Column #590 Ant ATTACK!
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Some years ago, I threw league darts with a former pro from Houston named Dave “Buddha” Fasnacht. He helped me with my stance and my grip and my mental game. And he gave me some advice that I’ve been trying to follow ever since. According to Buddha I needed to get serious about my practice routine. This meant I needed to hang a board in my living room.
Now there are spouses and there are spouses and I have one of the best. My wife understands my love of the sport. She tolerates my late nights out and my early morning returns, smelling of smoke and stale beer. She understands more about cricket strategy and out shot percentages than most of the people I shoot against. What my wife also knows, and she knows this without any doubt whatsoever, is that she doesn’t want a dart board hanging in her living room. Imagine that.
So, when my wife came up with the idea to redecorate the garage, ostensibly so I could have a “nice place, close to the living room” to practice, I jumped at the opportunity.
Together we headed to the paint store to pick out colors for the walls, the ceiling and the floor. My wife chose “Mild Wild” – a sort of swimming pool blue. Next, I was constructing utility shelves. Four of them. Bolt by bolt. Two hours each. I made friends with spiders. Patched holes in the plaster. Mopped up oil. Washed paint out of my beard.
In two weeks’ time the project was complete. And it looked damn good. After seventeen years of marriage my wife finally had a clean garage and I was the proud owner of a powder blue dart room equipped with everything a serious darter could possibly desire. A new board. Special lighting. Three trash cans. Two bicycles. And a Plymouth Horizon. Yep, while my wife watches the nightly news from the comfort of our living room, I can now play cricket from the front seat of my car.
Anyway, a week ago my friend Tommy Molina stopped by for a few beers and to check out my new set up. We ran through our usual routine. A little cricket. Some ’01. It was about midnight when Tommy bet me ten bucks he could pick off an ant that was sniffing its way across the number four pie. Three darts. Three misses. Beer money for me.
As a second ant appeared near the bottom of the board I stepped to the line. Told Tommy I’d stick the little guy when he crossed into the double three. A tough shot any day, even without the ant.
The ant stopped just below the wire. We waited. We waited longer. We grabbed a couple beers…
And, damn, if there now wasn’t another ant wandering below the nineteen. A couple more back over by the number four pie. A few on the scoreboard. Dozens near a (previously unnoticed) pile of sawdust in the corner by the utility shelves. My Mild Wild dart room was under attack!
It is now a week later. The exterminating company has just pulled out of my driveway. “It just like big game hunting, but on a smaller scale”, the guy told me before blasting eleven colonies of some three thousand carpenter ants each. He then presented me with a $580 bill.
For this, plus the cost of paint, pain and suffering I could have finished off the basement. What worries me now is that my wife tells me this is our next project.
From the Field,
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