After watching the recent televised World Darts finals, my friend – not my imaginary one, the other one – invited me to game of darts at the local pub. In much the same way as local tennis courts only get used in June after Wimbledon before people realise they are a bit rubbish and abandon the idea a week later.
Telling him I had always been rubbish at darts certainly didn’t deter his enthusiasm. So off we went.
My early introduction to darts always seemed strange. One minute, my parents were telling me, as a child, to avoid touching sharp objects and the next they were buying me a set of darts and positively encouraging me to throw them around the house in the close proximity of my siblings.
They probably thought it was okay as I was a minor and therefore, not responsible for any unfortunate killing in the family.
I remember all my school-friends having dartboards hung on the back of their bedroom doors and, as 8 year-olds weren’t the most accurate of throwers, I wondered if their parents had to replace the horrible multi-splintered doors before selling their houses or just sold them to other families with dart playing children?
Back in the pub, my friend, a regular dart player, was winning handsomely and doing all kinds of mathematical gymnastics akin to Carol Vorderman.
Me…? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t taking me long to add up 1, 5 and another 5 – nor subtracting it from 501.
At one point he said: “You need 96. That’s treble 20, double 18.”
I just looked at him and said: “What? You’re expecting me to hit that in 2 darts when my average with 3 darts is around 14?
He then handed me his own darts, “Here, use my darts, they’re about 2 grams heavier.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever held two items in the palm of each hand where one has been two grams heavier but I’m guessing you haven’t noticed any difference whatsoever and here I was saying: “Oh yeah, that’s much better, thanks” before throwing his first dart into the wooden board rubber.
God help me if I had been drinking alcohol like some of the professionals.
Let’s just say, I don’t think I’ll be troubling the World Darts finals anytime soon.