Public Menace #1

I like to think I’m a relatively harmless and competent person. I’m not much of a threat to public safety unless I’m forced to listen to the vapid warblings of 80s boy bands (but no jury would convict me for doing whatever was necessary to escape such a horrible fate).

The motorcycle safety course I took decades ago made me a good driver. Thanks to my dad’s teachings and some firearms courses, I handle weapons safely and I’m a good shot. Ditto kitchen safety: all my knives are razor-sharp, but I’ve never cut myself. I’ve never harmed myself or anybody else with construction or automotive tools…

I should knock on wood because I realize I’m tempting fate. Tomorrow I’ll undoubtedly drive my car into a tree while simultaneously shooting myself in the foot and being gut-stabbed by the kitchen knife I was inexplicably holding when my airbag deployed. Then, launched by the impact, the tools in my trunk will rocket forward and bludgeon me to death. If you don’t see a blog post next week you’ll know what happened.

Anyway, up until last weekend I really didn’t think the rest of the world had anything to fear from me.

I was wrong.

Apparently I’m an absolute menace with darts in my hand.

Come to think of it, if my sister’s reading this she’s undoubtedly going, “Uh, DUH!!! Yes, you’re a menace with darts!”

But she’s just bitter about that unfortunate lawn-dart incident when we were kids. So she still has the scar; pshaw. It’s in a place where nobody but her husband will ever see it. Anyway, I was young then, so it doesn’t count.

But these days that excuse won’t fly.

And neither did my darts. At least not where I wanted them to fly.

I hit the bullseye once, but that was sheer random chance. My darts wobbled and soared and plummeted and all but performed backflips on the way to the wall. (I say ‘on the way to the wall’ because saying ‘on the way to the dartboard’ would be a gross exaggeration of my competence.)

I stuck a dart in the wall four feet below the dartboard. And a foot above it. And knocked a piece out of the protective plastic cover that some forward-thinking person had installed to protect the fire alarm (which was only about 9” above the dart board; so that wasn’t really my fault).

And here’s the saddest part: I wasn’t even drinking. Maybe that was the problem.  I’m quite sure some beer would have made me a better darts player. It couldn’t have made me worse.

I don’t understand why I sucked so stupendously. In grade school I played outfield on the girls’ softball team because I was the only one who could throw well enough to get the ball back to home plate. I can toss a used tissue with unerring accuracy into a 9” square garbage can a few feet away while lying in bed with my eyes closed in the pitch dark.

But if I’m throwing darts? Go hide in another room. And don’t bend over, just in case.

Any darts professionals out there? Can you give me some tips? (Besides “Quit before you get slapped with a lawsuit for personal injury and property damage”?)

37 thoughts on “Public Menace #1

  1. Au contraire, I have to say your aim is impeccable! What sister hasn’t always dreamed of stabbing her annoying little sister in the backside with a lawn dart! 🙂 I’m happy to say it didn’t leave a visible lasting impression (at least not that hubby tells me), but it’s one of those childhood memories we’re not likely to forget any time soon. Sorry I missed the party this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Different games have their own set of danger. Off topic just a bit but I have now found how much of a “Spy” addict I am. While browsing the latest internet news I found a blurb about the “Blackhawks Place Kane on Long-Term IR “. Hockey of course. My very first thought, seriously and I swear was “what is John doing playing hockey, he’s supposed to be on a road trip with Hellhound”! I am so pitiful. LOLOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahaha!!! That’s magnificent – I love it! I have to admit to getting pretty immersed when I’m writing, too… like the time I was deep in plotting when the postal clerk called me Kelly and I just went with it until I remembered I am not, in fact, Aydan Kelly. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An incident with lawn darts? Involving a close relative? LAWN DARTS??

    Bahahah!! Sounds like the kinda crap my older cousins pulled on me at family reunions a hunnerd or two years ago. 🙂

    Just an FYI, a ‘lawn dart incident’ is what participants of the hobby of high power rocketry call it when a rocket comes screaming back in from some outrageous altitude after the parachute(s) fail to open. Seen it happen more than once. If some of the rockets I’ve seen launched had lawn darted, they could have pinned a Greyhound bus to a parking lot! Fortunately, such things are the exception rather than the rule. 🙂

    Before I discovered that it was illegal to do so, I used to go quail hunting with a .22 pistol. I never bagged the limit, but I frequently embarrassed folks who carried some rather expensive shotguns. But I can’t hit a dartboard with a baseball bat, much less a dart. You’re among friends.

