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.
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