Setting Thesaurus Entry: Pool Hall


Rows of coin operated pool tables, balls, racks, cues of different weights, chalk squares (blue the most common), bar, stools, drinks on small tables along the walls, coasters, spills, leather jackets slung on chairs and stools, cues leaning against the walls, shot glasses, beer bottles, rest, pub food (nachos, fries, wings, pizza, burgers), waitresses in tight clothing, juke box or sound system, TVs, VLT's, washrooms, small kitchen, bottles of different types of alcohol, lime/lemon wedges, coolers, crumpled bills on tables, dirty glasses, burly, rough looking men, beer signs, triple pool table lights, people leaning on pool tables, people lining up shots, money changing hands, neon lighting, signs prohibiting minors, liquor licence displayed near the bar, alcohol sponsor signage, advertisements, sports paraphernalia, beer taps, mirror behind bar, glass racks, ATM machine, cigarette machine


balls hitting each other, balls shuttling into the pockets or banking the sides, cries of disappointment, swearing, crowing at a good shot, cheering, good natured ribbing, drinkers talking loudly over the noise as they watch the players, glasses and bottles being set onto tables, the screech and scuff of a chair leg or stool being pushed back, shot glasses chinking together, noise from the TV (sports announcer) music from the sound system, laughter, slapping one another on the back, slapping down a bet on the felt, accidentally banging head or cue stick on the lights, a waitress' voice, calling in orders to the bartender or cook, cash register tape spitting out a bill, bleeps and bloops from the VLTs, the thump of cigarettes falling from their slot into the pick up tray, noise from the kitchen, a hiss from the fountain pop, the set of balls tumbling rapidly into the tray once the coins have been inserted


Beer, chalk, felt, food from the kitchen, sweat, cologne, perfume, body odor, beer breath, cigarette smoke clinging to clothing and hair, leather, oiled wood


beer, pop, vodka, rum, shots of straight liquor (rye, whiskey, tequila etc), water, crunching ice cubes, pub food (see above) coffee, salt, limes, peanuts/pretzels


The slide of a pool cue shaft along the crook of the hand, scraping the chalk cube against tip, then blowing the excess off, the weight of a server's tray loaded with drinks, leaning forward over the pool table, felt against the fingertips, a rough/chipped tabletop, sliding quarters into the slot, placing arm around a waitress' waist or shoulders, digging into pocket for change/crumpled bills, the cool press of a beer bottle/glass in the hand, cold beer sliding down throat and wetting lips, sorting balls into the triangle, sliding the white ball along the felt after a scratch, high fiving another player/partner, leaning on stick, waiting for your turn, bending down so shot is at eye level, judging the angle, bumping into other player, squeezing around other people or waiting for a person at an adjoining table to play their shot as to not interfere, hitching up jeans or settling the belt buckle by habit, raising the arm to indicate more beers to the waitress, tipping head back to drink or down a shot, shifting around on a stool, running hand along the bank, trying to read the angle needed, rubbing sweat off the forehead with the back of the hand, tapping the bar to get the bartender's attention, leaning over the jukebox, reading the playlist

Helpful hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

Arlen nodded toward a short, middle-aged man as he ducked through the narrow door, hitching the collar of his jean jacket. I smiled, watching him scan the gloomy bar and finally settle on a table in the corner. Arlen had a nose for weekend tough guys--dentist or accountants who came out to slum a bit, sloughing off their wives for the night. None of them had a lick of sense to say no when we asked them for a friendly game of pool, and by the time they left with a gut full of beer, their wallets were much lighter.

Example 2:

Amy squeezed her eyes shut and then forced them open wide, hoping the room would settle a bit. It didn't. She winced as pool balls shuttered into the retrieval tray behind her and searched the table for her purse. Her gaze wandered past an overflowing bowl of chewed lime wedges to a salt shaker and then honed in on a double stack of shot glasses. They weren't all hers...were they?

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

One quick jerk of the wrist and Joe sent the eight ball careening toward the corner pocket like a sinner running from the devil.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

In a grungy place like this you always found one--a chunky, platinum blond woman in a slinky dress, her make up caked on to mask those deep wrinkles. The predatory gleam in her eyes couldn't be hidden by smoky eyeshadow though, making the term cougar all too apt.

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popsicledeath said...

I love your examples, especially the one about the cougar (sad, and true).

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow. Am I impressed. I needed you when I sweated grit and blood through the writing of my first two books.

So thankful to find you!

Audience of ONE

Bish Denham said...

I've only been in a real live pool hall a couple of times. Another wonderful entry!

ali said...

Very well done!

Karen Lange said...

Good stuff:) All sorts of images from this.

Angela said...

Thanks Popsie. I saw a lot of these growing up...I lived in one of 'those'

Jeanette, sorry--hope the help doesn't come too late!

Thanks Bish! Congrats on your blog contest win the other day!

Thanks Ali and Karen! Hugs!


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