Baize: (n) a coarse, felt-like, woolen material that is typically green, used for covering billiard and card tables and for aprons.
Rich people own a lot of things.
I suppose that’s a rather obvious statement. But I would like you to stop and analyze what it really means.
It’s not that rich people own things they like or that rich people acquire things so they can enjoy them and share them with others.
No, rich people often just like to own things so they can prove they possess them, flaunt them and to establish their indifference to them.
Long ago, when I had even less integrity and brain power than today, I was invited to the home of a very rich man because he took a liking to me, saying he “thought I had great potential.”
Upon arriving at his palatial mansion, I was given the full tour, which was extremely extensive, with stop-offs along the way to reiterate to me in vivid detail how much each piece of marble in the floor cost, and how the wallpaper in this particular room was ordered from Italy from a family who were direct descendants of the Medici clan.
I produced an adequate amount of “oohs” and “aahs” necessary to let him know that I was in full groveling mode.
While dinner was being prepared, he asked me if I would like to play a game of billiards. (Yes, he called it “billiards” while I knew it as “pool.” But looking at my surroundings and smelling the fresh air of opulence, I realized that “billiards” was more appropriate.)
And the billiard table was equally as over-stated, expensive and elaborate as everything else in the house. Matter of fact, he told me it had been specially ordered from Russia, where of course, the best billiard tables are from, and that it was worth $50,000.
He handed me a pool stick which was made out of some sort of wood from the rain forest of Brazil, and said, “You break.”
I placed my hand on the table, shaking and nervous. The baize covering of the table was lush and thick, like grass. But it also felt a little bit…fragile.
Terrified, I wielded back and hit the cue ball, striking the eastern coast of it, while the tip of my cue stick slid across the table, leaving a three-inch rip.
Time stood still.
I couldn’t breathe, even though I knew it was necessary to do so.
My rich benefactor walked up, looked at the table, shook his head, and said, “That’s going to cost a pretty penny.”
My mind was racing.
Did he want me to come up with that gorgeous amount of money?
I also had this crazy thought of suggesting that some Super Glue might fix it, but caught myself before blurting.
He did not charge me for my transgression, but the dinner was tense, and I was out of there much more quickly than originally proposed… since he no longer deemed that I had potential.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
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