Friday, March 25, 2011

Portrait Of A Prick - 'Special K'

"The letter K is special in my family" - Special K
In our Prick Portraits we catch up with our Prixxx and try to get to know a bit more about them. This week we sat down with one of the more popular Prixxx from the team - Special K (a.k.a. Kevin). Sometimes getting a hold of a Prick can be a surprisingly difficult thing to do, particularly in a country like Vietnam where pointing people in the right direction just aint cool. Not with our Kevvie K, however.  Easier than spotting a Westerner on Bui Vien, oftentimes you'll find this Prick downstairs at work with some of the other Prixxx he works with discussing Indian cricket, i-phones, and darts venues over a quiet smoke or too. If that fails (rarely), you can always dial Peaches and just ask for Kevin. Born Kevin Kuruvilla to Mr and Mrs Kuruvilla from Kerala, India (Yep...what is it with the letter 'K' in this family?), he followed his father's wishes and set out to get a good job and settle down with a beautiful wife, of which he has done both. But little did his parents know that Special K was born with a silver dart in his mouth and one day dreamt of becoming a 'champion' (in our eyes) in the SIDL. Now that he has done that too, what more could this lad from the backwaters of Kerala achieve? Let's find out!

So Kev, do you have any nicknames without the letter K in them?
No, I can't think of any actually!

Are you left-handed or right-handed?
Definitely right-handed

What is something unique about the way you practice? For example, do you look at yourself in the mirror when you try different ways of holding your shaft between your fingers?
It changes from week to week
How do you feel about busts?
I'd like to see more of them because it would mean that I'm closer to checking out!

"I definitely like short legs" - K
Long legs or short legs?        
Definitely short legs 

How often have you had three in a bed (3 darts in the same house)?
Well...I once had three darts on bullseye (2x25s and 1x50) but no one was there to witness it!

What's your favourite house?

How would you change SIDL rules to make it more fun?
Have weaker teams in the league!

It's your mate's wedding day and you're best man but he's organised it on League night - what do you do?  
Go darting! That's the only way I can prick those tight spots!
...the Man

The darts, the hand, the smoke...




Friday, March 4, 2011

The Prixxx Salute Alayah

Like a wedgie from hell jammed in between two hostess clubs in the cavity that is Ngo Van Nam in D1, the Blue Salute Bar played with hostesses  host to The Prixxx last Tuesday night in what was The Prixxx' third leg of a gruelling road trip that has left the boys on all fours pleading for a bludgeoning to the back of the head. While the prospect of taking on last season's champions in "Little Tokyo" had us scrambling for our Japanese phrasebooks in case of a detour...err wrong turn in transit, our real concern was running headlong into a juggernaut known as Alayah who, as I assume their name suggests, reached the lofty heights of being crowned League champions last season. But as all elite sportspersons know, the giants of any game can have unexplained off-nights every now and then, and with that in mind (and shifty thoughts of slipping Team Alayah a Mickey Finn just moments before play), The Prixxx entered the cauldron.

The Cauldron awaited
After the usual posturing, marking of territory and lobbing of 'dummy' darts in the bullpen, along with the habitual team shirt displays when the boys strut about like an ostentation of peacocks, the triples were announced and it was G-Money (a.k.a. Danny), The Prickler and the Yet To Be Nicknamed Scribe (Y.T.B.N.S....err...that's me) who were left clambering for their arrows among the ciggie packs, bar snacks, darts, mobile phones, ashtrays and beers (and later tears) that were congesting elbow space at the bar. On the other side of the room, the remaining Prixxx were still counting heads amidst rumours that some of the boys were dusting off their Japanese next door and were nervously reassuring each other that they would be along soon enough.

