One particularly hot Cleveland night, my friend Bob invited me out to explore some of the bars on the east side of town that he frequented and played darts at. Having lived on the west side of Cleveland since I got out of the Air Force, I was fairly curious. The first place we went to, wasn’t for darts – it was for music. It was a bar filled with vinyl albums with the blues blaring at all hours. I think I had seen the owner at one of many record conventions I had played music at for my friend Steve. The place was amazing. He knew where everything was and could play songs on-demand. Bob knew that Blues wasn’t my thing, so we didn’t spend much time there.
We began to hit different dart bars and began playing “first 25 bulls wins” in earnest. The object of course is to hit the bullseye (outer ring hits count as 1 – inner ring count as 2) and the first to get to 25 wins the game – loser buys of course. I believe we were in our third establishment when we hit a bit of a snag. The air was so still and the night so warm, they had a huge floor fan going to circulate some air. I’m guessing that we were on our fourth or fifth beer by then, so it was a distraction, but it wasn’t going to stop us.
Now, I don’t know if I was just mellow, or getting used to the airflow (which we had to compensate for while throwing), but I got pretty hot. I was sitting on 19 and went to the line and threw three double bulls. At first Bob was pissed, and called me lucky, but he’s an honorable man and when he brought me my beer he said “good shot buddy”. I had honors for winning the previous game, so I got to start. I went to the line and one, two, three – I did it again. I hit three double bulls and was ahead 6-0. I expected a verbal barrage from Bob, and I got one, but not the one I expected. Bob began running up to people in the bar (most of which were certainly NOT there to play darts) exclaiming loudly – “did you see that?” “three double bulls – which is hard enough, but my friend just did it twice in a row”. Despite his enthusiasm, pretty much nobody cared, so Bob came back and took his turn. I must admit I don’t remember what he scored, but it wasn’t 6, so I was still winning. I returned to the line, adjusted for the fan and threw my first dart. Unbelievably, it was another double bull.
At this point, I became painfully aware of the fact that Bob’s antics had attracted some curiosity from the other people in the bar. It was no longer just me and Bob. After I threw that first dart, I heard enough in the background to realize they were all looking now. I don’t know if it was anxiety or fear, but no bulls at all were thrown with darts 2 and 3. By the time Bob got to the line, once again – nobody cared. We finished our game and moved on. Bob knew what I had done, and I knew what I had done. He didn’t chastise me for a string of misses either. We both knew 6 bulls in a turn was like bowling a 300 game. You just didn’t see it that often, and when the airflow from the fan was factored it – it was quite an accomplishment. And I did it twice. No trophy, no adulation, just a free beer and the respect of a fellow darter, which was more than enough.