Column #413 Mr. Rat EXPOSED! Erdogan Camelback SPEAKS!

Sunday, May 1, 2011
Column 413
Mr. Rat EXPOSED! Erdogan Camelback SPEAKS!

In 2006, after months of vigorously tracking the elusive Mr. Rat – the seer of darts seers, the prognosticator of darts prognosticators – through an intermediary (the former Caroline Sams) I finally prevailed and secured the Great One’s agreement to respond to the questions which inquiring minds had, well, on their minds.

Like a London cabbie, Mr. Rat had the Knowledge. He was most famous for correctly predicting many months in advance – in October, 2005 – that Raymond van Barneveld would ditch the cobwebs of the British Darts Organization (BDO) for the greener pastures and greenbacks of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

Mr. Rat set a few ground rules. I had to promise not to press him for his identity or take the Mick and be man enough to send him a case of beer as payment for his effort. I agreed and with a humble long distance e-mail shake of hand and little paw we got down to business. I looked forward, as I know others did, to Mr. Rat’s candid rodentesque replies. So we began…

Dartoid: Cheers Mr. Rat. Thank you for agreeing to answer my questions. People tell me we know each other so would you mind if I called you just Rat?

Rat: Where’s me beer?

Well, there was no beer (at least warm beer like Mr. Rat preferred) so the whole frickin’ thing fell apart before it started.

It’s a shame because I had some good questions. For example, with the following really tricky one I hoped, despite the rules, to sus out the rumor that Mr. Rat was actually Barry Hearn: Is it true you are Barry Hearn?

For the past five years I have been searching for another interview subject who is as famous and mysterious as was Mr. Rat. Recently I found him – the one and only speller extraordinaire, insightful and hilarious Erdogan Camelback.

Like Mr. Rat, he (or she) also didn’t want pestered with identity questions and set some rules: “Unfortunatelye wiythe worke I donte hayve muche tiyme, sende me three queystiones aynde I wiylle do mye beste, cante promiyse anythinge thoughe,” wrote the Camelman in reply to my interview request.

I first met Erdogan at the old Superstars of Darts forum. When it folded he packed up his tent (the prevailing opinion in those days was that he was from Turkey). Only in recent weeks has he reappeared at the new Stars of Darts forum Stars of Darts. Limiting me to just three questions was a tall order…

Dartoid: Thank you Erdo. Of course, we only reached terms after I agreed to limit my questions and not try tricking you into revealing your real name, so I won’t do that. But please, let me ask just one question in this regard – to quell the belief among many that they’ve figured out who you are. Let me ask you straight away: Are you are or are you not Dave “Boy” Green? He can’t spell for shite either.

Erdogan Camelback: I aym probaybly not Dayve boye Greeyne, thoughe I cannot be sure, mye birthe documentes are sketchye ayt beste.

I was selfe raiysed iyn a bakery thayt i builte from spayre tractor partes iyn a smalle towne thayt you woulde not hayve hearde of, I nevere knewe mye parentes, I was founde iyn a breade biyn by travelliynge monkes, i was taughte the fiyne arte of baykery aynde eventuallye opened mye owne shop. I was oftene interested iyn the dartes on televisione but realiysed i coulde not combiyne mye love of the gayme wiythe the daiyly taskes required to run a successful pasrtye baysed businesse. One day, I decided to mayke a move, I looked ayt a piece of particularlye toughe doughe aynde thought “I donte kneade thiys.” Thayts wheyn I opened the Taverne, we nowe hayve two televisions (One iys coloure) aynde we showe alle of the moste recente gaymes broadcaste iyn our villayge, I cannot believe thayte phiyle Taylore fiynallye one hiys firste worlde chaympionshipe last weeke, I feel theyre maye be more to come, thoughe the driynkiyng on stayge iys worryiyng, The firste nighyte thayt i dranke iyn the tavern I had too muche aynde triypped on a barred stool, I wente flyiynge through the air, got mye pantes caught iyn the ceiliynge fan, crayshed iynto the bar aynde broke mye leygs, I also browned the trousers I was weariynge but that is obviouslye for another tiyme. Nowe I donte driynke aynde I thiynke the players coulde do the sayme as thayt iys the laste thiynge that you neeyde to happene to you iyn the worlde championships.