The Prickalicious Babes
At seven bells and with the call of "Game On!" The Prixxx came out firing. The Prickler began launching tracer bullets, G-Money was on the money with probing forays into high scoring wedges and Y.T.B.N.S. was wrestling with his drift, but at least feeling the release zone and 'arcing' some pretty good cork. Surprisingly, the lads from Alayah started the match at a geriatric pace by their standards with a smattering of healthy points but far from the cricket score-like totals we had expected. Nevertheless, they were chirpy and no doubt readying themselves for a bag of easy points and an earlier start time to their usual boyish flirting shenanigans with the leggy Johnny Walker girl plying their scotch glasses. Then it was The Prickler who had clearly decided that enough was enough and with signature cap positioned back-to-front belying his true age of 112, fired off a trio of pins that had the 'chalkie' calling for a calculator with a big f**k off screen. When The Prickler echoed the chalkie's call of 140 (or thereabouts), there were two distinct sounds reverberating around the Blue Salute - one was that of The Prixxx and The Prickalicious Babes (who had just joined us moments before first dart) going nuts with the other one being that of Team Alayah's jaws hitting the floor as they were trying to comprehend what they had just witnessed. The Prickler had lit up the place (along with another smoke) and the atmosphere had become electric as quick as a Pham Ngu Lao street urchin can materialise from thin air to snatch your wallet.

Big f**k off calculator needed

Once the cacophony of hoots and deep-throated 'yeahs' had subsided from The Prixxx' camp and the boys from Alayah had taken another sip of a not-so-tasty-now Black Label, the next boy from Alayah toed the line and fired his return salvo. But what transpired was something totally out of the box; his darts were to spray the board totalling a measly sum that put our boys out in front by a healthy margin in our mad dash for naught. The chalkie was clearly having a brain fade calculating the scores like a confused first-grader and we noticed a sense of urgency beginning to wash over our opposition as they found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Was their bubble about to be pricked? Meanwhile, The Prixxx had begun trading glances with each other and if anyone in the bar had been able to read eyebrow language, they would have picked up that The Prixxx were telling each other that they fancied themselves (well...why wouldn't they?) as a chance to take first blood, while The Prickalicious Babes were busy wondering why we were counting backwards.

We salute you boys
As the scores were quickly approaching double digits, G-Money drove three beauties home (no, not those beauties) that were so hard and straight that they would have made even Hugh Hefner blush. The Money Man had unloaded just at the right time and set up Y.T.B.N.S and The Prickler to ice the game. By this time the place was abuzz with 'what-ifs' and 'can-they-do-its?' and for the first time in The Prixxx' short history, they found themselves being the hunted. But Y.T.B.N.S. couldn't finish them off, nor could The Prickler, but they had left G-Money a nice little figure (not the only one in the place) with which to work with. By the time it was The Money Man's throw again he found himself on 40 with a double-tops check out in order to clinch a thriller. In some of the most nerve racking moments of our lives and with only the sound of a tired old maudlin Celine Dion track creating white noise in the background, G-Money cocked, fired, released and nailed the points we needed with the yell of “Check out!” from the ever effusive Prickler who was already moving in to celebrate the win with the boys.

Who needs a 'massaaa?
The backslapping that followed was enough to call for a ‘massaaa’ the next day such was the exultation circling the room. It had been a long time since any of us had tasted such triumph and the look in The Prixxx’s eyes said it all. With that, The Prixxx went into the next set with their tails up and a real belief that we could actually take points off blokes who could actually play darts and hey, we were 1-nil up against the big boys. While The Prixxx soon after lost the reverse triples, it was in the doubles where The Prixxx turned up the heat again with another win thanks to the Prickler/Money duo leaving our opposition squirming just a smidgeon in their corner. Judging by the way The Prickler and G-Money combo performed, it appears that The Prixxx have found a top notch pair to take it up to the best in the comp.

