Ever had this feeling?
Game's gone well; you've been hitting some pretty good scores. Things feel comfortable, you're a good few points in front of your opponent and first down to your double attempt! Then inexplicably you end up on "The Madhouse' - Double 1.
Here are some of my potential thought processes on those rare occasions when you're chasing the elusive double 1 Madhouse.
This is what might go on in my head at my level of darts, but it's comforting to know that even the professionals have the same problems finishing live on TV now and again! I wonder if they think the same things?
I'm after the double 16 for a nice steady 21 darter. Nothing special about the game, but this should finish it off nicely.
Miss Miss S16
Still a chance to sneak the D8 before my opponent gets to his double...steady now...focus...!
S8 S4 Miss
Oh well! It's anyone's game now as he's down to his double as well. Let's stick this D2 and get it over with!
Miss Miss S2
In the Madhouse again! At least I've got a throw at it because he missed his double also.
Come on! Finish it!
Miss Miss Bust
What's the matter with me? Can't hit a double or what? Stick the bloody thing and let's get a beer in!
Self-doubt begins to creep in extensively now. Your opponent is now in the same boat. It must be infectious!
Nervous laughs and curses litter the air as you keep stepping up and then away from the oche.
In between throws you've taken to motivationally talking to yourself ready for the next throw, only to be disappointed again.
You started drawing a crowd now! People are shouting comments like...
"Couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo!"
This helps a great deal!
Your hands are sweaty and beads of sweat have started appearing on your brow!
It's only double 1 - it's the same size as the rest of the doubles. ...but I think it's got something against me...it hates me...that's why it won't let me hit it!
Tips from the crowd are thick and fast with each throw..."Aim for just above the double"..." Aim for the outside of the board and it will drop in"..."Ever thought of taking up tennis".
The last one helps a great deal!
Noticed that I've developed a nasty twitch in my right eye.
My opponent has taken to outwardly sobbing between throws. At other times we are like two separate warriors battling the same foe. We are destined to become blood brothers...what am I on about? ...he's got a face like an ugly bulldog chewing a nettle!
I hate my darts now! After this game is over I'm going to pack it in, or at least kick something really hard. Mind your in growing toenail though!
Crowd have now dispersed as this farce is about as entertaining as watching paint dry!
Darts are all over now bouncing off walls and bull wires! There is a feeling of couldn't care less now between Ugly and me. Nonchalant throws from both of us.
One of the crowd has returned and insists on just standing behind us and doing one of those stifled sniggers that grates on your nerves after every miss!
Had to pull Ugly off the spectator after throw 23 as he went for him instead of the board with his third dart! He should be all right though - the hole wasn't that big! This helps a great deal!
I'm starting to hallucinate. I have just seen Phil Taylor appearing above the dartboard in a sort of soft hazy effect muttering ..."Use the Force". I still missed though, because he was wearing a pink Lurex thong!
I've taken to sitting down between throws, and sort of rocking backwards and forwards in a kind of demented fashion...if there was a wall nearby I'd bang my head on it! My opponent has also started doing this kind of insane cackling laugh and sticking darts in his own arm, drawing blood - I join in! This helps a great deal! Especially as it's his arm!
Fight ensues as the landlord tried to turn the dart lights off because everyone else has gone home. He's lying in the corner unconscious now! Ugly has just run round the room naked in celebration because he got double 1 but it bounced out!
The Finish - Throw 43
I throw a dart in desperate, desperate despair ...not aiming...not caring!
I stand and stare at the dart as it stands proudly in the double 1...waiting, waiting for it to drop out. I suddenly realise and rush up to the board and retrieve it quickly...kissing it with affection...."I love you dart!"
I fall to my knees with the dart, and my shoulders and head drop in a fit of relief! Various Gods are thanked in no certain order, and even Phil in his thong!
My opponent stood and witnessed this, screamed lots of obscenities and ran out of the club naked, never to be seen again!
I walk home alone but proud in the knowledge that I did it! I beat the madhouse! We faced each other in the heat of battle and I came out the victor...I will never fear him again!
Just then a naked guy jumps out on me clutching three darts and performing some king of Maori Haka chant!
Swift kick in the nuts sorts him out, and I continue on my way.
This helps a great deal!
Throw where you Look, and Look where you Throw, Rockford