Here is the kind of thing I would do. Four times I went into whorehouses flat broke and diddled the best-looking hooker in the joint, which is pretty stupid when there is an eight-foot pimp hanging around. Twice when I got my pants back on I just flew out the front door -- Fleet-footed Dan -- and raced for the railroad yard, jumping on the first freight going in any direction. Nobody was ever peppy enough to chase me and catch me. And, you know, a pimp can’t very well run down the street hollering: “Stop that man! I‘m a pimp and he stiffed my whore!”
In today’s sports world, where the stars do their best to project nonstick personalities so as not to spoil their endorsement contracts, McGoorty blows in like a revitalizing stiff ocean breeze. Though he failed to reach his full potential as a billiards champion -- he never achieved a higher ranking than fourth in world competition -- he was always his own man. When asked to comment on one of the best-known pool players in the country: “Minnesota Fats was never a top player. He was good, sure, but not tops. There have always been at least 20 people in the country who would have been glad to swim a river of shit to play Fats for money.”
If you‘re in the market for one of those uplifting sports biographies where the hero becomes a megastar, then devotes his free time to visiting kids with cancer, don’t bother with McGoorty. If, however, you like basking in the smoky poolroom ruminations of a keenly observant, street-wise juicer who calls them as he sees them a la Bukowski, this tome‘s for you. Consider this moment just before McGoorty was to play in a major tournament:
Naturally, I had to open the show and put up with the flash bulbs and the speeches about Ebeneezer Sneeze swallowing a cueball when he was five years old. About 10 minutes before the ceremonies were supposed to start, I went into the shithouse, bought my way into a stall, and sat down on top of the lids. I wanted to be alone for a few minutes, and the shithouse was the only place. I was sitting there with my face in my hands when two old Slavonians came in and stood at the urinals. “You gonna go in to the game todays?” “I guess so. But that fucking McGoorty.” “Well, he knows how to plays.” “Yeah, but he’s no good. He‘s no good.” They move over to the sinks, and I am on my tiptoes trying to see who they are. “Well, I guess I’ll buy a goddam ticket.” “Me too. And you know something? I got no use for that McGoorty, but I hope he wins.” “Me too. I don‘t know why.”
In these generic, politically correct times, one pines for a profane, self-centered lout who’s not afraid to shake the cage. Danny McGoorty more than fits the bill.