    And look at you go with Book 10! You tho rock!


    • Ah, yes, model rocketry! I have happy memories of that, too. And not-so-happy memories of a couple of ‘lawn dart incidents’. On the up side, we were out in the middle of the bald prairie so there were lots of places to run when the rocket came screaming down.

      Too bad about that law – it seems more sporting to go after birds with a .22 than a shotgun. But remind me not to piss you off.

      It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s dart-impaired, and I kinda like the idea of the baseball bat. In the first place it’d be more fun to take a swing at the dartboard, and in the second place it’d deter any heckling from the spectators. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        • Oooooohhhh!!! Yep, that’s a different animal entirely. Good fun! And undoubtedly traumatic to the pocketbook even under ideal circumstances. A ‘lawn dart incident’ with one of those would make you weep even if nothing got hurt but the rocket.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, after all that work and expense, making a kit out of your new pride and joy is low on everyone’s list of priorities. But GAD is it ever a rush! The place where the club launches that I belong to is a sod farm ‘way out in the weeds, far away from polite society. We have FAA clearance to 22,600 feet above ground. Lots of fun! There’s not an upper limit on how much one can spend in this hobby, but it is amazing how much one can do with very, very little if one applies oneself. That’s the route I take, personally.

            I’m lots better with rockets of ANY size than I am with darts. I taught rocketry for five years in a pre-college engineering course at a magnet high school here in Texas. My kids were the second high school class in the nation to design, build, and launch a rocket that broke the sound barrier. The one my kids built went 950 mph and hit 13,625 feet. The first high school class to do so was also from Texas. Fredericksburg High School. Their instructor was instrumental in helping us to get our program off the ground, so to speak. Those guys have built rockets that have had to be launched at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico! 🙂

            Lots of fun. I sew all my own parachutes, too. Good ballistic parachutes are lots cheaper to make than they are to buy. So I’m a cheapskate, okay? 🙂


  4. While reading your post I fully sympathize with your lack of dart throwing ability. I am also impaired at hitting a dart board, or reaching a baseball mound. While I’m thinking of that I had to laugh, and am still chuckling, about your ability to hit the trash can across the room, in the dark, with a tissue. I’m sorry, I can’t help it, I’ve read all your books and the scenarios just keep flying by me. I, however, cannot hit the trash can with empty cereal boxes while standing over it. Fire arms are altogether different. I’m an excellent shot, my Papa taught me well. I think it’s the feeling of ultimate power over a situation while the adrenaline rush of impending danger that does it. Hubby wants to put up a dart board. I have to convince him not too. I just painted not long ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Ah, yes, the peril of the vivid mental image. I can imagine you chuckling!

      I’m the same way with firearms, or anything with any kind of a sight. It’s the sights that are the key. After not having shot trap for over 30 years, I rented one of the range shotguns last fall and hit 23 out of 25 clays in my first round. I won a silver medal in team archery at the Championship of the Americas (thanks more to my teammates than my own prowess, but still), and I can pick off pop cans with an open-sight pistol at 25 yards. But I can’t land a dart within four feet of a dartboard that’s only ten feet away. I guess the good news is if I ever have to stop a charging bear, it won’t be with a dart. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aha! So that’s the secret – I just wasn’t feeling hostile enough! That can be remedied. Politicians scare me too much, but I’m pretty sure I can summon up some top-quality hostility for those boy-bands. The only distasteful part will be searching the internet to find their photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. No dart expert here but I can teach you to throw horseshoes backwards. Talk about breaking up a party!
    Another fabulous post Diane. I am always excited when I see you have posted a new one. I’m chuckling away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hubby used to play Darts, he won quite a few tournaments back in the day. He never taught me because that was back in the days when smoking was allowed in California bars and I can’t tolerate smoke. But come to Iowa and I’ll arrange for private lessons! 😸
    I do have one suggestion…if you are worried about hitting things other than the dartboard, practice with soft-tip darts for a bit before you move up to the lethal kind.
    And I knocked on wood for you…I sincerely hope that fate wasn’t paying attention to your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for both the tips and the good luck – I think in my case both are equally important! And I’d better set up a dartboard in our basement and practice in privacy for a while. Fortunately I was surrounded by friends who don’t expect any measure of dignity from me, but it would have been seriously embarrassing in public! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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