However, those two points would remain the only points The Prixxx could manage to take home to The Prickhole that night. But the night wasn’t without other highlights as Nicko carried his brilliant form into this week and startled his opponent in the singles, so much so that The Prickalicious Girls were wondering whether to call for a ventilator from the brothel next door for the old fellas in Alayah who had gone a tad pale. Likewise Special K and He-Mel were ever crafty with their own unique throwing styles; if only my order of potato wedges had come out as quickly as the darts do from He-Mel’s fingers. The Gujarati Gun was also causing his own havoc over on Board 1 and at one stage averted attention to his game as he grabbed a point off his opponent with that customary roar that we have come to know and love. The Gun is in fine form at the moment and his form carried over into the teams’ later on. Meanwhile, the crowd was enjoying the tussle The Prickler had on his plate while eventually succumbing to his plucky opponent who had the cheek to say, “Just lucky” after nailing three triples in a row for a score of around 129 – unlucky Prickler. Y.T.B.N.S went down in his singles to a sunglass-clad dynamo in a pretty lacklustre affair despite chances to check out and appears to be suffering from the yips. G-Money after such a great night early on got wiped in what must be the quickest game in darts history. He came up against “The Robot” (Paul from Alayah) who went through him as quickly as HCMC street food. In fact, The Robot entered the triple points scoring zone more times than Charlie Sheen has entered rehab in the past few months (and that’s a lot) in a clinical display that has me pondering if I should call him up for my next acupuncture session. In the final singles of the night, Our Dear Leader kept us enthralled in a classic that showcased some pretty fine darts which probably should have gone his way and one feels that a big singles win is just a small toss away. Our Dear Leader looks back and we are looking forward to some big hauls from him in the coming weeks.
Our Dear Leader

On a night that could have gone horribly wrong, The Prixxx walked away from "Little Tokyo" with two well-earned points and a belief that we can mix it with the best. To the boys from Alayah, we look forward to dragging you out of those blinding red lights and into The Prickhole where a less convivial atmosphere awaits and where the only kind of 'busts' you'll come across are the ones you get when you score too many points, not the ones waiting outside by the entrance next door.

My votes for the night:

3 votes - The Prickler
2 votes - G-Money
1 vote - The Prickalicious Babes
He-Mel and 'Babes'
Nicko...startling young gun
Grand Master Flash


Friday, February 25, 2011

Checking Him Out - This Week's Portrait Of A Prick

Is there a doctor in the madhouse?
This week we caught up with  Moulik the Gujarati Gun for a quickie and got some dirt on what makes this Prick tick. Last week was his first outing with The Prixxx and he was straight on the money with his very first dart. With a doctoral degree underway and oodles of Ahmedabadi charm, this Prick loves nothing more than a Jameson with mates, pouring over pages of marketing principles and theories, and of course, sinking his darts into some high scoring cork. He was the only one of the boys to bring home a point in his singles (with my darts) to The Prickhole last week in an impressive debut against some quality opposition in an otherwise abysmal night for The Prixxx. Clearly this boy needs no warming up so we got straight to the point and checked him out!

Who do you become once you button up that team shirt on a Tuesday night?
Dr Prick!

Shaft type?
Short to start with...  

What? No pouch!?!
Which hand do you use?
For what? ; ) (Well, you know...) Right hand.

Hard or soft grip?
Pouch or Box?

Do you like "checking out" from behind or when in front?
Depends which tight spot (house) I'm checking out.
Are you a bottom man or top man (of the board of course)?
Top (only 'coz you said board!).

Your idea of a mad house?
Gotta prick that one often.

Funniest moment playing darts?
Yet to come.

It's Tuesday night (League night) but it's also your girlfriend's birthday...
I'd prick the board instead...

