Saliña Serca, Aruba — For those tourists adventurous enough not to fall into the “tourist trap”, but willing to search for the true old fashioned “Aruban Rum Shop” where they can mingle with the locals, J&J Snack is a well known watering hole. Also known as “the container”, situated on the side of the road to Tierra del Sol, it’s a very favorite spot on Sundays to let the trade winds blow into your hair and the beer flow down smooth and easy. Last Sunday it was also the scene of a very unusual challenge ….. Jossy Kelly, owner and a.k.a. “alligator arms” to some frequent tourist patrons, was to face off R.C. from Wisconsin, a.k.a. “the homeless American”, in a best out of 5 pool match!! At stake was a round treat for everybody present!!
It all started a week earlier when RC et al were flabbergasted upon receiving a free beer by Jossy. Somewhat jokingly, the claim was instantly made by RC’s “manager” that it took him 8 years of relentless pursuit to finally being able to wrestle that single round out of Jossy’s clutches! And so the ground work was laid for an “once in a millennium” event at J&J ….after an hour or so of denial by Jossy, a challenge was made by RC to put money where their mouth was: a “deathmatch” pool contest, loser buys a round for all present.
And so last Sunday, at 1:30 PM, the first break was made in what resulted to be a nerve wrecking “hombre a hombre” match between the “alligator arms” and the “homeless American”! Suffering from “colio”, Papiamento for “the shakes”, RC couldn’t get his act together during the first rack and the experienced and sly Jossy easily rakes in the first game to go ahead 1-0!! But “cool and sly” Jossy results to be a little too camera shy in the second rack, and chokes on an easy 8 ball giving RC the much needed breathing space and self confidence to even up the score at 1-1!!
Jossy quickly changes tactics in the 3rd rack and starts to make life extremely hard for RC by leaving him constantly with no shots to make!! This most unnerving and brutal strategy of “alligator arms” quickly pays off and the “homeless American” finds himself losing the 3rd rack and with a feeling of being completely adrift in an ocean of pain!! Leading 2 to 1, Jossy makes his final assault on the poor “homeless American”, who at that time quite frankly had a look on his face like if the tax office just paid him an unpleasant visit!! Sticking to his merciless strategy, Jossy easily clears his side of the table and is ready to take a somewhat difficult shot at the 8 ball ….in a far corner the “homeless Americano” watches in agony at what may well be the last shot of the game!
But it seems as if the God’s of pool were in a humorous mood last Sunday!! Jossy pots the 8 ball not only in the wrong pocket, but also manages to scratch, giving the 4th game miraculously to RC!!! The series is tied at 2-2!!! Hysteria all over at J&J Snack!!
The 5th and final game results to be a true nerve wrecking experience!! Jossy, still visibly shaken by the previous mishap, gets a little too short on the 8 ball and leaves RC in position to finish the match!! However, it’s the shakes all over again for Mr. Homeless, and he chokes ugly on a fairly easy shot!! Jossy is back at the 8 ball, but it seems that on this day the puppet masters are pulling the wrong strings at Jossy!!! In total disbelief, RC is able to laugh and smile again at his good fortune …..only to end up rattling the 8 ball!!! Jossy gets cocky, very cocky, but once more, to the agony of his fan club, finds a way to miss a fairly easy shot on the 8 ball!! This time RC makes no more mistakes, and finally makes the 8 to win the match!!
At the end, RC, “the homeless American”, and his friends deservingly got their free round of beer. As for the other folks…they were mysteriously kept in the dark by the fantastic Mr. Fox, Jossy Kelly. Seems that RC overlooked some last minute fine printed details to the original wager