Author Archives: Dartoid

March 2019 Double Out Shot: Charlotte McKinney




March Double Out

Column #569 Valentines are Fucked (an inappropriate guest column by Jerry Masterson, age 8, that has nothing to do with darts)

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Column 569
Valentines are Fucked (an inappropriate guest column by Jerry Masterson, age 8, that has nothing to do with darts)

Valentines are fucked!  And while this sentence may be similar in theme to my previous column, “Kissing Girls is Fucked!” – they are both non-debatable points.

I will now relate a story…

There is a boy in my class, Terry Williams.  Big kid, probably retarded.  One day in the cafeteria he goes up to Sandy Kennington and says, “Sandy, do you know how to scare a bee?”  And Sandy says, “No… how?”  So, Terry pinches each of her titties and yells, “BOO BEE!”

Funny, right?  Well, it ain’t that funny because not only was Terry suspended for three weeks, but Sandy’s family filed a million-dollar lawsuit against the school district for “sexual harassment.”  It was in all the papers, and for all I know, Terry’s name is now on some “sexual predator” list.

Now you may be saying, “What the fuck!?”  But wait.  I told you so I could tell you this…

Yesterday Mrs. Meyerson tells everybody we’re doing something special for “Valentine’s Day.”  We’re decorating lunch sacks, hanging them on the wall, and on Friday we’re going to exchange Valentines… with the entire class! Okay, all together now…

WHAT THE FUCK?!?

What is this, some kind of vice squad sting operation?  After what happened to Terry Williams, I’m supposed to give Shirley Roundtree some bullshit Pikachu Valentine that says, “Be Mine?”

Yeah, right.  I do that, and before I know it, Law & Order: SVU is knocking down my door arresting me on charges of “sexual harassment” and some pencil-dick lawyer is soaking my parents of their life savings!

But WAIT!  That’s not all!

Because see… I’m supposed to give Valentines to the BOYS, too!!  Ohhhhh, that’s just fucking great!  So not only am I written up in the papers as a goddamn sexual predator, but now I’m GAY too?

This is just fucking perfect!  Hey!  Look at me everybody!  I’m a big fat eight-year-old sexual predator… and I’m gay.

Look, I don’t know who this “St. Valentine” fruit loop is, but I do know one thing… HE IS FUCKED.  (And this is a non-debatable point).

From the Field,

Dartoid

Column #HR252 To all the ladies: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Column HR252
To all the ladies: Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Only a publicity stunt,” said former darting great Dr. Linda Batten.  Whatever could she be talking about?  Was it the PDC’s grand announcement that all Golden Elixir (aka “aiming fluid” – as if the folks in the silly costumes were aiming for an excuse for wearing same) during the World Championship would be served in recyclable cups thereby keeping fish from eating plastic?  Nay, nay.  “WB” was speaking of the PDC’s decision to invite two women to compete in their 2018-2019 World Championships.

Of course, it was a publicity stunt.

So what?

It had the PC whack jobs doing the Snoopy Dance similar to what the Old Dart Coach does on Popeye’s Tuesday or when receiving a two-for-the-price-of-one Burger King Whopper coupon.

Dr. Batten elaborated, “It is unfair when women must play against men.”  The good professor continued, “There is an empirically underpinned conviction that there are physical reasons why women will never be as good as men in this sport.”  It’s hard to argue with the good doctor.  Truth be told it’s darn near impossible, as the ODC knowns.  He has been stupid enough to try.  He was younger then.

One darts writer rather snarkily discounted Dr. Batten’s claims.  Her theory makes less sense then “an ant climbing up a elephant’s behind with sex on his mind.” She wrote, “Completely unimpressed by Duffy’s statements, many of the top female players (7) saw the offer by the PDC as a chance and took part in the qualifiers.”  How does the writer know that Dr. Batten’s statements were discounted? Maybe the ladies just happened to have £450 siting around and decided to test their mettle.

Of the seven ladies only one was able to advance through the 247 entries into the round of 16.  Lisa Ashton did it twice, losing both times 5-3.  The first loss came with a very respectable 93.5 average.  Her second 5-3 loss came with a woeful 79.1 average.  Does this prove that the ladies can’t compete and win at the highest level against men?  The empirical evidence says “yes.”

There was a time in the USA when tournaments had both an Open Singles and a Ladies Singles.  Sandy Reitan, Kathy Karpowich and Kathy Maloney routinely entered Open Singles and did fine.  Did they win? No, but they did cash.

One can argue that it was only a “publicity stunt” the day a Budweiser Super Bowl commercial suggests the reason to drink Bud is that it is wind brewed.

