Column #HR101 Here’s hoping you lose more than your mask this Halloween

The Old Dart Coach dictated that Toeing the Oche clean out its files. With the red carpet rolled out, trumpets ready to blare “Ruffles and Flourishes” and drummers alerted for the occasional rim shot… here ’tis.

So… has the mystery of ODC’s stolen ukulele been solved? Maybe. The ODC had blamed the pilferage – after he had mastered “My Dog Has Fleas” and Fats Waller’s “Sheik of Arby” – on a dead of night visit by The Ukulele Fairy.

“Nay! Nay! emailed Tim Ewald from Ohio. “It was Tiny Tim who used your ukulele to woo Ms. Vicki. They then wed on the Johnny Carson show. You, ODC, are to blame for “Tip Toe Through the Tulips.”

Broken hearted the ODC, at the command of his mother, then took up the saxophone. He was bad. He played in the key of ugly. Mercifully the sax got lost. So the ODC, like Bill Clinton, “played the sax.” An unlikely pair? Perhaps, although both are born leaders with leaders with lots of charisma.

They also both had women who could fly around on All Hallows Eve. The ODC’s ex crashed her broomstick while test flying a new model from the 99-cent store. She perished.

Toeing the Oche readers have no trouble voicing opinions. Some don’t even start with, “You suck baldy.”

One reader answered the rhetorical question (posed in the ODC’s last column), “Did America have its best team at the recent World Cup?”

“Dangerous I know. But hardly in my opinion. ADO rankings are BS. If Larry Butler had been joined by any three of the following people (and had Stacy Bromberg and Marilyn Popp been there instead of Cali West and Brenda Roush) we’d have brought home the gold with ease: Jim Widmayer, Ray Carver, John Kuczynski, Darin Young, Scott Kirchner… and I’m just getting started.”

That argument will be put to the test in the upcoming America’s Cup. #1 Jim Widmayer and #2 Tom Sawyer, along with #1 lady Brenda Roush and #5 Sandy Hudson will represent the ADO. We’ll see.

William Shakespeare wrote, “I have come to praise the ADO not burry them.”

The quote’s inaccurate but a little Shakespeare always adds cache. ADO rankings are not BS. They are what they are. Once they accurately portrayed the best as the ADO was the only game in town. Their edicts hung over players heads like the Sword of Damocles. No longer.

Now the best players can pick and choose among a host of events. Multi machine darts events offering bigger purses and non-ADO steel tip tournaments offer several money making opportunities. The ADO doesn’t compete in the realm of ideas. Even more importantly they failed miserably to tap “OPM.” The players still foot the bill.

“OPM?”

“Other People’s Money”.

Without “OPM” pro golfers would be hustling money for gas and Whoppers. The PDC with “OPM” – thank you television – has elevated the sport to professional status. Next year the PDC will present events on 48 weekends. In the process the PDC has turned the BDO and the WDF into mostly irrelevant organizations.

Jim “The Biz” wrote from London, “Just watched the Winmau World Masters. It was like it was played in a cemetery. “
The ODC fondly remembers the Winmau World Masters when it was held in London each December. It was his opportunity to play dress up before an international audience. For the gala dinner – not to be confused with your regular run of the mill dinner – he would purchase a “dinner shirt” from Harrods.

It’s always cold in London during December – and most other months – so the ODC was bundled up like the Dickinsonian character roasting chestnuts over an empty 50-gallon oil drum on the corner at 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge.
Entering the men’s department of Harrods he was met by a salesperson who oozed, “Oh heavens these peasants from the Colonies” attitude.

“I’m looking for a dinner shirt.”

“Over there,” the salesperson said pointing with utter distain.

The ODC found a multi-colored shirt, white stiff front and of course French cuffs. Encountering the same salesperson at the checkout counter the ODC confided, “I really don’t want the shirt but I do want one of those green Harrods bags to carry stuff on the airplane home.”

“And how will you be paying? It’s ninety pounds sterling.”
With that the ODC whipped out his Platinum American Express Card quicker than Wyatt Earp could a gun.

“Thank you, Sir. If the gentleman pleases I could provide an extra Harrods’ bag for your travels.”

The adventure provided a good laugh when the crew assembled at the Green Man Pub just off the men’s department at Harrods. Oh yes, the pub down the street from the Masters’ venue in Earl’s Court was the Cock’s Inn. No cheap jokes there.

At the gala dinner the ODC, Bobby George and Ms. Deta Headman posed for photographs, showing off their bling. The ODC in a black velvet dinning jacket finished second to George in the bling contest. Ms. Headman had them both in class. Ms. Headman would win this year’s women’s Winmau World Masters title to add to her recent World Cup Singles win.

It’s good to see that players are learning from the PDC. In the gents round of 16 at the Winmau Ryan Searle was playing Richie George. Searle was leading with 80 required for the match – his first dart a treble 20 and his second on the double 10 wire.

“Good marker,” intoned the TV voice.

Then came, “Leg and Match to Mr. Searle,” from the referee. Searle pulled the missed double 10, shook George’s hand and pranced off stage. The dart was clearly out. Who the hell did he think he was? Phil Taylor?

Richie George is the son of legend Bobby George. Papa took the high road saying, “Searle could have admitted he missed the double and become a sportsman.”

One women on Facebook defended Searle. “He’s a very polite young man and it wasn’t his fault that the referee made a mistake.”

Ever notice that the next door neighbors to a serial killer always say, “He was such a nice boy. Always kind. Nice to his Mother.”

The ODC’s pal Phil Taylor can’t seem to get break. He recently beat Dave Chisnell 6-0 for a title. The PDC “official” press release called him, “Ruthless Phil Taylor.”

What’s he suppose to do? Let Chisnell win a leg? When at the Dutch Masters Dave Chisnell beat Max Hopp 6-0 he wasn’t called ruthless.

The Dutch Open showed via “live stream” had Kim Hybrechts take out 106 against Brendon Dolan for the win worth £20,000. Hybrechts defeated “Mercurial” Michael van Gerwen in the semis 6-3. The red hot Peter “Snakebite’ Wright fell victim to Hybrechts in a 6-5 nail-biter in the quarters.

As Halloween approaches here’s some advice from the world’s second most interesting man: If you attend a Halloween masquerade party and at the end of the night the only think that comes off is the mask… you’re doing something wrong.

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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