Thursday, 26 December 2013


Steve plays darts.  His dad played, he grew up learning how to throw miniature sharp sticks at a round board and he plays now.  Twice a week at least in Canterbury teams.  He isn't bad actually, he has won competitions and plays for Canterbury.
The pub he plays for, The Run of the Mill,  hosts a Christmas darts competition - a knockout doubles tournament, complete with free food and games.  Steve asked me to be his partner.  I looked at him like he was mad, agreed, then went upstairs to practice on the dart board in the study.  Steve came to watch and give me some pointers.  I think he started to regret asking me at about the same time that I pulled the 8th dart out of the wall and nearly hit the cat in the hindquarters with another one.
He simply said he would ask the scorer to stand back a bit further than normal when I was throwing!  To make up for my distinct lack of throwing ability I focused on getting the appearance of my darts right.  In a pretty masculine game I wanted feminine darts.  Pink stems and pearlescent flights were suitably girly!
We entered the draw and got ready for our first game.  I threw darts at the board and hoped that they somehow stuck and Steve carried us through.  1 game down, 1 win.
The next game was up and I was even more surprised when we somehow won that won as well!  By now the 60 odd teams that were in the original draw were down to a mere handful and the games were getting notably harder and closer.
To be fair my tactics the entire time had been to just lob the dart at the board and hope it hit something, so I just continued doing that. It had worked for me up to this point so I saw no reason to change tactics at this stage.  That may have been a mistake.
We managed to get through one more round to the semi-finals and got knocked out there by a really rather good team (and I am not just saying that because they knocked us out!).  I don't think I have a career in darts ahead of me, fun though it was.   I'm sure most of the people who were in the close vicinity to me when I was throwing my darts are rather relieved by that fact.  I just want to point out right here that the dart came close to that guy's leg but didn't actually hit him.
There were other games going on as well.  Last Man Standing was a pub quiz with an instant knockout if you got a question wrong.  You were given a buzzer, had 15 seconds to put your guess in for the correct answer on the screen and hoped you got through.  Proof below that we won!  I must admit that much like the darts, Steve carried me through this game.  Although I did get the Poddington Peas question right.  Clearly I have found my level.
Tin of biscuits for winning -thank you very much!
Then there were the pig races.  Yes really (all on the screens again, although I admit I did expect a bunch of greased up pigs to run squealing by the bar).  If your pig won you got a prize.  
And finally the raffle.  Which again, much to our surprise, we won!  We nearly didn't  - we were at the bar when the tickets were drawn and didn't have them on us.  It was only because Steve went sprinting back to our table yelling "don't redraw, I think it's my ticket!" while one of the others was frantically waving our ticket in the air and yelling "don't redraw, it's Steve's ticket!" that we managed to claim our prize.

Our prize was the most amazing hamper stuffed full of Christmas goodies.  The kind of hamper you only really see on television and wonder 'who buys that?'.  It is filled with things I would never actually buy as I never buy them at any other point in the year.  Things like shortbread and jam, Baileys and seed mix.  It actually feels like Christmas in a basket.
We may have lost the darts but we managed to clean up elsewhere! 
Hope everyone isn't feeling too rough today!

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