* This interview was held at Peaches The Curry Pub in Phu My Hung - The Home of The Mighty Prixxx



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dream Team Is The Prixxx' Nightmare

At a venue last night where one could be forgiven for thinking that they had died and gone to Playboy bunny heaven, The Prixxx got smashed by the formidable outfit calling themselves The Dream Team. Although chat was awash all week about the enormity of the task that lay ahead for our boys (The Dream Team allegedly finished well in the top division last season), the hum emanating from the cab on the way to the Catwalk suggested not an inkling of the ginormous butterflies that must have been scraping the inner walls of the boys' innards. In retrospect, it will go down in history that our Dear Leader (King Prick the First) did an almighty job in allaying our fears with his intimate knowledge and amusing anecdotes of the Catwalk from his previous visits, enlightening us on what may or may not confront us upon arrival, all the while taking our minds off our worst fears - being publicly humiliated again within the space of one week. Our Dear Leader's efforts are all the more remarkable as he was fighting his own inner turmoil as this was the night that he was captaining his new team The Prixxx (of which he hand pricked picked) against his old team that he had represented for the past four years.

Site of 'erstwhile' bloodbaths
Tucked away in the cavernous environs of the New World (and what a world it is) is The Dream Team's home patch. Beautifully positioned atop the staircase overlooking the show ring, the playing area is bathed in soft lighting courtesy of the down lights dangling above the pool table (think IKEA catalogue) which is conveniently covered on match nights for use as a 'dining table' where visiting teams are gleefully devoured by the home team over seemingly endless fingers of scotch. And judging by the size of some of the 'verandahs' hanging from these boys (one in particular who reminded me of a night owl rousing from his afternoon nap), they have devoured many poor souls before us. I can only imagine what they must have been saying before our arrival - "Hmm...Prixxx on the menu tonight...shall we do this over a lazy bottle of Johnny Walker perhaps?...and I'll have my little Prixxx well done thanks..." But if ever you are to be made a meal of, this would be the place to have it happen. The dartboards shimmer on the far off wall illuminated by their very own down lights (at least three for each board) and are juxtaposed against a bright red backboard (most likely covering evidence of erstwhile bloodbaths), and doubling with the bluish-gray hue in the atmosphere (smoke haze), The Dream Team has truly got an enviable place to hang out (and to play darts of course) - who would need to go home?

How would you like your Prixxx done boys?

Once we had nestled into our surrounds and exchanged pleasantries with our opposition, the triples got underway and it was clear from the outset that The Prixxx were the apprentices and The Dream Team were the masters and they were about to teach us a few things. Nevertheless, with a couple of Prixxx in possession of some brand new sets of barrels, they were champing at the bit to sink there tips into some high scoring cork and kick off on a high. However, unlike last week, we failed to gain any points in the triples because The Dream Team were simply sublime in their ability to check out (baaaastaaaards!). In the time it took for a wink of the eye from a parading beauty in the tangle that was the girlies lining up on the dance floor just metres below us, The Prixxx found themselves 2 nil down going into the doubles - and The Dream Team hadn't even had their dining table set yet.  

The doubles again bore no fruit and the night was shaping into one of those floggings that leave you crying for your mumma because you've just been defiled by a bunch of middle-aged men who smell of grog and smokes. But just as the night was flagging, a bevy of girls appeared at the top of the stairs on their way to a "presentation". A quick survey of the room showed some Prixxx now standing up when just moments before they had looked listless and spent - a sorry lot. Thank God for those girls because despite being a long way behind, a renewed sense of vigour imbued our boys and left us pumped as we moved into the singles.

The Prixxx
Whether it was the girls or some other inspiration (I guess we'll never know), something certainly stirred within the Gujarati Gun (a.k.a. Moulik) as he toed the oche and unleashed some of the best darts he has thrown since taking up the game. Amongst the carnage of the night, the Gujarati Gun was unflappable as he toppled his opponent with some inspired 'dartistry'. The 'doof-doof' from the bass downstairs was certainly making its presence felt within our eardrums, but it was when the big fella nailed his second checkout of the match with apparent ease that scores of ear hairs curled up and died from the sheer number of decibels roaring from his tonsils. His win also gave The Prixxx their first opportunity for the night to yell out (more of a murmur) "You've just been pricked!" In other highlights of the night, our other debutante Nico (Moulik was the other first-gamer) was as eager as a honeymooner all night and went very close to taking his first point home to the Prickhole out in D7. He too played some excellent darts and showed that he must not be taken lightly as he could easily have come up trumps in his showdown. On a lighter note he raised some eyebrows when he inquired, "Whose gunna take this rubber?" - surely a dangerous question to ask in such a venue. And in a special mention, the Skipper, who has been down in the doldrums a little of late on the scoreboard, was able to pull a 90-odd out of the bag to keep us in contention for a point when we really needed it and the pressure was on.

