Tuesday, February 13, 2007
D is for Darts Club
Darts sport of Heroes.
So after hobby socs and course socs… next it was turn of sports. I was slightly nervous about Sports Socs for two reasons.
I was always the child picked last at PE.
The only thing I know about the AU is the whole hockey club, biscuit, Jesters thing and that's enough to put anyone off.
Off to the The Stags. There I met the girls and boys who are the disciples of Jim Bowen. Now, as we know, I am a man who, from time to time, likes to check his stats. For that reason I know that every once in a while someone reads this blog in Alabama. They only ever read it once, of course, before presumably thinking “WTF” and going to eat more Jerky with close relatives.
However for the benefit of that small passing trade, I feel I should explain the rules of darts.
Darts is a game played frequently in English Public Houses. These are not actually houses but instead are social buildings in which licker is drunk. Darts is principally a psychological game. In the industrial north of England it is often used to enable men, who’s sexuality is not fully integrated, to emotionally engage with members of their own gender in a non-threatening manner.
Darts is played with three miniature javelins. These must be thrown at the board. The board functions as a psychological tool. The purpose of the game is to project onto the board the face of anyone whom you find challenging in daily life. Or just hate. This can be any person. For example if you live in Alabama you could choose Hilary Clinton or any cast member who has ever appeared in NBC's hit comedy “Will and Grace”. Thus darts is a game of imagination as well as skill. Sometimes the players will agree in advance the focus of their play and an actual picture will be placed on the board.
The game progresses until everyone has expressed their repressed anger then a winner is declared at Random. Basically you chuck stuff at a board while chatting and drinking beer.
I arrive at 8 and am encouraged to have a go. I am loaned three darts and dully chuck them into the board. They all miss.
No one says “Gosh! You're really shit at this!” Instead they decide to give me my own board to practice on for a little while. Eventually after about half an hour I can hit the board nearly every time. The evening is arranged into a small competition and (and this is the best bit) their pair me up with someone who can actually play darts. This I like. The Captain Dan turns out to be quite good actually. By the time we get organized, after the obligatory chat about The Bowen, - the unrestrained joy that people from the midlands displayed when winning a boat, the fact that one of Darts club witnessed his own car as the star prize (a gleaming mini metro with hazards flashing)
We get down to the playing and it turns out there are so many ways to do darts.
There is 101, 301, 501, doubles, four in a team, Cricket darts, challenge darts. The list goes on and on. As does the playing.
“Wow!” I find myself saying at half past ten “Are we really only half way through? Doesn't time fly?”
My arm is really starting to hurt. It hasn't seen this much punishment since.... well ever really.
The challenge darts was the end of the evening. Basically you have to do a whole bunch of things like, throw three greens, thrown an even number, throw as many bulls as you can etc.
Mostly I failed, but imagine my joy, when during the 'see how many bulls you can hit' round I actually hit the bull. They were so lovely they even allowed play to pause while I was photographed next to the board.
Darts club. It's mostly for people who love darts. They genuinely a lovely bunch of people and really welcomed me. I'd definitely go back if they invited me. I had fun and I made friends. It was definitely more sociable than being a democrat from Alabama.
Darts Club: You require double Tick.
Church of England Chaplain University of Southampton Darts The Big Tick Southampton University University Soton Uni