Saturday, February 4, 2012

Guest Post: The Bearded Dog, Emily, and Therapeutic Darts

Guys. You're in for a real treat. 

Last night, as per our usual routine, John and Julia and Greg and Terese and G and T's lovely daughter Emily - aka Emsie - had a delightful Friday evening out. We enjoyed our meal at a local restaurant and then retired to our house, and the Bearded Dog Pub - our rec room/billiard hall/pub. I settled in on the couch to digest, when I remembered with a shock that I had nothing prepared for today's post. 


But I was feeling foggy and in a barbecued chicken coma, which dampens any creative spark considerably. Hm. I slid my laptop next to me and reluctantly sat up. Hm. What to write....what to write.....what to write.....

Then grinned. Because our dear Emily happened to walk into the room. I slid the laptop over to her, and promptly bullied her into writing a guest post. 

Handy. She tried to protest, but it was too late. I had made up my mind. "What am I going to write? What's my subject matter? What's my topic?"

Woo hoo. I knew that I had won the battle as soon as she began asking not IF she should write, but WHAT. I told her that as long as she didn't write about ME, all was fair game. So Emsie decided to write about one of her favorite diversions here at our house: our dart game. 

So here's today's guest post, courtesy of the prettiest - and some would say the best - young dart player in the west: Emily

Friday night.... The Bearded Dog Pub. The neon foaming beer light is lit and again I find myself seated on the high stool, sipping the latest microbrew with the cathartic whack of darts impaling cork sounding in my head. Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash are providing the ambiance for yet another week. This has been a typical Friday exercise for myself - Emily, the newest and least capable of "guest" authors to ever have appeared on this blog.

(John's editorial comment)  Emsie may be sipping, Greg and I are consuming at a level that would remind you of a thirsty labrador at the water dish on a hot day.

*ahem* See what happens when my turn to throw darts comes up? John and my dad highjack the computer! Anyway, my original point of writing this post is to present to the world my humble opinion on the connection between stress relief and dart throwing. I believe this to be a truly useful and healthy means of relieving stress. Why, John plays at least 20 games a day. He appears to be one of most stress-free people you will ever meet.

It's a bit unfair since he has the dartboard constantly around to provide the sweet refreshing relief of physical violence in a controlled and appropriate environment. Truly the great invention of darts has always provided (and always will) the means of releasing pent up stress which knits the brow and turns all verbal speech into bitter rantings. Yes, yes, we've all been there before. Think about it...who could honestly go to war over petty differences when you could all sit down for a pint together and solve every problem on the dart board?

(John's editorial comment)  Never play darts with Emsie for money.  She is currently killing us, as she usually does, at the 301 game.

My life improved the moment I was introduced to the blessed game of darts here at the Bearded Dog Pub. My stress has decreased exponentially with this simple act of ruthlessly punching holes in a green, red and white board. I have come to love that man's electronic voice when he says, "Bulls eye!" Like music to my ears....well until he says that for John or my dad, Greg. 

(Greg's editorial comment)  John and I have long been trying to explain to Emily the obvious advantages of playing darts and drinking beer over jogging as a way to get your exercise and reducing stress.  For one thing, you do not get chased and bitten by dogs while playing darts.  Wait a minute.  I do seem to recall a small schnauzer leisurely walking up and taking a bite of ankle at a New Years party here at the Bearded Dog a year or two ago

*Grrr* How do they type so fast? Anyway, at first I resisted. "Darts? How frustrating. I can't even aim..." But you know, even if I hit the border of the board or even the dry wall (occasionally), I feel free- for that one moment- from all the worries of the day. 

Normally, to relieve stress I'd go for a 3 mile run and beat the crap out of my body. However, I also know it's good to listen to your elders and their wisdom has had its effect on me. "One game of 301 is equivalent to a 6 mile run...especially when your drinking beer. Those mugs are heavy!" Maybe "wisdom" is a strong word, but there is truth to their madness. 

"I've never cramped yet playing darts and I'm never out of breath... except when I have to bend over and pick them up off the floor." - Another great quote from the dart masters of the Bearded Dog.

(Greg's editorial comment)  She just beat us at 301

They are also currently trying to convince me that if you wish for a more aggressive form of stress relief and "exercise" one should considered billiards. Much more stretching, you have to use BOTH arms and you must be drinking copious amounts of beer. Their logic is slowly loosing its integrity with me. 

(John's editorial comment) Playing pool while taking shots of Bourbon would require an entirely separate blog post

Regardless of the beverage you choose to enjoy while playing darts, nothing quite finishes off a long hard week than being the first one of the group to hit el ojo del torro! The eye of the bull! There must be something about planning your throws; calculating the best possible combination of dart groupings to drop your score from 301 to 0 the quickest that takes your mind off all other worldly problems. Instead of fuming about things that didn't go my way, I simply imagine my problems as red, green and white sections of the dart board and TA DA! I win again!

Bottom line, darts are a perfect and healthy way to relieve stress. Try it... you'll see what I mean.

(John's editorial comment)  She just beat us again.  Hey, Emsie, do you want to play some billiards?

1 comment:

Jenny P said...

Hi Emsie!
Love it. I too am a fan of darts...and find my aim dramatically improves with libations. Just sayin'.

When at work and unable to properly prepare for darts (i.e., booze up), I have found an alternative I think you'll enjoy...

Recently, my coworkers and I were given foam stress relievers - you know, the ones you squeeze to take out your tension. These were shaped like trucks. I hate squeezing them, it cracks the foam after a while! These happened to be white, and to cut to the chase...white foam stress relievers don't leave marks on walls!

Yes, I lead my team - wary, at first, but quickly learning to trust their leader - to the best stress reducer EVER...throwing foam trucks at the wall. You can do a bullseye (which incidentally can quickly be turned into the head of someone who frustrates you), take turns, compete to see who can make the loudest sound or the truck bounce back the farthest...or my FAVORITE - a team throw on the count of 3!

I highly recommend it. But close the door first. And don't let them touch your computer when it's your turn.