Column #HR75 “Jumping the Shark” and Touching the “Third Rail”

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Column HR75
“Jumping the Shark” and Touching the “Third Rail”

Regular readers of Dartiod’s World (for those who aren’t “regular” might I suggest a nice bran muffin each morning) may have been shocked when my colleague and editor published his latest effort. In show biz terms he “jumped the shark” by writing about the “third rail” of darts. SEX. Yes, dear readers, sex has raised its ugly head yet again. No pun intended – but of course we’ll take it.

Jump the Shark? The phrase is used to define a particular scene, episode or aspect in which the writers use some gimmick in a desperate attempt to keep viewers’ (or readers’) interest. As well as Dartoid writes, no such cheap theatrics are needed to hold the reader’s interest. That’s not the case with your loyal servant and pal of the Old Dart Coach – for which I’m being held accountable. So beware. Cheap theatrics are coming…

Third rail? This term is usually associated with political-speak as in something not to be discussed. For example during this year’s presidential race one side is not suppose to mention birth certificates, college transcripts, sipping wine with terrorists, eating dogs (which gives a new meaning to the term “walking the dog” or “woking the dog”), dealing coke, surrendering law licenses to avoid legal trouble, or past promises or any similar statement.

In sports, for years, the third rail (named after the third rail on an electric train which if touched would light you up like Pablo’s monkey on a power line) was SEX. Something not to be discussed.

If golf reflects life in the country club – and we know how those silver-haired ladies get after the second Bloody Mary – then surely darts reflects the life down at the local pub where by the fourth or fifth pint with, maybe, a couple of shots of Jägermeister the guy with “do lap disease” looks like George Clooney.

Do lap disease? That’s when his stomach “do lap” over his belt or, in the words of Mickey Gilley, it’s “The Girls All Get Prettier Time.” I’m told it holds for guys also.

The mixture of alcohol and darts is nature’s chemical mixture for men (most notably found in Cialis and Viagra). Dart leagues and tournaments provide a perfect setting for love and romance. The argument can be made that the mix of alcohol and darts encourages more love then a tennis match between Roger Federer and Stevie Wonder. The mating combinations and variations thereof boggle the mind (with the exception that sheep, cumquats, and rutabagas can usually safely be left out of the equation). Of course, there are exceptions to the sheep rule in New Zealand and Scotland (where sheep are plentiful and willing), the great open spaces of Wyoming, and Iowa where the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.

Back in the day when the ODC was captaining the “original” Nads there was one player in particular who had an eye for the ladies. And there was one lady in particular would show up to “root” for this player on and on and on. Pun intended. She also had eyes for other players but that’s a different story. When the Nads would go on their half time “B&P” break one player was always assigned to “disengage” the ardent Romeo from said lady with the words “you’re up.” Many times those words were stating the oblivious.

One Sunday morning after a Saturday night blind draw the ODC found himself sitting next to the said lady testing the quality of the Bloody Mary’s at a local dart pub…

“You know what I hate?”

“No,” answered the ODC figuring that almost nothing was on the table.

“I hate those women who show up on league night just looking for a man. They’re tramps. It’s just cheap meaningless sex.”

Sometimes it’s best to say nothing, else risk having said Bloody Mary shoved through various orifices.

Dartoid’s report involved a professional Dutch darts player, Jelle Klaasen, who sent a photo of his “package” to an 15-year-old girl. It will probably be the end of his professional darting career and may land him in Old Nick. In a non-politically correct environment his act would probably be considered minor when compared to missing a double in a crucial match. If Jelle was a democrat running for Mayor of New York his actions would be a “bad choice,” soon forgotten, with the voters allowing him to move on.

It’s interesting to note that if Jelle sent the offending photos while in Holland he may not have committed a crime. The current age-of-consent law in Holland “permits sex between an adult and a young person between 12 and 16 if the young person consents.”

It can’t be denied that sex has always been an integral pixel in sport just as it is in life. It is the third rail. When a child, the ODC was caught in a situation somewhat similar to Jelle’s. Back in the day there were no iphones or ipads – instead the mode of communication was two empty Campbell chicken noodle soup cans connected by 20 feet of fishing line…

When the day arrived, the ODC he held his soup can flashing “his package.” From the other end of the fishing line came a Peggy Lee-like voice singing “Is That All There Is?” He had hoped for Kitty Kallen singing “Little Things Mean a Lot.”

In the end it was William Shakespeare who put it in perspective: “Much to do about nothing.”

From the “thrust” of this effort thus far it might seem as if there was no actual darting going on of late. Not so…

Up north in Canada – London, Ontario – Andre Carmen took round two of the North America PDC Pro Tour with a 6-3 win over Darin Young. He got to the finals after a 6-1 trouncing of good guy Dan Olsen as Darin Young erased Gary “The Mailman” Mawson 6-4. PDC regular tour member and former three-time world champion, John Part, went out in the round of 32 (6-3 to Ross Snook). ADO 2012 Champion, Larry Butler, exited in the last 64 via a 6-5 score to Steve Warnock along with fellow Yanks John Kuczynski (to Christian Haggmark, 6-4) and Ray Carver (6-2 to Dan Olsen). No reports of any “third rail” stuff but the ODC, who can remember some stuff, has fond memories of darts in Canada. His baby heat beats like a fat man walking up stairs.

The Yanks did “good” winning the Americas Cup with 2012 ADO Women’s reserve champion Marilyn Pop taking the singles. It’s no surprise that Stacy Bromberg is again the 2012 ADO’s Lady’s champ. The Americas Cup replaced the old Pacific Cup which was a great event until torpedoed by a greedy bastard from Japan who said “We need a event the nips can win.” Yea he was a Yank and made a living off those “nips.” Great guy.

At one time the ODC – like Dartoid, never hesitant to “jump the shark” or touch the “third rail” to make a point that needs to be made – was disagreeing with the Grand Poobahs that ran darts whether in the USA, England or on an International level. Get on their bad side – some would claim that they didn’t have a good side – and you were DOA. The ODC knows this from experience…

The memory had almost faded when a quick check of the ADO website brought forth the news that there was a call for candidates for the Executive of the ADO. The ODC more than once opined, “That ADO elections make a Banana Republic’s election look downright democratic.” Only officers can run for office and only officers vote. “Por Que?” you axe – just tossing in a little California lingo.

As any student of U.S. history knows members of the United States Senate used to be elected not directly by the people but by the state legislatures. One theory, at the time, was that the people were too stupid to elect all their representatives. The election process changed on May 31, 1913 when the 17th Amendment officially became law.

The ADO never changes. It just keeps doing what doesn’t work hoping for different results. According to Albert Einstein that’s the definition of insanity. The ODC sees it a bit different: the ADO election system supports more inbreeding than the 10,000 member LDS conclave in Arizona called Colorado. Go figure.

Yes, sometimes you have to “jump the shark” and touch the “third rail” to make a point that must be made.

Stay thirsty my friends.

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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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