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How To Get Rid of the Malocchio (pronounced Ma-loik to all you non-Italians)

Posted by : Jennifer Barretta

When I was growing up, a little girl descended from 2 sets of Italian grandparents, I used to hear them speaking in hushed tones about the bad things that were brought on the Bertolucci's by the Malocchio. It was a real superstition in my family that if you bragged or were ostentatious with your wealth, a jealous onlooker would bestow a nasty case of the Malocchio, or "evil eye" on your family, and from then on bad things would befall you. It was not unusual for me to see relatives wearing the Italian horn, which was thought to ward off the evil eye and protect the wearer from misfortune. What does all of this have to do with pool, you ask? Well nothing, really, but there is an evil eye in pool, and you are a few paragraphs away from discovering the Italian horn that will ward off the bad tidings it will bring.

In all but a small percentage of people something called Ocular Dominance exists, and unless you're participating in a shooting sport you may never notice or care which of your eyes is the workhorse and which one (the Malocchio) is just hanging around trying to foul things up. Pool happens to be a shooting sport. Are you starting to make the connection? If so, then keep reading.

There are a few tests to determine eye dominance, or "eyedness", but for the sake of simplicity I will use the Miles test. It's the first one I learned and it only takes a minute. Follow this step by step:

1. Extend both arms in front of you, as straight at possible.
2. Bring both hands together and form a small circular opening that you can look through.
3. With both eyes, look through the hole that you've created at an object in the distance. I usually prefer a light. Make the circle tight around the object.
4. Alternate closing each eye without moving your head.
5. If the object doesn't move, that is your dominant eye. If it disappears you've found the (whisper it!) Malocchio.


Now I'm not recommending that you get out a carving knife and remove the offender, because honestly the evil eye in this case really isn't all bad. It helps with depth perception and such, so it does serve some purpose other than to make you miss balls with the greatest of ease. What you can do is minimize it's evil effect by keeping your dominant eye over your cue at all times (and as I've mentioned before, the cue should be over the line of the shot). This will help tremendously in pocketing consistency by letting you get a good line of aim on every shot.

Hopefully this will help you get rid of some of the bad things that happen that are within your control. If I figure out a way to get rid of the terrible rolls that happen sometimes, I'll let you know. In the meantime just burn some sage or something. Ciao!