Hello, as they say in Scotland.
Where was I?
Snooker as a game is not what I would call 'an exciting spectacle'. Come to think of it, there is literally nothing in life that I would call 'an exciting spectacle', as this is a phrase that I have never used, and will never use.
Although having said that, in the fourteen seconds it took me to think of the phrase and type it, I have come to feel rather fond of it. Perhaps I should start using it.
On the minus side, I've noticed that I've become quite prone to italicising words to place stress on them (if you don't know what italicising means, I'm afraid I can't help you, because you are eyewateringly stupid). I don't agree with excessive italicising as I think it is sloppy. Therefore, from now on, the deal is: more exciting spectacles, less italics. Irie.
Anyway, snooker. In my opinion, snooker (and yes, I am including you, billiards) is not an exciting spectacle. Not as exciting as, say, watching a retired chiropodist driving a motorcycle and sidecar on a Wall of Death, with a leopard in the sidecar, in Leatherhead, Surrey.
You'll have gathered, if you have read this far - and apologies if you have, this really is going absolutely nowhere interesting - that the voluntary watching of snooker is one of the many phenomena in this carnival of insanity we call 'life' that I find baffling. That there are people presently existing on our planet, sentient people, who would choose to watch a game of snooker being played, keeps me awake at night, disturbs me (though perhaps not as much as the fact that I am writing this, right here, right now).
It's not just the watching of the snooker though. There is also the phenomenon of 'going to watch the snooker' in a live setting. I find it mind-bogglingly, full-on eppy mental crazy that people would pay to go to the Sheffield Octagon, the Reading Hexagon or the Leicester Dodecahedron (par example) to watch a game of snooker being played. Not only that, but the fact that they would utilise a portion of the energy reserves available to them to move one leg in front of the other in a manner that carried them, either entirely on foot or via some other means of transport, such as a motor vehicle, or an omnibus, or a train, or even a bicycle, but I digress, to the aforementioned temple of snooker.
I haven't even mentioned yet the fact that said persons travelling to said temple of snooker to watch said sport probably thought, when they awoke the morning of their visit to the snooker, about what they might wear there. They actually used up precious moments of life thinking "will the slacks be uncomfortable or should I go for the jumbo cords?"
What's more, they possibly spent a good part of the day - while they were at work, or maybe while tending to their offspring (not in a dodgy sense, you understand) thinking about the snooker-based revelries to come. Although a number of snooker matches seem to be played during the day, so perhaps in these situations they look forward to the snooker-based revelries to come whilst actually watching them. This is how wormholes form in the fabric of time, according to my Readers Digest Book of Made-up and Briefly Amusing Absurdities.
Why do they do it? For anyone who doesn't know what snooker is, here is a definition: two men (women are forbidden by law from playing snooker by the Women and Snooker Act, 1981) both hold whittled down planks in their hands and stand next to a table that has been covered with a Subbuteo pitch and which has holes at all the corners and in the middle. On the table thirteen balls rest, some red, the others multi-coloured. The men have to hit the balls into the holes and whoever does this the most times wins a game (called a Snook). Whoever wins the most Snooks wins the entire Match and has to shout "I AM SNOOKER" to seal the victory. Ridiculous.
What other sporting event would require spectators to travel to a building that is named after a geometrical form, then sit in rigid silence, without even the possibility of being allowed out to enjoy a snack or a chat with a friend, for up to seventeen hours? Pro-celebrity ludo? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not, as this does not exist. Yet.
Okay, as Americans often start their sentences, so it's theory time.
Next time you happen to catch snooker on the television, take a good look at the crowd. I mean, a really good look. In fact, a gooooood look. Their blank stares. Their beige cardigans. Their palpable approval of tinned 'travel' sweets dusted in icing sugar. Their attention, focused - uncannilly, wordlessly, even psychically - on the same thing. What does this all mean?
Let's take a look at the evidence.
- Dead-eyed crowd
- Beige cardigans
- Geometrically-themed venue
- 'Referee' and 'players'
- 13 balls
- Green table
- Cue ball
- Glasses of water on players' tables
You might want to sit down before reading my conclusions. Comfy? Westside.
- Dead-eyed crowd - Chosen ones preparing for the final reckoning
- Beige cardigans - Symbolically also worn by Four Horsemen of Apocalypse
- Geometrically-themed venue - Actually just a 1970s architectural fad
- Green table - Obviously represents Garden of Eden
- 13 balls - Can it be coincidence that there were 13 people at the last supper? Is there a hitherto-unbeknown snooker reference in Da Vinci's famous painting? No. Of course there's not.
- 'Referee' and 'Players' - Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- Waistcoats - Extra pockets handy for storing valuables while soul ascends to Heaven
- Cue ball - Represents purity of the soul
- Glasses of water - Something to do with the Holy Spirit, alternatively just innocent thirst-quenchers for players
What I'm trying to tell you is that, when you watch a snooker game on television, you are witnessing that most exciting of spectacles, the actual fulfilment of the prophesy of Revelations from the bible - ie the end of the world. The ultimate battle between good and evil.
Don't let the fact that John Virgo is commenting put you off. It's all a front.
Just thought you should know.