There’s at least one darts writer who thinks that Gary Anderson’s pulling out of the UK British Master was a “stunt.”  One of the great “haters” writes, “The PDC Masters started tonight, and what a shock that Gary Anderson withdrew with a ‘back injury’. Sure is some coincidence that every time Ando gets a fine or warning from the DRA he gets an injury.”

Anderson continued his “publicity stunt” by pulling out of the Premier League with a “bad back” this year.

Anderson’s UK slot was filled by Stephen “Family Guy” Bunting who advanced to the quarter-finals with a 10-9 victory over Darren Webster.  That match will never appear in any guide to “quality darts” (although it would be a good argument for the inclusion of the ladies).  The pair combined for 19 doubles from 81 opportunities which is less than 20%.  Too bad to be terrible.

“Magnificent” Michael van Gerwen went through the UK Masters field like a scythe does a field of wheat.  The commentators asked prior to his first match, “This is his first competition since the World Championships… will he be rusty?”  The answer was “no.”  His first handfuls at the oche were T40, T80.  He started his next leg with two T80s.

MVG seemed as well- oiled as most of the crowd.  He would win his 5th UK Masters on the trot 11-5 over a resurgent James Wade.

Headlines for Toeing the Oche are written by most honorable editor.  The ODC almost never argues with the Most Honored One.  The last column headlined: “Miracle” Mikuru Suzuki (nearly) shocks Paul Lim!”  While that’s true it’s also probably true that when Suzuki-san wanted 56 with three darts in her hand to eliminate him she had his undivided attention.  Then when she got the 16 and wired the double tops and double 10 you can bet that Lim’s eyes looked like those of New York Congressperson Alexandria “Occasionally Conscious.”

Jackie DeShannon wrote and recorded Bette Davis Eyes in 1974.  It became a big hit in 1981 with Kim Carnes.  Carnes hasn’t had a hit since.  Rumors abound (always watch out for bounding rumors) she has a new song in the works, a tribute to the Congressperson from New York.  It’s called AOC Eyes.  The first verse goes…

Her hair’s not Harlow gold

Her lips no sweet surprise

Her heart always cold

She’s got Olive Oil’s eyes.

The Premier League (Publicity Stunt or Paid Exhibition League) kicked off in Newcastle with local favorite Chris Dobey doing a one-off, replacing Gary Anderson.  Dobey had the locals hooting and hollering as he built a 5-1 lead against Mensur Suljovic including a 113-check in leg 1.  The dream of a home town victory ended with Suljovic winning 5 on the trot.  Suljovic was denied the clear victory when Dobby’s last dart hit a D16 for the draw.  So, one could say, “Dobby defeats Suljovic 6-6. There are moral victories. Other scores were 7-5,7-4,7-4 and 6-6.”

It’s not a publicity stunt when the ODC celebrates a holiday…

To the Chinese here’s 新年快乐 / 新年快樂.  The year 4716 of the “Brown Earth Pig.”  He writes, “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (Mandarin) and “Gong Hey Fat Choy.”

To Kiwis everywhere: Happy Waitangi Day.

To all the ladies of darts: a very happy Valentine’s Day.  You stole the ODC’s heart those many years ago.  A couple also stole his darts.

In the USA we awaited breathlessly for Punxsutawney Phil – he’s a groundhog – to emerge from his hole on Gobbler’s Knob.  If Phil doesn’t see his shadow that means an early spring.  He didn’t see his shadow but DID freeze his bottom off.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

Column #568 Love letters to the ‘Toid

Friday, February 1, 2019
Column 568
Love letters to the ‘Toid

It’s amazing, but true. I receive fan mail.

For example, the other day I received the following note from someone named Lester. Lester seems to think that I need help walking the fine line between making a point and pissing off the entire fifty percent of the world that calls itself female:

What you need to understand, Dartoid, is the difference between art and pornography. In art, the nudity of the woman is examined in terms of the shape and beauty and texture of the female form, with no consideration to any titillation that may be excited in the viewer. Whereas, in pornography, the nudity of the woman is examined solely in terms of the titillation that may be excited in the viewer, with no consideration to shape and beauty and texture of the female form. Also, she’s doing something unspeakable with a duck.

Thank you, Lester. I will remember this. I promise.