Dartoid: Thank you for that, I guess. I’m pleased to hear that the rumors about you being Dave “Boy” Green are false. I’d have had to stop the interview.

Back when I was working on the Mr. Rat interview one of the questions people asked over and over was why he called himself Mr. Rat. It carried such negative connotations. Rats were the cause of the Black Death, the most devastating plague of all time. Millions of people from Rome to Paris to London died. James Cagney is perhaps most famous for his use of the term, as in Blond Crazy where he turned to Joan Blondell and said: “Why, the dirty, double-crossing rat, I’d like to get my hooks into him, I’d tear him to pieces.”

So tell me, you seem to strive to bring something positive to the sport, but do you sometimes wish, so people might better understand your motivations, that you’d selected a more positive sounding and meaningful screen name, something that didn’t appear to be connected in some way to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, or are you him?

Erdogan Camelback: I aym not the presidente of turkeys!

Theye do what theye wante ays long as they leayve me aynde mye family alone, theyre was an incidente backe iyn ’78, thoughe we settled wiythe miynimal disruption, mye haiyre grewe baycke iyn due course aynde hiys featheres were mended. Theye are a wonderful breeyde of aniymal, thoughe prone to cheayting ayt badminton aynde steaylinge fundes from local chariyties.

Dartoid: Oh my. But okay. You’re not Dave “Boy” Green or the Prime Minister of Turkey. That’s all good news. You have a lot going for you!

Still, people have been trying to figure out your identity for years and you’ve managed to dodge and weave – much more successfully than Frank Bruno, I might add – and remain unexposed. How do you do it? How do you continue without being found out? And what’s with the spelling?

Erdogan Camelback: I aym quiyte a quiet aynde introverte person, its probablye that i liyve suche a subdued liyfestyle thayt people havente hearde of me, people are always welcome to visite the taverne for a drinke, thoughe I couldn’t teylle you the nayme of the villayge ays mountaiyn wolves stole the signe aynde none of us cayn reymemebr the nayme.

As for the speylling, I thiynke she was iyn Beverley hilles, but i donte knowe where she liyves nowe, she seemed a little highe maiyntenence?

Dartoid: Fair enough and fair play. It’s clear that I’m out of my league here. You’ve deflected my questions and, now, got my mind conjuring images of breasts. All I asked about was spelling!

I’m permitted one more question though so I suppose I should ask something about darts. You obviously know a lot about the sport so please share with my readers, all five or six of them, when you first became involved, what your claim to darts fame is, and all you see for the future of the sport? For instance, do you think there will be a world champion from America before the world ends? Please, give me the straight Erdo poop.

Erdogan Camelback: Iyn termes of dartes I aym verye muche a fan aynde never mayde anywhere neayre the grade ays a playere, I wishe i was goode enoughe to playe some competitiyve levels but iyt wille nevere be. I nowe very muche enjoye watchiynge others play a sporte to a level thayt I coulde only dreayme of.

Liyke a steyve beayton tan job, the future iys very briyght for Dartes iyn general, wheyther you enjoye the BDO or the PDC, theyre iys somethiynge for absolyteley everyone. Grasse rootes hays nevere been strongere wiythe the BDO aynde the PDC maykes an amaziynge showcayse thayt has broken boundaries acrosse the genre.

I had tickets to the laykeside a couple of yeares ago, I was very diysappointed, no one iyn theyre hayd hearde of ted Hankeye aynde i was throwne out of house of Frayser for weariynge a hoodied sequin jumpsuite withe asslesse chaps aynde singinge lewd songes, i wonte be going agaiyn, theye also hayd no donkey parkiynge aynde he kicked offe iyn Pizza expresse causing £8k damage aynde neare fatal injuries to a dance troupe from Malta.

Dartoid: Many thanks, Erdo. I appreciate your taking “tiyme from worke” to respond to my questions. Hopefully, sometime during my travels I’ll be able to “visite your mountaiyn taverne for a drinke and some dartes.” I realize that I’ll need a donkey (we call them asses) to get there. I don’t have one but I’ll manage because I know where there is one. His name is Boy.

Finally, a note for those who are still wondering about Mr. Rat’s identity: two clues to the answer are in the third paragraph above.

Now I must go to the computer store and have my spellchecker fixed.

From the Field,

Dartoid

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.
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