Column #HR52 Oily Croft and the Gang

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Column HR52
Oily Croft and the Gang

With the PDC taking a summer break the Old Dart Coach was sitting on his rather large divan (which is not a piece of furniture) musing (which is always dangerous). He was musing in a semi-deep funk because he actually made a mistake. He didn’t trust his “lying eyes” but relied on the official report. Tasked with the duty of watching PDC darts online he wrote down “Ronnie Baxter up 3-nil missed 5 darts to go up 4-0 against James Wade.” Checking the “official” account it was reported that Baxter missed 6 at a double so the following appeared in Toeing the Oche: “Ronnie Baxter up 3-nil missed 6 at a double to let Wade in at 3-1. Not a good idea. Wade wins 10-7.”

Rocket Ronnie fired off the following email which landed on double tops with 40 left. “Hi big man from across the pond, not you as well. You should never believe everything you hear or read, I only missed 5 darts to be 4-0 up. From 76 hitting treble 20 then 2 darts and then 3. Doesn’t make me feel any better though!” The ODC although blameless, issued an apology and has relegated his “fact checker” to watching the BDO on TV.

More musing found the ODC thinking back to the time when “Lèse majesté” ruled the darting world. For those not familiar with the term“Lèse majesté,” it refers to “the crime of violating the majesty, an offense against the dignity of the reigning sovereign.” At times, while tragic, there still had to be some laughs from the bumbling group that ruled supreme and might still outside the PDC. The august World Dart Federation, that would be Oily and the Gang, decided that the representative from the Kingdom of Thailand was bad for darts and therefore had to be replaced. His main transgression, besides being a pain in the ass, was that he asked the Executive in an open meeting “how could the WDC dismiss a proposal from NODOR to be the official dartboard in a ‘secret meeting of three minutes,’ especially when (the then dartboard), Winmau, was paying the WDF next to nothing and NODOR offered revenue on each board sold?”

The Thailand representative was ruled out of order by the WDF President and told to sit down. Yes the Thailand representative was the ODC who for a number of years paid the WDF dues for Kingdom of Thailand where “Lèse majesté” is an art form. The Thailand Darts Association (TDA) had no money after their Burmese treasurer made the treasury disappear. “Where’s the money?” “Gone.” “Where’d it go?” “Disappear. Magic.” The secret was that the ODC knew very well why the NODOR offer was refused. Winmau was the official sponsor of the BDO and part of that deal was for Oily Croft to deliver the WDF. NO problemo. The WDF executive decided that at the next meeting, which was the world cup in Las Vegas, they would rid themselves of the ODC appearing as the representative of Thailand. Oh yes the ODC was also an ADO league rep from the Fairfield Darts Association in California. This is the same area that built a rapid transit system opting to call it the Fairfield Area Rapid Transit. The idea came from the Bay Area Rapid Transit system which everyone calls BART. Upon further review Fairfield changed the name of their system.
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At the World Cup WDF representatives are accorded free entry to the venue. When time came for the World Cup in Las Vegas only one WDF representative was asked to pay. He politely told them to “FO” instead returning to the sports book bar at the Sahara where he held court with the help of premier beverage server Juniort. The WDF was going to pass a law that in order to represent a country a person must live in that country. The ODC, being sometimes smarter than your average pet rock, figured out that Norway’s representative, Roy Price, not only wasn’t living in Norway but had lived for years in London. At the AGM the subject of eligibility came up with the ODC sitting there waiting for the vote to oust him which then would be the perfect time to ask that Price also be excluded. Suddenly there was a call for a 10 minute adjournment. When the meeting was reconvened an amendment was proposed by the Swedish puppet that to represent a country the “person must be born or live” in the country. Good bye the representative of the Kingdom. The vote was kind of close. The ADO representative voted for the ouster explaining later “she was confused on what she was voting for.” Price? Oh yes, been such a good lapdog that he’s now the President of the WDF. Reportedly waging his tail on cue at the sound of his master’s voice. Heck he might even live in Norway now.

AN E-MAIL TALE

Further musing by the ODC brought him to the idea of using a reader’s emails to fill out this space. With apologies to Donnie, here goes. Darting provides many answers to life’s mysteries. We know that it is always good to forgive your enemy but remember the bastard’s name because many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them. Laws change. We learn that money can’t buy happiness but it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle. Darters, as a group, are always willing to help someone knowing that when you help someone in trouble they’ll remember you when they’re in trouble again. As alcohol is a part of the sport we learn that alcohol doesn’t solve any problems but then neither does milk – and beer’s more fun.

One of the ODC’s best friends was the late Bill “Nick” Nichol. “It use to have two l’s but I got one kicked out of me.” He once told the ODC, “my neighbor knocked on my door at 2:30 this morning. Can you believe that? Lucky for me I was still up playing my bagpipes.”

Another one off, now also sadly gone, was Tommy O’Regan who once told the ODC that he couldn’t walk up a stalled escalator because it was broke. Darts are big with the Irish. Paddy told his friend Tommy, “I’m thinking of buying a Labrador.” Tommy warned him, “F**K that, have you seen how many of their owners go blind.”

One down on his doubles and broke, a darter told a friend, “I saw a poor women fall over today on the ice! At least I assume she was poor – she only had $1.20 in her purse.” The same darter informed his friends that “my new girlfriend thinks I’m a stalker.” Then he later admitted “that she wasn’t his girlfriend yet.”

A darter who had been missing from the scene for a couple of weeks reappeared. He was asked where he’d been. “I was explaining to my wife that when you die you get reincarnated but must come back as a different creature. She said she would like to come back as a cow. I told her you’re obviously not listening.” His hearing had almost returned to normal after a stay in the hospital which proves that a darter’s head is not stronger than an iron skillet.

A big name darter from the coal country asked the ODC the following question. “Went for my routine check up today and everything seems fine until he stuck his finger up my arse! Do you think I should change dentists?” This is the same gentleman who England in the early 1980’s complained ‘bout the food. In the late 1980’s at breakfast with Dave Whitcombe and the ODC he admitted that “English food is getting better. I even saw a McDonalds.”

Many know that the ODC spends time in Thailand. On his latest trip he took the tram about Bangkok. He was sitting opposite a stunning Thai girl. He kept thinking to himself “please don’t get an erection, please don’t get an erection… but she did.”

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.

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