Then there was the letter from Frank in Sarasota:

Hey, Dartoid. You remind me of Bob Green … the way you reminisce sometimes about old times. One of my fondest memories is the time I was locked in a shed. Trapped in total darkness. I cried and yelled and banged on the door for hours. But nobody would let me out. So I decided to build a battering ram out of shovels and old paint cans and tractors and whatever else was laying around. After a few hours of work, I completed my battering ram and barged my way out into sweet, glorious freedom. It was a powerful, beautiful moment and one that I shall treasure always even if, on reflection, it occurs to me that I may very well be thinking of an old ‘A Team’ episode.

And thanks to you, Frank. I will remember this too. Just wait and see.

Sometimes I receive mail from people in faraway places, like this message from Jayson Ranoa in the Philippines:

Hi Mr. Dartoid. I suddenly read your articles while searching for Paly Island. Did you actually get there? I am returning home this April and thinking of planning a knockout trip in Palawan. Can you further describe this island, its beaches, accommodation and access? By the way, I am currently going to university in Japan. My hometown is Bohol Island. Have you heard of those Chocolate Hills?

Huh?

Sometimes people actually comment on one of my columns, as did Ron Zazo from Saginaw, Michigan:

Hello Dartoid. I really enjoyed your article on assholes. It made me think and reflect on myself. I have a few regrets over the past six years of throwing darts. I once punched a board after missing a game shot. Another time I almost punched one of my team mates in front of many darts players in the middle of a tournament. I know I was once an asshole, but I’ve changed. So can anyone.

Thanks Ron. People, mainly of the female persuasion, tell me I am doing an excellent job of filling your old shoes.

A while ago I received a letter from former BEN writer, Bruce Gerber’s, brother, Kenn. I met Kenn once in Singapore. Just like me, he travels all over the world with a dart board in his suitcase. He’s nuts.

Hi Dartoid. Just spent some time in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Thank God I brought my own board. Discovered the hottest darts venue in the city was at the Asia Pacific Guest House. Room 305 (my room). I left the board on the wall so ask for Room 305 next time you’re in Bangladesh. Also, I was in Bangkok in March. Bruce told me I had to do something in honor of your dog, Colby’s, passing. So, I performed the Colby Memorial Grope. My introduction of “this is for Dartoid’s dog” was met with polite smiles and “khun puut wa aria Ka … chan mai kow chai” by the ladies. Also, seriously, is it true what you wrote? Did you actually LOSE a game of cricket to my little brother?   How did you do that?

Thanks Kenn. Yes, I lost to Bruce. He cheats.

Sometimes I receive newspaper clippings that make no sense. There was one about a Shetland pony named Tilly who gave birth to a zebra. Another about some students in India who set their veterinary college instructor on fire because he wouldn’t let them cheat during exams. Just last week a clip from a Tampa, Florida, daily arrived in my mailbox. It was about red-bellied piranhas, tarantulas and vampire bats.

Numerous times I have been sent a clip about poison dart frogs. Once I opened up an envelope to find an old Sally Forth cartoon that had something to do with inflatable dart boards.

I’ve often wondered just how to work into my column these ideas which well-meaning readers have taken the time to neatly cut out of the newspaper and send to me. Now I know. And now I can throw all this crap away.

Frequently I am sent very specific, though sometimes way-out, suggestions for what to write about. But just as frequently I don’t have a clue what to actually do with the suggestions.

From a bloke called Nigel in London I received a copy of a story marking the 20th birthday of the world’s first test tube baby, Louise Brown, who just happens to throw darts. I might have come into the world a different way to my friends, but in every other way I am the same. I like to go swimming, to the pub, drink lemonade and play darts. So, I’m supposed to knock out 1,500 words on in vitro fertilization and darts? Sorry Nigel, but darters – in America anyway – do it the old-fashioned way.

From someone named “Bub” in Pueblo, Colorado, I received a full-page weekend feature story about bad-girl figure skater, Tanya Harding. I’ve been through the worst. But I leave the past in the past. I’m a grown woman. Cigarettes, things like that – hey, well, it’s not that big a deal. I still play pool and I like darts. I actually initiated an effort to get in touch with Harding. But I had second thoughts. If the truth be known, she scares the hell out of me.

Beyond shoving ideas like Nigel’s and Bub’s into this column, I really don’t feel qualified to make proper use of their information. The thing is, I’m pretty sure there is a money-making opportunity embedded in them somewhere, at least for the right promoter. Some months ago, I popped the clips back into an envelope and sent them with a note to the best promoter in the whole wide world. A good friend…

The way I figured it, if America is willing to flick on their televisions to watch Harding duke it out in the boxing ring then the whole of England should be ripe for a little one-on-one at the oche between their test-tube baby our trailer-park trash.

No doubt about it. Tommy Cox, may he rest in peace, could have made it happen!

