Column #HR181 Trick or Treat!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Column HR181
Trick or Treat!

…it was a night as black as the bottom of an endless well. The stars were hiding as if shy allowing a full moon to provide what illumination there was. The sounds of a long hidden wolf wailing as he howled to the moon his snout raise in greeting. It was a night from Shakespeare.” 

The owl shriek’d at thy birth, an evil sign; 

The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;

Dogs howl’d, and hideous tempest shook down trees;

The Raven rook’d her on the chimney’s top,

And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. 

…as he lay in his bed asleep yet wide awake a vision dressed in black flowing robes with a black conical hat appeared. Did he know this person? A person from the past appearing on this All Hallows’ Eve preparing for her yearly ride for a meeting of the clan. 

…the cauldron was boiling awaiting the toad, the fenny snake, the eye of the newt and the toe of the frog. Her contribution would be the tooth of a wolf – which may have been why the wolf was howling – and gall of the goat.  

…she mounted her broom sailing off into the endless sky. Circling the gathering three times. She swooped in for a landing. Then disaster struck. She’d neglected to activate her GPS which would have surely prevented her vehicle from flying directly into the overhead power lines.

He awoke with a start. Pinching himself -“Ouch dammit that hurts!” Was it a dream or had the Old Dart Coach’s ex-wife crashed her broom on All Hallows’ Eve? To this day, the ODC believes the latter – which is why Halloween is his favorite day of the year. A treat that gives all year long, is non-fattening and thoroughly enjoyable.

PDC PLAYERS GO TRICK OR TREATING

The players of the PDC go trick or treating each time they step to the oche. Most have a better chance of a treat than a trick. The true genius of the PDC is that they spread their prize money around all their tour players. With 20 Players Championship events in the books, the Order of Merit shows that the 50th ranked player, Raymond van Barneveld, has collected £17,250. In US dollars that’s $21,072 and a meaningless 30 cents. Over 20 tournaments in North America you’d have to win all 20 to even come close to that amount. The top money may make the headlines but it’s the money underneath that pays the bills of the good but not great players. North America has a severe lack of “good players” who can afford to travel.

“The Aussie Assassin” Simon Whitlock had been absent from the telly as his form had gone south faster than snowbirds head to Florida and Arizona. Then at the Grand Prix – pronounced pre – he came alive, showing the style that at one time had him in the top four. During his trip to Dublin, he won a pro tour and coped a top eight in the main event.

The following in week in Barnsley, he won on the Players Tour while tossing in a 9-darter for good measure. He took the final 6-4 over Chris Dobey. Detractors will point out that “van Gerwen” didn’t enter, which should mean nothing. You can only beat those that are there, and he beat ’em all. Whitlock had to be reveling in the treats from Dublin and Barnsley.

The next day came the trick as he, as the 7th seed, would exit to Brendan Dolan (6-5) in round one. Heck of a deal.

This week, as North American darters are going door-to-door the PDC guys will be going after £400,000 at the Unibet European Championship in Belgium October 28-30. Yes, if you subscribe to PDC TV you can watch live. If you have a real life then Toeing the Oche will provide results. What you’ll not get is dollar amounts except for the winner and runner-up. For some reason, the PDC no longer publishes monies paid at each stage of an event. Why? NO EYE DEAR. Requests for information went unanswered.

FROM LOUISIANA – A TRICK FOR THE ODC

While the treat in each effort is the column itself the trick is that every everybody’s a critic. What some may not know is that The Old Dart Coach also masquerades as a boxing writer under the name “Lord of the Manor.” A recent column brought a call from an agent in rural Louisiana. The agent introduced himself as Sam. “Just” Sam asked if the ODC would be interested in doing a weekly column for the local newspaper, the Bienville Parish Democrat. The ODC, as is well known, has a strong aversion to the word “Democrat” and anything associated with it.

Putting that aside, and considering his economic situation, he responded…

“Count me in.”

Please note that the ODC did not say, “Show me the money.”

“Do you want me to write about darts or boxing?”

“You’ll have to write about deer hunting or hog farming,” came the answer.

“I don’t know anything about either of those subjects.”

“I just read your boxing column, and you sure don’t know anything about boxing.”

UP AND DOWN

For the ODC it’s an up and down situation. The ODC was higher than a Millennial in Colorado after a wonderful person at Popeye’s asked for his ID to qualify for the senior discount for the Tuesday Special.

That euphoria didn’t last long. The ODC crashed in flames after a trip to San Jose, California, recently. He went to sell books and tell a few lies while sharing cocktails with those who matriculated at THE SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY.

The ODC has figured out that if he uses a wheelchair at airports he gets through the security checks faster than a speeding bullet. Not to mention that on overseas trips he sails through customs lickety-split as others, not as clever, sometimes wait in not so quiet exasperation.

This was after he figured out that when shopping he could use the electric carts, which are great fun. People get out of the way, are always polite, and he can challenge other cart-bound folks to races. Rarely do they accept the challenge. Once he chased a lady from the bank, wearing a long pencil skirt, up and down the aisles of the local Smith’s grocery, where the bank had a branch. She has since asked for and received a transfer.

Going through the security check at the San Jose Airport, he looked up at an unsmiling security agent…

“Sir, please remove your shoes.”

The ODC explained that he’d reached the age where this is not required. He then asked…

“Do you need to see my ID?”

“NO.”

When the ODC arrived back at su casa and checked the mail he found a letter from the Neptune Society.

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.