The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition. Once, when I was an underpaid reporter in Virginia City, whenever I wished to play billiards I went out to look for an easy mark. One day a stranger came to town and opened a billiard parlor. I looked him over casually. When he proposed a game, I answered, All right.
Just knock the balls around a little so that I can get your gait, he said; and when I had done so, he remarked: I will be perfectly fair with you. I'll play you left-handed. I felt hurt, for he was cross-eyed, freckled, and had red hair, and I determined to teach him a lesson. He won first shot, ran out, took my half-dollar, and all I got was the opportunity to chalk my cue.
If you can play like that with your left hand, I said, Id like to see you play with your right.
I cant, he said. Im left-handed.
Mark Twain Billiards speech, 1906