It’s fairly common knowledge that every guy in a group of buddies has a “thing”. A certain trait or two that everyone else in the group associates with him. You know, Vinnie is the tough one, Johnny’s the clown, Pablo is good with the ladies; they each have their “thing”. In my circle of friends, one of the traits associated with me (that I can publish) is “the-guy-who’s-good-at-darts”. Well, at least it used to be.
See, my girlfriend recently developed an interest in the popular pub game, and I—in my infinite wisdom—decided to nurture this interest. I took her to a bar to play, even bought her a set of darts to call her own.
She became insatiable, always wanting to go out to grab a beer and practice her throw. Every bull’s-eye a cause for celebration, every miss reason enough to start a barroom brawl. At first, I thought playing darts with my girlfriend would merely be an opportunity for us to spend some time together while I honed my skill. Now, I realize my folly, and that all the while I had been stoking the fire of her competitive streak. Never mind a woman’s scorn, hell hath no fury like a roller derby girl that loses. Lucky for me I’m useful around the house, so instead of pummeling me with a skate she opted to practice and the unthinkable happened: she beat me at my own game.
My reputation was ruined. My “thing” with the guys no longer held true. I was in a violent, downward spiral of denial and self-loathing. All hope seemed lost, and I envisioned my buddies taking me out back to put me down like a busted racehorse. But, in the bowels of darkness, an old adage came to me: “If you can’t beat’em, join’em.” And in my case, I could do one better. I could date her, and tell people that the lost member of the Lollipop Guild hitting triple 20s was with me.
For those of you interested in similarly tempting fate and putting a dart in your partner’s hand, Austin has a great darts scene. Many bars around town have boards and some even host weekly tournaments and league-play, such as Fast Eddie’s, Cain & Abel’s, and Crown & Anchor. A great resource for information on the rules of play and good locations to partake in the game can be found at www.austindarts.org, the website for the Capital Area Darts Association. However, before you head out, here’s one piece of advice: if in your circle you’re the “guy-who’s-good-at-darts,” then you might want to teach her how to play pool instead.