Friday, November 08, 2013

A game of Chance?

Sandi and I played darts with a couple last night at Kings Head in the Valley.  As I packed my darts in a carrying case to take to the bar, I came across my Southern California Darts Association membership card. It was dated 1986. My life as a competitive dart player flashed before my eyes.
I was co-captain of a dart team called "The Masked Men".  I formed the team of video camera men and production types with a girl friend named Eden. Eden was a five foot two, 24 year old busty blond pixie with a great sense of humor.  I didn't know her very well before we formed the team.  She was the booth PA for my show "So You Think You Got Troubles". I was in front of the camera and she was in the booth with the director in another room. Eden was somewhat of a savant with numbers and on her way to becoming a director one day.
I had a party for the cast and crew of that show at my house.  Eden was there and I saw her looking intently at the dart board I had in the den. I was serious about darts with a regulation bristle board. Eden said, "Do you like to play darts?" The truth was I was just learning how to really play, the board was fairly new. However, a dart game is a very good way to get to know someone so I said, "I love darts. You want to play a game?"
She looked semi-interested and said, "What kind of games do you play?"
As any man might do, I decided to impress this young girl with my vast knowledge.  I explained the most common games. I described 301 double in double out.  501 single in double out.  Cricket, with points and CutThroat.  I explained that the outer ring was worth double the points and the inter ring triple. I explained how you could hit a triple twenty and score more points than a double bulls eye which was only 50.
She said, "Do  you have any darts?" Once again I launched into an explanation of the weight, the barrel length and the flights of darts. I took several sets of darts from the drawer and laid them out. I said that they were like golf clubs and you had to find the right weight and length for your throwing style.  She looked at a couple of sets and tried throwing one or two.  She was not sure which ones were better for her.  She said, "Sure I'll play. What is that 501 game?"
I explained the rules in detail.  She said, "Do you play for money?" 
I said, "You can play any game for money I guess."
"Well then, let's play for five dollars." 
"I don't want to take your money."
"It's okay," she said, "it will be like I am paying for a dart lesson.  It will make it more interesting." 
I said, "Well, why not, sure."
With that she opened her purse and took out a personalized leather case containing a custom weighted set of her own darts.  I realized I had been played already. 
She said, "I thought you knew, my boyfriend is a team player in the Southern California Darts Association. We play in bars all the time."
It was me who ended up paying for a dart lesson.  I learned really fast that darts is a game of skill and a game of numbers, it is most certainly not a game of chance. Eden and I formed "The Masked Men" and played for several years winning three first place trophies over that span. 
In 1986 she was killed after losing control of her car on the 405 Freeway and slamming into an over pass support.  She was returning home from a dart game.  It was a life cut far too short. It ended our team and my participation in the Southern California Darts Association. 
I remembered this morning that yesterday was her birthday. My birthday is 7/11  and hers was 11/7 and we were both superstitious about those numbers. Eden is missed by everyone who knew her, she would have been pleased that I played darts again on her birthday.
As you were,

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