The Magic 8 Ball for a New Millennium

It’s Christmas morning and I’m the only one awake as I sit with my cup of tea and begin writing. Memories of Christmases past flood my mind. As a child a present that I always wanted was a Magic 8 Ball. I can’t really say why, but man I wanted one.

If you don’t know what a Magic 8 Ball is I weep for you. The Magic 8 Ball is a hollow sphere; about 6 inches in diameter, painted to look like, big reveal…an 8 ball. There is a small transparent window on the bottom of the sphere about the size of a half-dollar and the sphere is filled with a blue fluid. A dodecahedron is inside of the the sphere and an innocuous answer to a question is printed on each face of the regular solid.

You ask the Magic 8 Ball a yes or no question and it would respond with an answer. That’s it. A pseudo-random answer to a yes or no question. You’d get the same life satisfaction out of writing the same answers to yes or no questions around the perimeter of a spinner from a Twister game and spinning the spinner to get your answer. You could have also accomplished the same result by writing the results on twenty cards from the venerable Candy Land game on your shelf that you outgrew 8 years ago and randomly choosing a card after asking the question.

So why my obsession with the 8 ball? I wish I knew. At the time I was obsessed with them I’m not even certain I had even played pool or touched a pool table. I think the closest was watching the Brady’s (Mike and Carol’s brood. Not Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary) play pool in their garage. If I had touched a pool table I certainly didn’t know the rules to 8 Ball. I don’t know of any great stories or fairy tales involving 8 Balls or even pool. Crystal Balls, yes! Pool balls, no!

This makes me want to consider a friendly game of 8 ball as a conflict resolution method for a lot of the classic stories. I see it now, instead of playing ‘pooh-sticks’ (A game Winnie the Pooh and Piglet played.) they played 8 ball. It could have been one of the many stories in the collection, The House at Pooh Corner. Pooh just finished beating Piglet out of his last pot of hunny. Pooh was getting a bit cocky and talking a lot of shit. Then out of nowhere gloomy old Eeyore shleps in and challenges Pooh to a winner take all game of classic 8 ball.

Pooh’s a little suspicious, but a cocky bear about now. So he asks, “Well Eeyore, what have you got as a wager?”

Eeyore gloomily responds, “Well, since you asked, and thanks for asking, I was going to put my house up, but Wol’s (That’s owl for all you uncultured heathens.) tree fell on it, I’ve got nothing but my tail.”

Pooh give the camera a smirk, and shouts, “So, you’re betting your ass, you ass? Game on. I’ll even let you break.”

The game starts, and Eeyore right out runs the table. All the other animals are standing around slack jawed. Pooh is at a complete loss for words. On the verge of tears. His plans to snort hunny off the ass of Kanga gone. He turns to Christopher Robin and cries out, “What happened?”.

“Silly old bear. Just because I taught you everything you know about pool, doesn’t mean I taught you everything I taught Eeyore about pool.”

Dissolve to an illustrated scenic of Pooh and Christopher Robin leaning on a pool table.

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