Rip Van Winkle
The story of a British-American villager takes place back in the time of the revolutionary war. By his name you can obviously tell that he is of Dutch descent. The legend has it that he slept for twenty years without ever realizing it. What is that? You want to know what this has to do with billiards. Let me explain. (Spoiler alert)
Rip is a lazy but lovable man. He saunters around during the days and tries to avoid any gainful labor. Of course his wife doesn’t like that and habitually nags him, so he wanders off into the wilderness with his dog named Wolf. Meandering about he stumbles across an amphitheater type crevice in a mountain. In side he finds many men of different nationalities all dressed in garments meant for war and all playing nine pin. He starts drinking their liquor and playing with them and then he falls asleep.
Twenty years later Rip wakes up without realizing that he has slept for so long. He returns home to find his wife has died, his friends have fallen in the revolutionary war, and his gun has rusted. Don’t worry there is a happy ending, he finds his now adult daughter and lives with her.
Still, you ask, what the sam-hill does this have to do with billiards? Rip, interestingly enough shares a name with a very popular acronym, meaning Rest In Peace. Even more interesting is that Mister Van Winkle did precisely that, he rest in peace for 20 years while people were fighting the revolutionary war.
I understand that you want to know what all of this has to do with billiards. I am getting to it right now. Of course this this story isn’t a real story because people cannot sleep for twenty years. I don’t think that is possible. The story was written by Washington Irving. I think the whole point of the story was to depict how nice it would be to sleep through an entire war. But since we cannot physically do that, Irving kind of was hinting that billiards is the solution for world peace.
I mean just look at that picture. All these different war generals just kicking about shooting pool having a good time without trying to kill each other. That seems like a pretty idealistic way to send an evening. Moral to this fairy tale is that billiards is the key to world peace.