First up I'd like to say a big thumbs up to my boss for truly fucking up my life (its such a pity we can't render sarcasm in text mode). However what we'd really like to do is, genuinely give thanks to Steve Davis, who at the age of 53 is currently in the quarter finals of the World Masters Snooker. He was my childhood idol, a consummate professional and a genius on the baize so well done Steve.
Like a lot of folks I have real difficulty when they change the name of things, Opal Fruits, Marathons and Oil Of Ulay oh and Jif don't get me started on Jif. But the biggest one is of course the Embassy World Masters or whatever its politically correct to call it now. I've touched on my love of snooker before but I think its time to fully explain it to everyone whos reading.
Most of the time we saw the snooker it was either at my nans or at my grandads house in west London. They both had small tables probably xmas presents to me, so I could play while I was over there. At my nans place my aunt and uncle lived upstairs and their dog Jet would often lurk under the sofa hoping to snag any stray balls that would fly off the sofa. He would then need to be bribed with biscuits to stop him swallowing any balls he caught. We never really had a proper set either, being as I also had a larger table at home, these motley crew of snooker balls were either beaten up spares or worse beads, you try breakbuilding when the object ball is either half or two thirds smaller then your cue ball. We remember the blue being especially tiny.
Cues left a lot to be desired as well, we never had any tips on them so shot making was largely hit and hope (factor in Jet, still lurking under the sofa to pick out stray shots and you have quite an entertaining game).
Home proved less fraught, the only hazard was Weedle the cat, who would either sleep on the table or if in a playful mood stick a paw up the pocket and assault the nearest ball.
We'd like to think we were any good but the best break we had was about 32, possibly due to the lame cues you had and possibly due to pets. So the best thing was to watch the pros on TV and see how its done properly.
Back then most of the non English players in the mid 80's were mainly Canadians such as Cliff Thorburn, Kirk Stevens and big Bill Werbeunik playing on the international circuit, rather like the current crop of up and coming Chinese players. On the home front, we had Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Tony Meo, Tony Knowles, Terry Griffiths and Dennis Taylor. Add in old school players like John Spencer and Eddie Charlton and 8 ace clone Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and the stage was set for the Embassy World Championships.
The Embassy Championship was a big part of my life, sitting back with family watching frame after frame and cheering on whoever was winning at the time. Normally, Steve Davis (6 times world champion dont'cha know), but we also had time for Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White and later on Paul Hunter ( who's sadly no longer with us). My nan really didn't like Stephen Hendry (too surly) but I didn't mind him, and when she moved to Woolwich from round the corner to us we would come home from school and sit down and watch TV.
So there you have it, thats what made us like snooker watching it at my nans, oh and as for Mario, well I'm afraid I just liked the pun, to be honest though, if you're reading Nintendo how about that as a regular sports game instead of tennis or golf.
Next time (If I remember,) we'll get round to reviewing a Super Mario 4 for Gameboy. Part of the pirate range.