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"behind the eight ball"

Posted by Jt on July 13, 2006

In Reply to: "behind the eight ball" posted by Brian from Shawnee on July 12, 2006

: : : : : Why "behind the eight ball" when facing adversity, especially when some place eight balls on things like "hot box suicide shifters" for good luck?

: : : : There are many varieties of pocket billiards, or "pool," which is probably the most common type of billiards played in the U.S. In a very popular variety of pool sometimes call eight-ball, the eight ball is not allowed to be sent into a pocket until all the other balls have been pocketed. If you find the eight ball between the cue ball and the ball you are trying to hit--that is, you are behind the eight ball--it will be pretty hard to hit the next ball into a pocket without hitting the eight ball (which is not allowed). Obviously being behind the eight ball is an undesirable position to play from (until all other balls have been dispatched). Need more be said?
: : : : SS
: : : : SS

: : : As to the other part of your question, the people who put eight-ball knobs on shifters (or skulls, or other symbols of menace) they are defying fate, laughing at danger, daring the gods to bring it on, and so forth. It also means they are teenage boys, a little immature and a little in need of bravado.

: : : Many people have discovered that when they use a good luck symbol, or wish, or pray, or promise to give up evil thoughts, then flip a coin 100 times, predicting heads or tails, they'll be wrong 50 times! But if they use a bad luck symbol to defy the gods, they'll be right 50 times! And there you have it.

: : Unless a suicide shifter is a device for shifting gears on a motorcycle, I'm completely clueless. But if it's that, I think using an eight-ball or a smaller version of one as a decoration is just that: a decoration, one with a mildly defiant theme, saying perhaps "I'm always behind the eight-ball, always have my back to the wall." That would be appropriate for a guy who would routinely use a device called a "suicide shifter."
: : SS

: And don't forget the "Ride it like you stole it" t-shirt.

: Thanks everybody for the follow up. I think I get it know from some of the posts -- I like the 50% right one. I am in the planning stages of having a custom chopper built. When I was a kid, I saw a guy on a harley with a short jockey shifter straight into the primary with an eight ball handle. He said the eight ball was for good luck. Since then, I have seen a number of bikes with suicide clutch/jockey shift set-ups with the eight ball for good luck. As far as the "ride it like you stole it," the best thing about this set-up is that most people don't have a clue how to ride it and if they try to steal it, they will go down and get caught and/or injured. Imagine trying to stop at a light or in traffic with your left foot holding down the clutch on the floor board, right foot on the rear brake on the other floor board, left hand trying to get the eight ball into neutral by feel only, and therefore no left hand on front brake. Don't get it into neutral before you have to put a foot down, well . . . Oh yeah, the skulls go on the tank. And yes its immature for a 95 year old to go with this set-up. Thanks again. JT

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