Shooting pool with Paul Jenkins in Chicago
In the back of Wizard World’s Chicago convention program was a full page ad featuring Paul Jenkins. It read:
This man is here to take your money! He is Paul Jenkins. Some call him a comic writer. You will call him "master." He is shooting pool at the Hero Initiative booth, #140. You can challenge him for $30, and possibly win fabulous prizes. But you will not win fabulous prizes. Because Paul will beat you. No, "beat" is not the correct word. He will destroy you, humiliate you, and debase you. He will leave you a broken shell of a man, woman, or whatever vaguely walking-erect mammal you purport to be. Paul Jenkins owns you. You just don’t know it yet.
How could I resist that? My ComicMix crew got their camera ready and I paid my $30.
I love pool and even have a pool table in my basement, but as any visitor in the last six months knows my table is covered with paperwork. For some reason I waited until the last day of the conference to play him — making sure he was completely warmed up and ready to beat me. When my turn came, his record was 77 and 5.
He asked if I wanted to play 8-ball or 9-ball. I asked him which one he was worse at. He said he would destroy me equally at either game. Fantastic! I chose 8-ball since that would at least last for a few minutes and we down got to business
Right now Paul Jenkins is considering whether to destroy me, humiliate me or debase me.
Being British, Paul had another advantage. They invented English.
He had a chance to take me out when I had three balls left on the table. I sunk two of them to make it look close.
Paul didn’t miss his second shot on the 8-ball. I was his 78th victim. Nice game.