Monday, 12 January 2009

'You are the latest contender'

I've invented another new job for myself.

It doesn't have a name yet, but it might be 'Performance Environment Technician'. It might not. I might replace 'Technician' with 'Creative'. Anyway, it would basically involve matching darts players with the music they walk on to.

The most unlikely people seem to develop an all-consuming obsession with darts for the duration of any televised tournament. This also happens with snooker (and to those fans I say RIP David Vine), except that the all-consumed seem to become even more consumed, which probably means they're existing in some kind of negative reality. ANYWAY. I am not one of those people, but I did happen to see the start of one of the darts semi-finals at the weekend. As each player enters the darting arena - I know I am getting the lexicon of darts so, so wrong – a kind of signature song is played. It seems like boxing in this respect, but without the satin dressing gowns. 

Some examples: On Saturday, the victorious Tony O'Shea came on to Hey Baby by DJ Otzi. This, if you ask me, is kind of lame. Any walk-on is, I feel, cheapened by a background of Europop. You're not a tiger, you're some kind of repetitively squawking parakeet. And they can't play darts. Darryl Fitton may have lost the match/game/bout but he won the battle of the walk-on music by choosing One Step Beyond by Madness. With the minimum of research, I have discovered that Martin Adams, who lost the other semi-final, enters to Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran, which seems a brilliantly flamboyant choice for such a traditionally working class sport.

And I can't believe that no one would have bagged Darts Of Pleasure by Franz Ferdinand yet. If not, I'm reserving that for myself just in case I ever decide to give the arrows a go, competition-wise.

Even in its remotest pastures – which is to say darts – sport seems to be less and less about pure physical endeavour, and more about the application of science (psychology in particular), sponsorship and celebrity. The choice of walk-on music, then, is absolutely critical, to focus and stimulate the senses (I want to say 'pump you up', but that sounds common), raise the profile and deliver a player to the oche like a jungle cat ready to pounce.

So I'm imagining my own consultancy (I'm struggling with the name – Let's Face The Music And Darts?) where rookie darts players, new to the circuit, come to my office, are offered a choice of herbal teas and mineral waters, talk to me about their dreams and fears for their career, and perhaps their star sign. I might ask them to walk up and down to assess the rhythm of their gait. You couldn't, for example, have someone with an urgent, nimble, pitter-pattering tread walking on to Barry White or some loose-limbed reggae. I don't imagine there are many darts players who walk like this, but every player is an individual (that's part of my mission statement).

I might then hold up some colour swatches to their face in front of a mirror, to find out what 'season' they are. And then I would subject them to a rigorous round of psychometric testing [1. Imagine you are throwing darts at a photograph pinned to a wall. Is it a photo of a) your mother, b) your father, c) Eric Bristow, the Crafty Cockney, d) yourself? etc etc].

At the end of all this, I present them with a small selection of anthems perfectly matched to their darts persona. They come burned on to a CD in a presentation case, with a cover I have designed specially on my computer, printed out, maybe found was slightly too big, then had to cut round the edges to make it fit in.

That will be £3,500 please. 


SheeBeeGB said...

One of my first ever jobs as a teenager was waitress at the Lakeside Country Club, the property of Bob Potter, an absolutely dispicable man who carried a thousand quid in cash in his back pocket as standard.
(Once, he actually fell into the lake with the spondulicks on his personage, but that is a whole other story).
I used to dread working through the World Darts Championships. I would come home every evening with my backside covered in bruises caused by pissed-up darts fans pinching my derriere as I made my way to the bar to collect their 12 pints of watered-down lager.
One year, Tony Gubba from the Grandstand team tried to pull me. I was 16 years old and hungry for something, but it certainly was not Monsignor Gubba.
I can't believe you have brought those memories flooding back for me Miss Jones...

SheeBeeGB said...

My apologies.
Knowing your penchant for grammar and all things linguistic, I did, in fact, mean to say "despicable".

Anonymous said...

You may be interested to know that on 7th February at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, "Legends of the Oche" will star Bobby George, John Lowe and Eric Bristow in "An evening of darts like never before...[a] truly great evening of family entertainment". If you hurry you might just be in time to offer your services.

mrs j

Miss Jones said...

SheeBeeGB, there is no need to apologise. You were clearly in the grip of an extremely disturbing post-traumatic flashback.

SheeBeeGB said...

Thank you Mrs J for the information but I think I'll give it a miss.
Incidentally, Bobby George was a gentleman when I served him cheese and ham sandwiches on sliced white bread curling up at the edges, which is more than I can say for the Crafty Cockney...
Thank you Miss Jones for your post-traumatic support.

Miss Jones said...

SheeBeeGB, I don't know if British TV's celebrity/reality car crash Dancing On Ice has reached Cuba yet, but your nemesis Tony Gubba provides the commentary. In light of your recent revelations, I felt distinctly queasy to hear him refer to one young female contestant as 'Little Miss Sexy'. Eww!