Last night was our ladies crud tournament. Our squadron had 2 teams playing in the tournament and we’ve been practicing for weeks. I absolutely LOVE playing crud, but I much prefer to play it when there isn’t an entire room
watching screaming at you while you play.
So people ask me what crud is all the time when I post anything about it on FB or here. If you want the full rundown on it, check this out. The shortened version is this: It’s basically like full contact pool, without the sticks and you only play with 2 balls. Each team plays with 6 players and each player has 3 lives. If you don’t have 6 players, you can play with a ghost, and then the first 3 lives lost on that team go to the ghost. Once you lose your 3 lives, you’re out. Any time you’re on the table (and not waiting for your turn) you defend the black ball first (try to keep the other person from hitting it with the white ball – this is where the full contact part comes in) and then you’re trying to hit the black ball with the white ball. If the black ball stops on your turn, you lose a life. Or if the black ball goes in a pocket, someone loses a life. Or if you knock over the refs drink or throw one of the balls off the table (which happens fairly often) you lose a life. The last team to still have lives left wins.
I’ve been nervous about this crud tournament all week. As I said, I absolutely love playing crud. It’s competitive, there’s a good amount of skill, along with some luck, involved and it’s just a ton of fun to play. The last (and only other) tournament I played in was right after I learned how to play at Luke. I ended up being the last person on the team left with lives. All my other teammates were out, I still had 3 lives left and the other team had like 4-5 people left with a bunch of lives. The scary part is that there were tons of rowdy fighter pilots, most of which I didn’t know, crowding around the table and SCREAMING at me, half of them telling you to do one thing and half of them telling you to do another. It was scary, I lost and I was pretty nervous about that happening again…. and it ALMOST did.
So last night my team was playing a team from the other fighter squadron on base. There are only two fighter squadrons on base and we have a friendly rivalry between us. Of course I wanted to win, but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if I hadn’t won. I just wanted to have fun and get practice playing in front of a large group of people.
As it so happened, the EXACT same thing happened last night, that happened at Luke, almost. I was the only person left on my team and I still had 3 lives left. There were five people left on the other team (only their ghost was out) and they had eight lives left between the 5 of them. I’m not sure how, but I managed to get all of them out and win that game for my team, and then my team played one more game after that and we won the tournament. I don’t remember too much about the game once it got down to just me. My friends told me afterwards that the other team had eight lives and 5 people left. I wasn’t paying attention to that at the time. I remember on my first turn up after it was down to just me and the other team, I completely missed the ball, twice, so the black ball stopped and I lost a life on that first play. Oops. I remember the ref saying to everyone that this is what we all came to see and everyone yelling and him doing some motion indicating his heart was beating hard, and I remember thinking “Yours?! Mine’s about to pound out of my chest!” And I remember all my girls from the squadron screaming a ton every time I got someone out and lots of high fives and hugs. And after I finally won the game I remember being mobbed by 20 girls all screaming and yelling and jumping up and down and hugging everyone. It was great.
I never got to play sports in high school. I’ve only played on a few intramural volleyball teams and I’ve only been kinda good. This was the first time I really felt like part of a sports team and like I helped the team win. It’s kind of silly because it’s just a game, but I felt important, and I was really excited, but also kind of embarrassed from all the attention. I really, really, REALLY wish Mark had been there to cheer me on. I’m so bummed that he missed my one and only shining moment and he couldn’t share in the excitement with me. (He’s still on TDY.) I wish I had pictures to show, but I don’t. If some of the other girls put them up on FB I’ll try to post them on here.
On a side note: Most of the girls did a shot of peach schnapps before the games started. I figured, sure why not. I’ll have one. I had half of one and holy cow. I got dizzy, I got hot, my legs felt weak and my face got beet red within 5 minutes. Every time anyone would even look at me they’d bust out laughing and they were taking pictures! It was kinda funny, but in my defense, I really don’t drink. I haven’t done a shot in I don’t even remember how long, and I hadn’t eaten dinner. I’m sure I’ll get a call sign based on my inability to tolerate liquor but oh well. I think it was my good luck shot!