Sometimes I receive correspondence from real, live, famous people.

For example, following a column I penned about a Sports Illustrated article that slammed the sport of darts, essentially painting the whole lot of us as nothing but a bunch of boozers, I received a very supportive note from Roger Carter. If anyone out there knows who this guy is please contact me.

Another famous person, Cyberdarts’ Rick Osgood, once sent me something about brass darts. Apparently they are actually an alloy that includes three percent lead. Apparently also, some manufacturer is planning to label all of their brass darts’ packages with a message that informs consumers of this fact. Osgood’s point? Despite statistical evidence to the contrary, I guess it was that darts can be dangerous – if you suck on them long enough.

Once upon a time, two other famous dart people (who have sadly also joined other darts brothers and sisters at the oche in the sky) sent me letters: the American Darts Association’s (ADA) Glenn Remick and Phil Jones from the PDC (which, contrary to the opinion of some, stands for the Professional Darts Corporation not Please Don’t Criticize). Remick wrote to let me know the great news that corporate heavyweight, Coca-Cola, had signed up as a sponsor of the ADA’s military leagues and their national championship. Jones wrote to let me know that he added my name to the current list of tutors to the possible showgirl markers at one of the old Las Vegas Desert Classics. As fabulous as Remick’s news was I’ve always thought Jones’ was better.

Once I received a fictitious listing of high school football players, with funny names and credentials, who had supposedly signed Letters of Intent to play for the University of Southern California. For example: Tyrone ‘Python’ Pebbles. 6’7”, 180. Wide receiver. Has manslaughter suit pending but feels confident. Says: ‘Da bum say somethin’ bad ‘bout my momma.’ Lists IQ as 20-20. Attached was a note that read: Here’s an idea for a story – you clown. It bummed me out to see that it was signed by my father.

And yes, I even receive love letters. They can be a little creepy, particularly the ones that arrive so frequently from the ADO’s Steve Brown.

But the most remarkable piece of fan mail that has arrived at my home was actually addressed to my wife, Marylou. It was sent by Kevin Berlyn, who I didn’t even know knew my wife. Berlyn is the Chairman of Dartplayers Australia.

Congratulations Marylou. It must be hard to raise a family and also to look after a very old juvenile delinquent. As a fellow darts fanatic, I know that we only see in one direction, straight ahead on a dart board. It takes a special kind of person, which is usually female, to see past those blinders … to see the man behind the darts. As the old saying goes, sort of: ‘Behind every good man is a great woman but behind every male darts player there is a bloody saint. Well done.

So, thank you to all of you for your cards and letters and useless newspaper clippings. Next time send money.

And ladies, remember: if you ever find yourself alone a shed, look around for the guy in the yellow duck suit. That’ll be me.

From the Field,

Dartoid

February 2019 Double Out Shot: Does her name matter?




February 2019

January 2019 Double Out Shot: Charlotte McKinney




January

Column #567 The Ultimate Darts Advantage

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Column 567
The Ultimate Darts Advantage

With the World Championship just days away and then the Pee Wee World Championship to follow at Lakeside, when one considers the lengths to which a darter will go when searching for something – anything, including farts – to give themselves an advantage, it is downright mysterious that one of the most critical aspects of the game has, so far, escaped special scrutiny.

Anyone who knows anything about the sport of darts knows how important winning the toss of the coin can be. It determines who gets to throw for bull first. And winning the bull determines who steps to the line first. He or she who throws first has a distinct advantage.

Anyone who has confidence in their shot at cork but has had their shot for cork – and thus, their opportunity to shoot first – blocked by the dart of an opponent “lucky” enough to win the toss of the coin, knows the feeling of starting at a disadvantage. Anyone who has then watched their opponent win the cork and quickly chalk up a maximum or, in the case of cricket, close 20s, 19s and 18s, has experienced that truly sinking feeling of an imminent loss. But at this moment, never – not ever – do any of us relate our dilemma back to the root cause: our loss of the toss of the coin.

Oh, I know, the scenarios I’ve just described are ones from which a good player can recover. Responding with a 180 or closing 17s, 16s and 15s (or perhaps pounding nine 17s) could change the complexion of things. My point is only, as we all know, that stepping to the line first is an advantage. And it all begins with the toss of the coin. No two ways about it. And, besides, under pressure not a whole lot of us can come back with a 180 (more likely a couple of t1s and a t5) or close the next three numbers in cricket or punch the 17s nine times (perhaps the 2s or the 3s, but not 17s). This, of course, has to do with the finer points of the space-time continuum.

