Written by Jesus Budda
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Sunday, 24 February 2008

image for Snooker is 'Kinda Gay'
Some men still gather on the playing fields to reinact the traditional way of playing snooker

'Touching the pink', 'chalking the cue' and 'breaking the balls' are not cheeky aphorisms but legitimate terms in the world of professional snooker.

The sport, beloved of stripy-waistcoat wearing alchoholic British men, is rife with terms such as these, which have caused the 'game' to become known as 'kinda gay'.

"Pool is a real man's game and billiards is for aristocratic pricks", said 'Toothless' Jimmy Olsen, a renowned expert in balls, "but snooker is just plain weird.

"'Stroking', 'putting the balls in the pocket' - now that just sounds plain rude, if ya ask me", added Jimmy.

Indeed, the sport's historical past is teeming with sexual innuendo.

Invented in 1524 by Baron Snooty Von Finkel in what is now known as Belgium, the sport - then called 'poke my balls with a big stick' was renamed 'snoo' after a popular form of male genital mutilation of the time. (The 'ker' part was later added in 1617 by Spanish King Speedy Gonzales).

Men used to gather in huge flat playing fields marked out with giant corner pockets where each would take turns to strike the other in the testicles. The winner was deemed the man with the deepest voice. The reason for the pockets is unknown.

Due in part to Napoleons morbid fear of nudity, the sport was briefly banned during the entirety of his reign and wasn't reintroduced until 1888 in Whitechapel, London England. Serial killer Jack the Ripper was suspected of being an 'enthusiast - a snooker cue with 'To Jack the Ripper, From Vicky' scrawled in blood was discovered at each of the murder scenes.

As a result of the 'bad publicity' snooker was banned in America and thus the sport was for a time confined to be forever played in secret societies.

As the sport's notoriety declined, so too did the playing area. The field became a table - the only remnant of the huge grassy playing area being represented by the green baize.

But even some of the old ways still abide in the modern game: competitors must have their balls polished before, during and after each game by a butler-like umpire.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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