And so my Black Widow Darts arrived, just days before my 51st birthday. I can’t wait to play it but our dartboard is in the garage, inaccessible whenever Jessica’s car is parked at home. This Friday, however, she was late in coming home.
I gave Jeanne my old Black Widow and we had a game of 501. It is amusing to watch Jeanne play darts for the first time. Her whole body moves to throw these tiny darts. In no time she is sweating, laughing and enjoying herself.
Later that evening, I was practicing alone again – enjoying my new Black Widow. When Jessica arrived, I put the darts aside to make way for her to park but instead she stayed out and came to tell me to keep playing. I gave her the old Black Widow and we practiced together. She had a natural throw, for a first timer, she can consistently get all three darts landing squarely on the inner circle.
I told her how funny her mum was when throwing darts. She can’t believe Jeanne will sweat playing this pub game – until Jeanne joined us and using my old Unicorn Darts demonstrated to Jessica how she does it. So amused, Jessica filmed her mum.
Then Jeanne said we should all play 501. We start with a hit somewhere in the double ring to start scoring, then all succeeding darts gets subtracted and you must end up exactly zero by hitting a double number. Simple rule. I also told Jessica that the most ideal finish is a double 16, it’s the most practiced finish.
Jessica went first and by beginners luck, she hit a double 8 while aiming for the double 16. She’s now excited to play. It took me and Jeanne several turns before we could even start scoring. In each turn, Jessica scores and was doing very well.
She hit a 60 by getting all darts on the single 20 section – a feat that may be common to regular players but not for a first timer. She also hit a dart-over-dart, though it does not do well on your score – it displays your ability for consistent throwing that you hit the exactly the same spot twice – thus landing on top of the other dart. It happens a lot with pro players. That’s why they always carry a spare shaft.
With Jessica’s score way ahead of us – I told them that it is impossible for Jessica to win this match against me. I have a high percentage of hitting what I’m aiming for whilst she will soon realise that to win this – she has to hit very specific double number targets.
Then she got herself down to 30, and I told her – now you would realise how difficult this game is. You have to hit double 15 to win and if you miss and hit single 15 instead – you need to hit an odd number, e.g. 3 then a double 6. She said – oh – that is going to be hard. With that she let go of her first dart landing squarely in the middle of the double 15 – winning her first game of 501 ever against her seasoned tournament champion dad sporting a brand new dart.
The house went on fire, not literally, but high fives all around and kisses and dad eating a humble pie. I shook my head and said – impossible!