the 8-ball, then it’s your teammate’s turn, followed by the other team’s second player, and so on. And that brings up the other main rule, the so-called “ball” line. One end of the table is where all cue balls have to be rolled from, but only after your balls (testicles) are behind that end of the table.

Body blocks are allowed, but only by putting both hands on the table and sticking your ass out there. It’s not considered sporting to trip someone.

Sounds pretty sedate, huh? There is no ‘scratch’. If the cue ball leaves the table, you have to run and fetch it, then get back behind the “ball” line before you can take your turn, and all before the 8-ball stops rolling. What happens in practice is that quite often you’re snagging the cue on the bounce, then diving back across the line while sidearming that cue ball back at the table.

That’s how we wound up putting the cue ball through the front of the coke machine. Twice. No bones were broken, but there were plenty of bruises administered, and around 4am someone called the base cops on us, and our evening ended.

I never did get to play Crud again because it was specifically banned in the dorm. Supposedly, there were Crud tables in Winnipeg bars, complete with chicken wire enclosures. I never saw any, but when we went to Winnipeg, it was for CFL games (go Blue Bombers!) and horse racing at Assiniboia Downs, so we didn’t do much bar-hopping in Manitoba.

Posted by Ted at April 10, 2004 04:31 PM
Category: Boring Stories

Please tell me Assiniboia Downs didn't have some rude, crude, obnoxious, homo-erotic nickname.

Posted by: Victor at April 10, 2004 05:13 PM

I never thought of it before. It's an Indian word and I have no idea what it means, but probably - like most Indian words - it means "this place".

Posted by: Ted at April 10, 2004 06:32 PM
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