Column #HR172 Happy Independence Day America (and England!)

Monday, June 27, 2016
Column HR172
Happy Independence Day America (and England!)

The Old Dart Coach has some flaws in his persona. He will on occasion take advantage of a person, place or thing. As a proud English-American, he had a watchful eye on the recent vote in the UK regarding their membership in the European Union. When the people of the UK voted to leave the EU, the ODC struck with rapier-like speed. He pointed and clicked to renew his yearly subscription to PDC TV when the pound sterling hit a 30 year low against the dollar. It’s better than 2-for Tuesday at Popeye’s.  It’s like finding a 99 Cents Only Store for darts.  Clever bastard that ODC.

There’s a petition going around in the UK for a re-vote on the premise that the election was “unfair,” the “leave” side didn’t win by a big enough margin and people didn’t understand what they were voting for because they were lied to.  That scenario has some support in the USA.  More than 48% of Americans that voted in the 2008 and 2012 presidential election are of the same mind. Makes sense as losers always want a “do over.”

There has been 24/7 news coverage from England. One female was seen holding a sign that read, “I’m not British. I’m European.”  If the ODC was the Sage of Sittingbourne (aka Dave Whitcombe) which he’s not – which leads Mrs. Sage (Delph) to breathe a sigh of relief – he might tell the lady, “Dear Ms. Bitch, then why don’t you return to Europa?”

Been some time since the ODC quoted the Sage of Sittingbourne.  He was politically incorrect before it was fashionable as he’s always been somewhat of a trendsetter.  His latest was a comment on the women’s darts team that plays out of his upscale pub.  ”Just heard that the women’s league matches played last night was successfully completed this morning.”

Yes, the couch in his home has welcomed him more than once.

One of the faults of today’s “journalism,” according to some, is that subjects once relegated to behind the hand whispers now are openly discussed.   A recent event in soccer is a case in point.

The headline blared, “The fart heard ’round the world.”

“It’s the tale of the humble fart, a moment of innocence in an otherwise inconsequential soccer game between two Swedish teams.  Adam Lindin Ljungkvist was the culprit what committed the foul deed.  Adam, in his own words, ‘just let go.’ Referee Dany Kako was not amused, so showed him another yellow card, he was gone.”

“I don’t get it but maybe he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him.”

“The reason for the yellow card?  I perceived it as deliberate provocation.”

Darts has a history of the same occurrence.  Back in the day, there was a player from Southern California (name withheld) who almost on cue could “toot a tune on his tooter.” He used this tactic most often when playing mixed doubles (regular partner’s name also withheld). The ODC  was involved in a similar situation when playing doubles with Canada’s Ed Oliver at America’s first $100,000 tournament.

The two were in the third round against two really big Iowa farm boys. They escaped the second round when the ODC accidently stepped on the air hose of the oxygen tank of one of the members of the opposing team – just as he was going for the winning double. The ODC’s foot might still be on that hose except the shooter turned blue, and the ODC ascertained something might be wrong.

Against the lads from Iowa, with the score level at one, the ODC tossed three to get into two dart range in the decider. The opponents were on a double. As he took the first step from the oche it happened. An escape of gas, which in the parlance is called “SAD,” as in “silent and deadly.” As the ODC was taking his darts out of the board the marker, Ed’s wife Heather, murmured, “You guys are in trouble.”  The ODC replied, “Maybe not. I have a secret weapon.”

The more than 6′ 5″ Iowa lad stepped to the oche, paused and stepped away… saying, “Ohhhhhh, that’s terrible.” He stepped back to the oche and threw three darts that only scouted the double. Oliver clammily stepped up, hit the double and the duo of ODC and Oliver moved on.

In the next round, they would meet a duo that was neither on oxygen or subject to the ODC’s secret weapon. Using this weapon must be done very carefully as just one little slip can spell disaster.  They lost in less than spectacular fashion.

Oliver and the ODC would draw the two “Iowa Farm Boy’s” again the next year at the North American…

“Hi guys.”

“NO, not you two again!”

Oliver and the ODC won 2-nil. History will long note that the shooter that followed the ODC to the oche did so with great trepidation.

Next Monday, July 4th, as all Yanks know, the USA celebrates its independence from the UK. On that July 4th some 87,658 days ago King George III wasn’t happy with the Colonies’ actions. On June 23, 2016, the people of the UK voted their independence from Europe. America’s own King, Obama the I, was not happy, as he had taken the opportunity to visit London to tell the locals how to vote.

Now both countries have an Independence Day to celebrate.

The ODC’s mind goes back to a 4th of July some years ago when he found himself sharing adult beverages with the late Barry Twomlow…

Those that never met Twomlow don’t really understand what darts is all about. He traveled the world as the “international ambassador” for the game packing a ready smile, his Unicorn darts and a wicked sense of humor. The two decided at some point that it was time to have one for the road. As often happens, that “one for the road” became one more and then one more – covering all the roads leading to all airports in the USA.

The ODC feeling frisky asked, “Do they celebrate the 4th of July in England?”

“Yes, we do. Every year”.

“Every year?”

“Yes.”

“You celebrate America’s Independence Day in England every year? What are you celebrating?”

“Getting rid of the likes of you.”

Yes, there are flaws in the ODC’s character but one of them is NOT self-promotion. With that in mind note that nowhere in this effort have you found any reference, either accidental or planned, to his soon to be published book, One Night while out Drinking with the Fat Swede.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY to all on both sides of the pond!

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.