Column #370 Dartoid vs. the Ladies of Thailand
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Dartoid vs. the Ladies of Thailand
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.
Tonight here in the Land of Smiles at my friends’ Dono’s Flaming Moe’s Pub and Mitch and Wassana’s Moonshine Pub in Queen’s Park Plaza (Sukhumvit, Soi 22) it wasn’t about an ugly giant and fee-fi-fo-fum and the blood of an Englishman but rather Sar-Soo-Sai-Tum, eight of their pretty friends, and the blood of an American – ME!
And believe me, some of these ladies, notably Tum – who has just been signed to tour for Medalist Darts – are as fierce as any giant anywhere. Paul Lim has commented that he’d be pleased to partner with her and I now know why. Second, perhaps, only to another lady named Giffy (who recently teamed with Rob Heckman and others in Hong Kong) Tum is not only the best in Thailand but would give any of the ladies ranked among America’s top ten a run for their money. She nipped me 2-1 in 501 and it wasn’t because I was distracted by her “attributes”. She’s the real deal and destined to be one of the best in the world.
I don’t know exactly how I get into these events but I do know why. Over the past fifteen years I have published nearly 400 columns about our sport because I love the game and am dedicated to sharing my passion in whatever way might encourage others to pick up a set of darts. I’m a promoter, nothing more or less. I’m not that concerned if I lose a match DAMNIT! I just put it all on the line – and hope that by evening’s end just one more person has found the joy.
If spreading the darts gospel requires risking my manhood against sharp-shooting kids like Miles Gallagher in Boston or Steven “Ringer” Wilcox in Ontario or stepping to the line against an elephant, I’m there. If it involves a shoot for charity – against anyone – count me in. And, as in tonight’s case, if it requires flying to the other side of the world to face a dozen ladies in high heels and skimpy dresses, well, I guess someone has to do it.
Rumor has it that England’s Mark Walsh, currently ranked sixteenth in the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) Order of Merit (and with recent victories over both Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld), plans a pass through Bangkok in August and is anxious to test the local talent. Walsh whitewashed me a few years ago at the Desert Classic so he should coast here. This is, of course, provided he throws against the men. They’re less distracting. My solemn advice however is to stay clear of Tum!
Joining Sar, Soo, Sai, and Tum were Mu, Ann, Toon, Aor, Noi, Kong, On and Jeab. There were frickin’ boobies jigglin’ all over the joint in this international battle of the sexes. The idea for the event was the brainchild of Johnny Witkowski and Keiran Brown, organizers of the mushrooming Lower Sukhumvit Dart League – and the same troublemakers who got me into the match with (and crushed by) Omsin the elephant several months ago.
The deal was this: I was to face-off in the best of two-out-of-three legs of 501 against any of the raven-haired Thai cuties who were willing to give it a go. Were I to lose a match I would be required to put on a dress. The good part of this was that it was to be the dress of the defeated lady and she was then to dance on the pool table. So Johnny and Keiran were rooting against me.
The crowd grew. I saw many faces I knew. Even Jayke O’Reilly was there, apparently released from the drunk tank for the evening. The onlookers must have also been aware of the rules.
First up was a busty girl in a dress with a funny name. I beat her. She had very nice shoes. Next up was a busty girl in a dress with a funny name. I beat her. Her shoes were shiny red. And this is the way it continued, for hours and hours in the heat, humidity and drink of the Bangkok night.
But then came Jeab! This was the lady I wanted to lose to! But I didn’t and it’s probably just as well. Her jealous boyfriend (and Jayke’s best friend) is a big buff rich dude from Ireland or England (is there really a difference?) who owns racehorses and likes to head-butt people for fun. I kid you not – Jeab showed me a photograph where he had his head in the butt of a sheep!
Oh man – I may never be able to return to Thailand after that one!
IMPORTANT NOTE TO THE BIG BUFF DUDE: I did not actually write that paragraph up there! Jayke scribbled it out on a napkin, shoved it into my pocket (which I think he really enjoyed), and told me to work it into this story somehow. It’s his fault.
There were actually three matches that I was anticipating, those against the ladies’ team from Flaming Moe’s – Sar, Sai and Tum. I’d thrown against all of these girls before and I like them personally, but when I arrived all three of them were at the door talking smack about how they were going to “kick his ass” and “send him back to wherever he came from.” Since I was both the “him” and the “he” I made a serious mental note – there would be no holding back against these three. They were going down! No pun intended.
En route to these showdowns I pretty much had my way. I eased off and even short-armed when a player was new to the game and did just enough to get by with most of the rest. As the crowd grew and, occasionally, as several of the little beauties taunted me (“You hair gray – You very old man – You need blue pill?”) I’d step it up. I tossed in some maximums here and there and wired the bull at one point, just missing a 170-finish. I dispatched Sar and Sai quite easily. They just had an off night. I have seen both of them throw much, much better than they did.
There was one small girl who didn’t own a set of darts and was using a mismatched set from the bar. I gave her a set of Sigmas and then stomped her into oblivion.
There was another lady whose name I should remember. I think it was Soo but it may have been Goo. Since she beat me I will just call her Poo. I messed around, won the first leg, but couldn’t find the double in the second, and somehow – Lord knows how – she did. In the tiebreaker it was déjà-vu all over again. Poo whittled her way to the madhouse and somehow found it.
BUT, Poo was from a bar in Patpong! I had to wear her dress and she had to dance on the pool table. This was good! This was also the point where I learned there had been a misunderstanding and my only “reward” for a loss was embarrassment.
And then there was one – and her name was Tum.
In real life Tum has a good job with a Japanese company and is finishing up her graduate degree in economics. I took the occasion to ask her what to do with my money and she said there were just two options in this economy: put it under my mattress or give it to her. There is a reason why Paul Lim touts her abilities and Medalist has signed her. She’s damn good. She has power. She has precision. She’s smart and brimming with personality. And she’s flat-out unflappable. I took her very seriously.
Tum won the first leg in a rout. She banged the triple twenty, finished in a flash, and left me worried. In the second leg she continued in-form, got to the double first, but wired – allowing me to level the match with double ten. The tiebreaker is a blur. With the crowd cheering Tum and taunting me I remember wiping sweat off my brow and struggling to focus. Tons and 140’s were flying but they weren’t coming from me. I couldn’t keep up. She had the power and with double sixteen, the match. She said she was “just lucky” but I assure you Tum –there was no luck involved.
Afterwards the beer flowed. I did an interview. I hit the men’s room and accidentally peed all over myself.
At daybreak and as the food stall touts began to prepare their concoctions for the morning rush, I wandered into the aroma and the heat, hailed a tuk-tuk and headed back to my hotel. I packed and grabbed a taxi to the airport to catch my flight to my next destination, Java.
I will be out this way again in October. Rob Heckman, Chris White, Scotty Burnett, John Part, and I are attending a tournament in Shanghai. If time allows and it can be pulled together I am game for another challenge. I don’t want to play the ladies again. I’ve learned my lesson. There’s not a chance in hell that I’m going to take on the men. And I already know I can’t beat an elephant.
So what I am wondering, Johnny and Keiran, is: Can you arrange a challenge of a different kind?
We can call it “Dartoid vs. the Ladyboys.”
I’m sure Jayke can help. I know he’s close friends with many of them.
From the field,
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