Author Archives: Dartoid

October 2019 Double Out Shot: Candice Swanepoel

Column #577 Darts near the Kremlin

Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Column 577
Darts near the Kremlin

For thirty-two days my life was a pain in the ass. Literally.

What was originally to be a week-long Guinness tasting holiday in Dublin with three buddies somehow turned into a month-long, 2,000-mile, bike ride from Dublin to Moscow. Don’t ask me how this happened. I no longer remember.

What I do remember is that I was assured it would be “a kick-ass month to remember” and that I would have more than ample opportunity to check out the pubs and the local brews — and throw some darts along the route — from Dublin, through England, Holland, Germany, the former East Germany, Poland, Belarus, and across Russia to Moscow.


The truth is I never had enough energy to do much more than shove carbohydrates into my face and crash on the floor at the end of each day’s ride. I can barely lift my throwing arm, let alone sit on a barstool. My hair looks like, well — like hair looks when it’s been stuffed into a plastic helmet for thirty-two days. AND — worst of all (this is REALLY BAD) — I possess absolute proof that sitting on a bike for ten hours a day will turn that most vital of male organs into a soft-tip dart.

Now that the hell-ride is over, I have managed to locate a darts bar in Moscow, and it’s worth a visit. It’s called the Armadillo and it’s located adjacent to Red Square at Khrustal’nyi per., 1, Building 86. The outside of the joint is a mess due to construction but the inside ain’t half bad.

While the Armadillo’s owners are striving to create a casual American ambiance, they have a ways to go. The place is safe though (they have their own security) and the service is easily a notch or two above similar establishments where Russia’ s new capitalists are still unaware of the correlation between a the tightness of a waitresses sweater, her smile and the size of a tip. The prices are modest. A beer will run you about $5, which, for Moscow, is quite good — but the locals drink nothing but vodka. The fare in this American-like pub is, of course, Mexican — but it still beats the hell out of Russian staples such as Borscht, bread, cabbage and potatoes.

The Armadillo is far from the nicest pub in Moscow (check out the bar at the Metropole Hotel if you want to see an amazing place — the working-girls here are like right out of Playboy), but it’s got atmosphere, live music on the weekends (Country Juan and the Comrades, I think) and a relatively young, up market crowd. And, as noted earlier, the place is safe — which is quite remarkable in today’s Russia, where the local Mafia is prevalent in establishments of this type.

Most amazing of all, and most important, is that the place has FOUR dart boards. They are surrounded by pools tables (which I suppose, however misdirected, is the one American bar decorating touch that the Russians have fully emulated).

So, I ordered a bottle of peppered vodka and threw a bit of practice. Poured some more vodka and shot some pool with my biking buddies while Country Juan and the Comrades did their thing in the background. I munched a couple of Russian/Mexican/American burritos and washed them down with still more vodka.

I then headed into Red Square with my friends where we wisely traded all but our underwear to some guy with no teeth for Hard Rock Cafe tee shirts, even though there is no Hard Rock Cafe in Moscow.

I’m now exactly four hours into the flight home and have ALREADY intersected my original point of departure — Dublin — from more than a month’s worth of hell ago. I’m hung over. I can’t feel my ass. My willy no longer functions. And my favorite clothes are tooting around Moscow on some homeless guy’s back.

Yep, there’s a moral here somewhere.

And that, I’m afraid, is that among morons, I’m the MAN.

From the Field,


Column #576 Darts in Paradise

Monday, September 23, 2019
Column 576
Darts in Paradise

Far be it from me to steer anyone away from a couple weeks of sun and fun in Puerto Vallarta – the place is amazing.

Pristine beaches etch endlessly into the sunset. Bikini-clad girls are everywhere. The nightlife runs into morning – the Dos Equi’s flow. And the food puts my favorite local Mexican haunt to shame.

But the darts scene is another story altogether. Except for the Lobby Bar of the Marriott Casa Magna (Paseo de la Marina, No 5) by all appearances there isn’t a game to be found in the entire city. I imagine I am one of the few people that has ever wandered here looking for one!

Eventually, I found some “action” and in so doing was able to validate the theory that humidity adds years of life to a dartboard. Just a few warmup throws had me dripping in sweat. I figure that’s the way the theory works – set up a board in the middle of one of the most humid places on earth and, since no one can tolerate more than a few minutes at the line, the board will last forever. This board couldn’t have been used a half-dozen times since the battle for the Alamo…

I imagine this is also why the lighting was virtually non-existent… because the board was hung before electricity was invented.

So, I threw for a while in the heat and the dark. Munched some nachos and drank a few beers. Whatever I could do to keep cool. Trying to survive… or lying in wait. Perhaps a bit of both. I wasn’t sure myself.

Around about 8:00 pm a long-haired kid named Luke sauntered in. Coke in hand. Wanted a game. Said he’d throw the bar darts. Asked how much money I had. Right.

So, we threw a few games of cricket. Sweated. Sipped our drinks. Talked about nothing that made sense to me… at least not these days. Rock groups. He was into “sweet young things” on the beach.

And about a half hour later we headed our separate ways. I, the victor, to a late business dinner…

…and Luke, a tad humbled in defeat, to bed… when you’re eleven years old the sun sets early no matter where you are in the world.

So much for darts in paradise!

From the Field,


September 2019 Double Out Shot: Sommer Ray

September 2019 Double Out Shot: Sommer Ray

September 2019 Double Out Shot: Sommer Ray

Column #575 The difference between the CDC (and PDC) and the ADO

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Column 575
The difference between the CDC (and PDC) and the ADO

You may remember the day when (thanks to the late Charles Schulz, whose words I’ve embellished a bit) Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus were relaxing on the side of a hill looking at cloud formations in the sky…

Lucy said to the boys:

“Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton. I could just lie here all day and watch them drift by. If you use your imagination, you can see all sorts of wonderful things in the cloud formations. What do you think you see, Linus?”

Linus looked to the left, far off, and said: “Well, over there those clouds remind me of the Canary Islands. I can see palm trees and parrots with feathers all blue and red and florescent green. Over there I see what appears to be a profile of the famous poet, Thomas Aikens. I can see his beard and I think he’s holding a pencil and a pad of paper. And over there to the right I see the Apostle Paul. I see his robe and his belt buckle and his floppy sandals.” Linus went on and on.

“Uh huh,” Lucy interrupted, “that’s very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie, of course, got that sort of twisted look on his face, hemmed and hawed for a moment and, finally, said, “Well, I was going to say a duckie and a horsie, but I think I’ve changed my mind.”

The point?

If you don’t look you won’t see. If you aren’t innovative… if you can’t imagine, lack vision, don’t consider the spectacular possibilities out there you will never achieve big things.

This is the fundamental difference between the CDC (and PDC) and the ADO.

From the Field,



August 2019 Double Out Shot: Michelle Keegan

August 2019 Double Out Shot: Michelle Keegan

August 2019 Double Out Shot: Michelle Keegan

July 2019 Double Out Shot: IIrina Shayk

IIrina Shayk