A team mates father passed away last week. Frank was in the darts club sat alone and I went over to give him my condolences.
"Sorry to hear about your Dad Frank."
"No need to be sorry Tony, I was just thinking about all the laughs and good times I had with him. He was a brilliant father."
Frank continued to talk about Harry, his beloved Dad, and told me some of the tales that he remembered with a fond look in his eye and a smile on his face. I was amazed at what a character Harry was. This is one of the stories...in memory of Harry.
Harry and his buddies had noticed that Alan, one of the senior darts players, regularly got mixed in with some of the junior and younger players that congregated round the boards early on Saturday nights. It was noticed after some weeks that Alan was taking money from these youngsters at darts. Most people thought Alan was being a bit greedy and opportunistic as it was easy money for him to 'fleece' these kids at 501.
A couple of weeks later, Harry had a word. Now Harry was not a hard man but had a subtle way of dealing with these situations...
"Alan, a word in your ear! It's not right that you're playing these young kids for money. Some of them are unemployed, others have only part time jobs, and they can't afford to keep giving money to you. You know you're a much better player than they are, and you're taking advantage of them!"
Alan replied threateningly, "What's it to do with you, anyway? They don't have to play me if they don't want to."
"I tell you what...if you can eat a Mars Bar before I complete a game of 501, we won't say another word on the subject. If I complete 501 before you finish the Mars Bar, you give those kids their money back, and never play them again. OK?
Alan looked at the board then back at Harry as he weighed up the offer..."Easy stuff...you're on!
For those that may not know, Mars Bars are sort of soft chocolate nougat and toffee covered in chocolate and not all that big.
Harry arranged for the Landlord to place a Mars Bar on the table, and on the word GO the challenge commenced. An interested crowd of spectators had developed round the board as word got round the club as to what was going on. Harry started throwing his darts with not a care in the world.
You should have seen the look on Alan's face when he hurriedly unwrapped the Mars Bar to realise that it had been in the Landlord's deep freeze for an eternity!
He had taken only two bites and had lockjaw by the time Harry was chasing his double finish!
Good on Alan though. The following week all the juniors in the club had a few more pounds in their pockets than when they came in!
Here's another 'Harryism' that the crafty old Fox got me with years ago.
"I can throw three darts all together with one hand, at once, simultaneously and without the use of a stunt man or safety net, and land all three in the twenty segment," says Harry with a wry smile on his face.
"That's impossible," I said. "You must tape them together or something?"
"I promise you that you will be able to pull out the three darts individually from the board. There will be nothing holding them together when you recover them."
I looked at Harry with my best quizzical look. The one with one eyebrow raised, the other eye shut and a furrowed brow. The sort of look that you have when you're in an elevator full of people and somebody drops an SBD (Silent But Deadly).
"Go on then..."
Harry pulled a shirt button out of his pocket and pushed the three dart points into the holes.
Just as I was about to object and state the obvious...that the shirt button would be holding the darts together in the board, he had launched his three pronged projectile on its way.
DUFF! Three darts smack in the middle of the twenty segment.
The shirt button went 'Ping' on impact shattering into bits that went flying God knows where, but leaving three darts stood proudly in the twenty!
My buddies and I looked open mouthed as Harry smiled, winked, picked up his beer and went for a game of dominoes.
God Bless you Harry. You will be missed.
Throw where you Look, and Look where you Throw, Rockford