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Friday, 3 February 2012

Are You Alice ?

 No, my name isnt alice  but if you say it  , there is a good chance i`ll turn round.

My name isnt crowbloke either, but i get called both.  My favourite question is when i get asked - " why do they call you crowman ? " . My well rehearsed reply is always , " because its my name, man ".

If you have 5 minutes spare i`ll tell you why they call me Alice. -

Back in the early 80`s i played  alot of pool  around the pubs of my local town, my regular haunt was a pub right next to the local football ground, almost in the city centre. ; good jukebox, good pool-table, good crowd and open fireplaces. The fact they served beers after hours may have had something to do with the choice of venue, but either way - i liked it in there.

In some places, you stake your claim to the next game by putting your money down. In those days the game required a 50p coin, so if you wanted to play next - you put a coin on the side of the pool table and there you go - you are on next.  a queuing system manifested as a row of 50p pieces, five or six people waiting for a game. a compliment for a pool player with this system is if you play a really good game, other players fall over each other to get their money down - just as bad when the coins are taken off because no -one wants to play you.

the coin system only works up to a certain point - the money ends up on the floor, disputes over " thats not my 50p !!! ".... etc.

  this is where you need a blackboard.

quick refresh :  you want a game of pool, you walk in, put your name down on the board and wait for your name to be called...

this worked fine until names got rubbed off the board,, these were dark days. i`ve seen full-on fisticuffs when a name got rubbed off a blackboard.  you wait an hour for a game and someone rubs yr name off.. not nice.

well done for staying this far,, i do appreciate it. it will make sense eventually,, promise.

Toward the end of the 80`s, some players would deliberately arrive early, just so they could get a game of pool. Tony Rainbow was one of these pool players. I`m not sure if his real name was tony,, but his name definitely wasn`t rainbow. Any mental image you have of someone called tony rainbow , is probably spot on - long hair, rainbows and flowers, a whole heap of yeah man and a liking of things he  shouldnt. 

Tony, one day, decided it was really funny to wail  in my ear - " i never knew your name was alice ", after he heard someone say " who`s on the table ?"  with the answer,  "al is ..". ( He also pursued the idea that i should be called alice dee. -  no,, i dont think so tony rainbow.) 

by the end of the night, i realised that no-one rubbed girls names off the " i want to play next " blackboard. so, after that, i always wrote "Alice" on the board.... it guaranteed me a game and always gave me the edge. i never explained why i was called alice and to this day, some think my name is alice.

take it away paul simon, you know the words.

thanks for reading, you may even be interested. who knows.



  1. Ha, that was entertaining. I would have kept the name too. Very cool.

  2. Nice post and nice video!

  3. Haha, at least you found a flawless way not to get erased of the board. :D

  4. Origins of names like this are much appreciated. I tend to think the worst in these cases. Great function to the name!

    Chevy in that video made me chortle even though I've seen it 32 times.

  5. you should have gone out with my mom then you'd have got two Alice's arf arf x

  6. Been too long since I've heard that song

  7. Hey, we had the same pool queue system at the lesbo bar I hung out at in the 80s! There could be fist fights about the lineup too. And some gals were such sore losers.

  8. Haha, nice one & I have to agree, girls names don't get rubbed off the board, when I used to play, i was normally the only girl & my name stayed well put :) Cool blog :)

  9. Ha that's a good way to keep the name on the board. Thanks for following. Following you too.

  10. I agree with PAPS. So much so I made you new blog of the day.

    1. thank you copyboy, i appreciate it .

  11. i did notice you weren t wearin nail varnish back in the day , now i realise why xx lolz

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