HR #118 A Geezer’s Tale

Monday, August 11, 2014
Column HR118
A Geezer’s Tale

When the Old Dart Coach signed his multi-year six-figure contract with Dartroid’s World one of the stipulations was that he deliver at least two columns per month. “No hill for a climber,” one might say. The landscape has changed. The PDC is kind of scratched off as column material as  the young wunderkind from England, Jami Barron, has that pretty much covered. With his knowledge of American darts the ODC’s options are limited.

The hot topic now seems to be the American Darts Organization – how to fix it if it’s broke and what to do. The ODC has been there, done that and never got a t-shirts. That leaves an old geezer talking about “the good old days.” Nothing more boring, except to other old geezers.

For those not familiar with the term “geezer” it refers to any male older than you but not as bright as you and obliviously not as talented on the Oche. One could and should ask why the term “geezer” only applies to the male of the species.

Two answers. Straight away a male would never refer to a female as old. Not going to happen. Maybe experienced but never old. Just pretend that there is a term – and a she is called  a

Geezerette. Yea, that’ll work.

The Cleveland Extravaganza was a really big deal back in the day. Things happened during that event that made the Cleveland river catching on fire seem minor. One year, a team got to the top four in the blind draw with 5 people – you re-drew for partners each round – and the late Nicky Virachkul, chasing ADO points, was left out of the singles draw. The committee’s offer to  return his entry fee was rejected with extreme prejudice.

“Entry fee? I want the first place money I was going to win.”

He had a point but settled for something less than first place money but more than the entry fee.

The ODC was never called through three rounds of the singles – which is almost the farthest he ever got in a tournament. When he mentioned this to the control desk he was told, “You’re up now on 37.”

Heck the ODC wanted his entry fee back what with the price of beer and schnapps. He played the guy who had just lost on 36 – then immediately lost the next match.

At the time, when there was an international competition coming up, the ADO grudgingly chose the team using ADO points. Two really good players from Pennsylvania were to face off in the Cleveland singles finals. At the venue’s portable bar it was decided that the two would split the money, the points chaser winning the match, so it was “a win-win” situation all around.  Tied at one-all the points chaser fell behind in the deciding leg. Way behind. The money guy got to a double with the points chaser back at 300.  Six missed darts at the double with a stage whisper of “GD it, hit the f’ing double – I can’t wait all day.” He finally hit the double putting the points chaser out of his misery.

“If I miss the team…” was cut off by, “Come on I’ll buy.” End of problem.

The famous or infamous Cleveland Friday Night Hopping Dick Races, promoted by the ODC and John Kramer – aka JK, were covered in a previous column. What wasn’t covered was that for many years JK and the ODC were roomies on the road. They had some adventures. One occurred in Brisbane, Australia not to be confused with Brisbane, California where no one goes on purpose…

JK was on the World Cup team while the ODC was captain of the Women’s Duo. JK’s selection didn’t make the“ powers that be” happy. One of the ODC’s task was to keep control of JK. Lots of luck with that. JK is after all JK. It was agreed that the ODC would watch JK’s back, keeping him out of any situation that might cause trouble. The ADO “powers that be” would have liked nothing better than to send him home replaced by “one of their own” who just happened to be on the trip.

Hotel check-in was followed by a trip to the hotel’s Hollywood bar where JK and the ODC were joined by the late Ken Gliddle – then the President of the British Darts Organization – who was always up for a pint, especially if someone else was buying.

At the time New Zealand was trying to get the USA to remove all its submarines from the area because, as they put it, “we’re nuclear free.” Yea if a bomb went off it would stop before it got to New Zealand because they were “nuclear free.” Wearing our ADO World Cup jackets – which the ODC shamed the ADO into buying – we were enjoying a pint with Ken when a Kiwi came by, tapped JK on the shoulder, and said…

“Why don’t you Yanks get your F’ing subs out of our country.”

“JK ignore him.”

The Kiwi wouldn’t be deterred until we removed all our nuclear subs. Of course, we didn’t have any but that didn’t dawn on the well-lubricated Kiwi.

JK and the ODC kept their backs turned when “KA POW” Ken landed a punch over the tops of their heads and the donnybrook brook was on. History will note that landing a punch over the heads of JK and the ODC is not difficult as neither would be found in the front line of any NBA team.

Kramer and the ODC immediately took off and jumped in the elevator for the safety of their room. As they opened the door the phone was ringing…

“Hello?”

“You and Kramer are going home tomorrow.”

“Why?”

“You two started a fight in the bar and you’re gone.”

“We did nothing. Never threw a punch and in fact left when the trouble started.”

“That’s not what I hear. You’re out of here.”

“We did nothing. It was Ken Gliddle who started the fight. Send him home.”

With that the phone was slammed down. Was anyone sent home? Nope and never another word was said. Ken Gliddle came through to save the innocent although it’s hard to believe that both the ODC and JK were innocent. For once they were.

But not the next morning when JK was practicing darts throwing at a board on the wall of the room. The lady next door was not amused…

“Stop that racket,” she yelled, pounding on the wall.

“I’m the world best dart player,” answered JK.

“I don’t care who the hell you are – stop the dam racket. I’m calling the manager.”

There came a knock at the door which was timidly opened only to find a couple of pals from the USA. One, an American law enforcement officer who the night before had scored an Australian  police shirt, which he was wearing.

They had barely gotten in the room when there was a pounding on the door.

“Open up. I’m the manager.”

“Oh s**t we’re out of here.”

Their pal in the police shirt offered to handle the problem. He opened the doors saying, “I have this under control.”

“Thank you so much officer.”

It was memorable trip with the American Team beating the English 9-0 on stage and having a chance to win a meaningful World Cup. Some “do-da” missed darts at a doubles so it was not to be. How did the law enforcement officer get a police shirt?

That’s a geezer’s tale for another time.

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.
Howie Reed

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