A Loco Viewpoint
Things are getting serious at the Calmar Dart League these days; almost as serious as a Monty Python film festival. Now that all twenty teams have played one another, we have been divided into A, B and C divisions based on rankings from all those games played since last September. (With the long, grueling schedule, it’s as much a war of attrition as it is of skill.) The divisions represent a fair indicator of each team’s prowess, while also providing interesting insights into how serious your fellow players are, since no one will admit they are actually serious.) This is because if other league members found out that gaining the mantle of dart supremacy in our organization really mattered to you, they’d think you were a few shots short of a mickey.
Since these outrageously judgmental A, B and C division placements does reflect one’s relative suckiness at throwing small, pointy missiles, it should come as no surprise my team is in the C pool (and not the dregs of the gene pool as the A’s and B’s were discussing.) I should state quite firmly, however, that there is only one reason we ended up the in the C event and that’s because there was no D, E or F event.
It’s not that we lack talent, it’s just that the area where our talents exist are in skills centered around the social aspect of the game. My team, for example, is called Three and a Half Men since Cindy, our female member, has height issues and a deep, booming voice). This demonstrates a certain whimsy not displayed by other, more determined teams such as “The Straight Shooters” and “The Dart Nazis”. In fact, we are capable in all aspects of the game that don’t involve actually throwing darts. Our team’s Glorious Leader, Captain Corey, for example, can carry three beer, a double scotch with ice tea (don’t ask) and two shots of tequila, all the way from the bar to our table without spilling a single precious drop. That takes a lot of skill, my friend. Admittedly, being able to “double out” to win dart games would be a great asset as well, but given the choice of the two, I’m happy with his skill-set.
I felt excited as I walked into Calmar Legion Branch 266. (They wanted to be Branch 666 but that number was already taken by Ottawa.) It was the first night of the league playoffs and the atmosphere was electric. My hair was literally standing on end. Then I realized it was just static electricity from forgetting to put a stupid Bounce sheet in the dryer. I should have realized this immediately since, for C division teams, not even the playoffs are electric. They are, however, a gas!
Being superstitious, I adhered to the hoary, ancient dart tradition of going immediately to the bar to grab a drink before heading to our table. It is essential, for maximum dart proficiency, to acquire dart lubricant right away, whether you prefer it in cans, bottles or red solo cups. As chance would have it, I happened to run into Captain Corey in the lengthy lube lineup. I decided to ignore our team’s “fun is paramount” approach and try some sports psychology on him with some “trash talkin’”.
“Hey, Corey!” I boomed heartily. “Tonight is the first night of the playoffs and we have to serve notice that we’re going to rule the C division! I feel sorry for the poor suckers we are facing tonight. Whatever team name they begin with, by the end it will be the Lulu-Lulu-Losers! We will mash them! We will smash them! We will masticate them and expectorate them! We will stomp them!”
“Gee, Chris, that’s kind of harsh,” frowned Corey. “The other team consists of people I care about very much. I call two of their members “Mom” and “Dad”. I don’t want to stomp people who are like family to me. It’s just darts, buddy.”
“Boy, you sure know how to ruin good trash talk,” I moped, feeling guiltier than a certain PEI senator regarding his living expense claims.
As we headed to the table, an array of lubricants in hand, I tried to explain to Corey about hyperbole and the role it performs in boosting ability, according to all the sports psychology information I had made up on the spot. He remained suspicious of my intent; disappointed I could be so cruel to such nice folks that I would, “eviscerate them and stomp on their innards” as he put it.
“I didn’t mention their innards!” I defended myself vigorously. “You’re the one that brought up evisceration!”
“Well, you’re the one launching personal attacks on people you don’t hardly know,” he pointed out primly. “What you call trash talking, I call being mean-spirited and demonstrating poor sportsmanship.”
“That kind of attitude,” I lamented, “is exactly why we’re in the C division. You act like we’re just here for the fun of it.”
“We are just here for the fun of it,” agreed Corey. “I don’t know a single person who isn’t here for the fun of it.”
“But don’t you find it more fun when we win?” I asked. The look on his face indicated I’d scored a hit.
As we neared the table, he hailed our opponents, greeting them warmly. “Mom” wore a look of fond warmth as she gazed at the lubricant laden Corey and me. ‘Here comes a couple of the soon-to-be losers now,” she said with a gleeful giggle.
Corey looked my way with a serious squint.
“Okay,” he grunted, “You were right and I was wrong. Let’s stomp their innards!”
So much for sports psychology; they beat us four games to three.
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