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Column #404 The Diary of an Unhealthy Dart Throwing Slug. Week Two of Nine.

Sunday, February 13, 2011
Column 404
The Diary of an Unhealthy Dart Throwing Slug. Week Two of Nine.

February 8, 2011
This morning I received an e-mail from Jerry “Umby” Umberger, one of the most feared darts players (and best bar joke tellers) ever to step to the line in America.

Umby retired from the sport in 1999 after winning the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) national 501 singles championship. This topped a stellar thirty-year career during which he represented America numerous times in international play. In 1982 he won the Royal Hawaiian. In 1983, he won the Lucky Strike Triple Crown of Darts MVP award for points accumulated in the trilogy of the time – the Royal Hawaiian, the Unicorn Darts America tournament in Atlantic City and the North American Open. In 1985, he battled England’s Peter Evison in the finals at the World Darts Council’s (WDC) Sampson Classic (where he knocked off Dennis Priestley, Cliff Lazarenko, and somebody named Phil Taylor to get to the stage).

Umby and I have been in regular contact for years but these days we don’t talk much about darts, or tell jokes. We talk about swimming. Umby’s niece and nephew are national-class swimmers.

This morning Umby’s message was brief. He’d read my initial column about my effort to transform myself from an unhealthy tungsten tossing slug into a specimen fit for GQ magazine. As someone who for years fought chronic bronchitis, sometimes coughing uncontrollably at the line, Umby’s been on a health kick for a long time.

“Keep at your diet,” he wrote. “Someday you’ll be able to beat your dogs across your pool again. Unfortunately your darts are hopeless.”

So I began my second week inspired.

February 10, 2011
I am in Sedona, Arizona. I just got back from the Grand Canyon, which is a really big hole. My wife Marylou and I are enjoying a pre-Valentine’s Day get-away at a Bed and Breakfast here called the Creekside Inn. I am religiously sticking to my new Whole Health Plan. The New Age influence makes Sedona an easy place to live a healthy life so it’s been a smooth ride so far. For the past two days I’ve had lemon juice in the morning followed by fruit for breakfast. Lunch has been leafy organic greens. Grains and beans for dinner. And a fruit smoothie for late night snack.

It’s going well. I’m feeling good. Umby and my buddy who created the Whole Health Plan would be proud.

February 11, 2011
Here’s a tip. If you’ve eaten nothing but chemical-free fruit, nuts and vegetables for ten days – if not a single grain of sugar or salt or morsel of fat has passed your lips – you will puke all over your shoes if you suddenly decide it’s a good idea to eat a half dozen fried pickles. Yep, fried pickles.

I’d never heard of a fried pickle before my wife suggested I try “just a bite.” They may sound disgusting but in fact they are very, very good.

I will never go near them again!

Tonight I was too sick to even throw darts. In a way this was a good thing. I am supposed to be on a romantic vacation. Darts ain’t part of the deal. I’d have been in big trouble if I’d headed off to a bar for a couple of hours of practice.

On the other hand puking all over the joint hasn’t made me popular either.

February 12, 2011
I am back on the Whole Health Plan! Last night’s fried pickle-eating spree was just a minor setback. I am on a plane as I write this. I am an aisle seat next to an attractive young girl. She was just touching me…

“Sir. Sir. Gramps. Wake up! Are you okay? I need to get out to go to the bathroom.”

Gramps! What the…

In seven more weeks – after I lose 53 pounds and am a model for GQ – nobody will be callin’ me frickin’ gramps and probably my wife will regret the night she forced me at gunpoint to eat poison pickles!

February 13, 2011
I haven been on my new Whole Health Plan for two weeks. I don’t know how much weight I have lost because I am still afraid to get on a scale. But people are starting to sing when I walk by. “Pants on the floor, pants on the floor.”

All is good.

All would be great if I could find a slice of chocolate cake.

Thanks for getting me through the week, Umby.

And Marylou, will you be my Valentine?

From the Field,



  • Dartoid

    "Dartoid" is the pseudonym of Paul Seigel, a prominent chronicler of darts for over 35 years. His columns are celebrated for their wit and insight, often detailing his quest for a game in exotic locales worldwide. His writing offers vibrant commentary on the competitive darts landscape, including players, organizations, tournaments and the sport's unique culture. Dartoid's articles are highly regarded among darts enthusiasts, solidifying his role as a pivotal figure in promoting and documenting darts as both a recreational pastime and professional sport.