While we lost this "rubber" 11/1, we were certainly made to feel more than welcome at The Catwalk by The Dream Team - a great bunch of guys who truly love their darts. But surely we can be excused for having feelings of disdain for these lads after they spanked us and buttf**ked us the whole night long and then rubbed salt into our wounds by singing a rousing rendition of their team song. Thanks so much Dream Team for dashing any hopes of a close match and an injection of confidence into our fledgling team - I just so hope you were kept awake last night by heartburn from eating us Prixxx alive!

My votes for this week:

3 votes - The Gujarati Gun
2 votes - Nico
1 vote - Special K

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Prixxx Make A Point

The Prixxx turned out last Tuesday night for their inaugural hit out in the big league at Ice Blue against another all-girl outfit called ACDC. You'll be pleased to know that our shirts look awesome, especially the white GT stripes down the side - one player even noted that later on in the night he heard a voice in the crowd compliment us on how good we looked! Turned out he had already downed a bottle of Jack and had left his glasses at home. If only they complimented us on our game.

We hit the ground running Tuesday night with some early wins in the triples but they got back some valuable points in the doubles. However, it was in the singles where we fell behind with only Danny the GreenMachine and Peter the Prickler coming up trumps with emphatic wins while the rest of us suffered due to a generally piss poor effort in being able to check out (there was plenty of checking out going on in other areas though, which was, naturally, very well done but was not translated onto the dart board). 

It must also be added that in an act of "gamesmanship" or just downright cheekiness (brilliance actually), team ACDC did a sterling job in rattling us when cries of "Ba Ba Ba" trilled out and bounced off the intimate walls of Ice Blue when our very own DJ Prickalicious (a.k.a. Melvin) found himself sitting on a score of 333. Unwittingly he was the next nervous recipient of a full can of Vietnam's own "333" to be 'shotgunned' immediately to the ecstatic schoolgirl-like shrills of team ACDC. The mere sight of our teammate being coerced (quite easily mind you) into 'shotgunning' a can of beer by a posse of Vietnamese lassies probably weighing in at a combined total of 200kgs (wringing wet) left the (much) older Prixxx in the team shaking in their thongs (they would be flip flops - this was not one of those 70s wife swapping shindig thingies). Needless to say, ACDC's home ground advantage was kicking in and as Melvin steadily (but bravely) negotiated his way through the foaming mayhem that his beer can had become, a quick scan around of The Prixxx' faces revealed that Special K and the Skipper were looking to the heavens for some divine intervention from the Dart Gods.

So we went into the the final teams' round 6/5 down with a hope of winning the match and tying the evening and coming home to The Prickhole with at least half the points on offer for the night. Alas, it was not to be, and while The Prixxx rolled up their sleeves and battled it out to the very end, we couldn't salvage the points and went down in a fairly tight one. Hats off to ACDC they looked tight all night and unfortunately we weren't able to take them from behind and nail the money shot. As they say in the classics, we'll learn from the experience and next time we'll be hoping to actually manage to train our eyes on the dartboard and not just on the surrounding fauna.

Next week we take on the boys from the Catwalk in what will be another test of our mettle in distracting surrounds, but at least our outfit will be bolstered by the inclusion of two more Prixxx enabling selectors to choose from a full playing list.

Keep pricking!

My votes from Tuesday night:
3 votes - Peter the Prickler
2 votes - Danny the GreenMachine
1 vote - Special K Kuruvilla