We held our Idaho State Democratic convention at Mingles Pool Hall on ladies’ night, thinking it wouldn’t be too crowded. There were just three of us left in this vast state; two in the North End of Boise and me up in Moscow. They agreed to come the 300 miles north for the beautiful drive.
I checked with the bouncer, and he said we could use a corner booth if we didn’t get too loud. “Why don’t you get a pool table? Number two is open. That’s your favorite.” He knew my habits.
Thinking a couple games of cutthroat might pass the time while we approved the minutes of our last meeting, I got the rack of balls and picked out a cue. The other two Idaho Democrats came through the swinging doors right on time. Matt had his Idaho State sweatshirt on, and Priscilla was wearing her Paulette Jordan sweatshirt. We always try to fit in.
They ambled my way reluctantly. Matt grinned and nodded toward the rack of balls. “Are we going to play for who gets to be the last?”
You see, we had to decide who amongst us was going to keep the banner, since there was such a strong desire to register Republican to participate in the closed Republican Primary election this May.
“You know how to play cutthroat?” I asked them. Their headshakes got me started on the explanation of the rules, but they got distracted.
Priscilla asked the waitress is they had organic herbal tea. Matt wanted an artisanal IPA. They settled for whatever and I got Jim Beam on the rocks.
“Cutthroat, huh?” Matt asked. “Sounds like an appropriate game for Democrats.”
Priscila frowned. “Just because you didn’t vote for Paulette, I wouldn’t cut your throat.” She chalked her cue fiercely.
“So, the rules are, the last one of us with any balls on the table gets to be the last Democrat in Idaho.”
“That’s sure sexist.” Priscilla frowned again. “How do I know which are my balls and which are yours?” She grinned and glared with her emphasis.
“Whatever balls you don’t sink, that’s what you are.”
Matt grimaced. “Another Democrat rule if I’ve ever heard one.”
“So, I’ll break. If I drop the One Ball and the Fifteen Ball, I’m the middles, six through ten. We each have five balls and you want to drop the other guys. Make a shot, even your own ball, and you get to keep shooting. Winner is the last one with their balls up.”
Matt racked. “Move to approve the minutes.”
“Second,” Priscilla offered, “and I’ll go next.”
Sure enough, I dropped a couple on the break, the ten and the twelve, so that meant I was the low balls. I made a couple more, then missed.
Priscilla dropped the fifteen. “So now you are the middles, six through ten.” I explained. She lined up on the nine-ball. “You know that’s yours.” I offered. She sank it in the corner, looked at me and smiled. “Now you only have two left.” She smiled again and kept shooting. She dropped one of Matt’s and one of mine, then another of hers, then missed.
Matt studied the table and I spoke to Priscilla as she chalked her cue softly. “You only have one left. Why’re you doing that?”
She whispered, “I’m moving to Portland. I can’t be the last Democrat in Idaho.”
Matt sank two of his, leaving him with just one also, then he missed. “Are you moving too?” I asked him.
He was honest. “I need to vote for Brad in the primary. I have the paperwork in the car.
I dropped their remaining balls, leaving me, the last Democrat in Idaho with three balls on the table.