Along the way, all sorts of technical innovations have been researched, tested and then adopted in our sport and each and every one of them was driven by the desire of the darter to find that “extra edge” to help them win more often. Just as in golf, with the evolution from persimmon to graphite – from puny wooden drivers to powerful, error correcting, Big Berthas – science has stepped into our sport to find ways to improve individual performance and to, some of the time, lessen the gap between recreational darters and those of substantial skill.

Retractable points were once popular in reducing the incidence of bounce outs. High titanium alloy barrels enhance the likelihood for tighter groupings. We have all sorts of special flights to provide various aerodynamic advantages. Dimples offer lift. Ribs reduce side to side sway and turn on the ladies.

We practice for endless hours. We work to perfect our stance. Our set. Our release. Our follow through. We talk strategy. Some darters practice breathing. Others read books on Zen and how to block out distractions. Some darters I know use special “aiming fluids,” ostensibly to reduce stress and improve hand-to-eye coordination.

But we don’t do diddly to increase our chances of winning the toss of the coin. Just go back to the record books and see how many Super Bowl teams have elected to kick off when they had the opportunity to receive.

I’ve done this research and I can tell you that the correlation between calling heads or tails correctly and winning the granddaddy of all football games is statistically significant. Same thing in college football, unless you’re the University of Michigan.

People WANT to win the toss of the coin.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But just because Einstein or Copernicus or whoever it was flipped a coin two billion times and declared that, when replicated by 300-pound fat boys with helmets and big double zeros on their shirts, it will land an equal number of times on each side – does NOT mean it is so. I have also done this research. Just the other night I flipped a quarter two billion times while waiting for a couple of “C” league shooters to take out the d1. The quarter did NOT land on heads and tails an equal number of times, though twice it landed in my beer.

But this isn’t the point anyway. We don’t have to guess heads or tails correctly 50 percent of two billion times. We only have to get it right ONCE. This completely changes the calculus. If you have paid close attention to how you have fared in coin tosses over the years you already know that this is so.

I was in third grade the first time a flip of the coin effected a key moment in my life. My buddy Butch Kirk and I tossed one of those Kennedy fifty-cent pieces, that have since disappeared from the planet, to decide who’d have to steal one of their father’s Playboys to take down to our fort in the woods. I called heads. I lost. I remember this, though I don’t remember it quite so distinctly as I do being caught by my mother and then grounded for a month from watching the Jetsons on Saturday morning. “But Mom, I thought my baseball rolled under the bed.”

The next significant coin toss of my life took place on Halloween night during my junior year of high school. My best friend, John Jarrard, and I had already decided that a cherry bomb just had to be set off inside Billy G. Thompson’s porch light. I called heads. I lost. And Billy, our assistant principal, kicked me out of school the next morning. “Well, Dad, what I ‘was thinking’ was…”

I could go on. The coin toss loss which determined that I, not my college roommate, Bob Quigley, would be the first from French Hall to streak past the girls’ dorm next door at Western Michigan University… and the first of our group to peel down for a dip in the campus fountain. “It’s good to see you again too, officer… and, yes, I suppose I really should learn to keep my pants on in public.”

For damn near 65 years now I have been calling heads. I haven’t a clue why. It’s just one of the things we do over and over again, the same way we go mindlessly about other routines in life. I’ve been calling heads just because the very first time I had to decide between heads and tails, I picked heads. No reason. No sense to it. In fact, considering that to the best of my recollection I haven’t EVER won a coin toss, this blind allegiance to routine has been just plain stupid.

Some people call tails. And the same damn thing happens. They’re stupid too.

And this brings me to the point of this column. Think about it.

You may not be like me. Perhaps you never even watched the Jetsons? Perhaps you’ve never seen Playboy? Perhaps you’ve never been caught in a compromising position? Possibly even, you’ve never hit the t1 or t5 when needing to fill the t20 to catch up and break throw.

The fact is we all have a lot in common and at the top of the list is that we all LOSE the toss of the coin more than we WIN the toss of the coin, but we keep calling the same side of the coin over and over and over again.

We’re ALL stupid – we ALL have double zeros on our backs.

We can all be winners if we just call the OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN. Duh. On the other hand, if you are playing me, I might not switch. Or maybe I will.

I hope this advice on the finer side of the critical toss of the coin will give you the edge necessary to be more competitive and win more often, regardless of the level of your darts play. Otherwise, just fart.

Be sure to read this column next month when I will expose the grand Russian conspiracy to horde America’s Kennedy fifty-cent pieces and tell you what this may mean for the future of the soft-tip side of our sport.

From the Field,

Dartoid