Dr Johnson (or it might have been my dentist) said "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel". Well, I can now confirm that DARTS is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
We are good at minority sports here in the Untied Kingdom. Golf, snooker, bowls, we can bore the balls off a buffalo with TV coverage of these totally uneventful events. But until today, I had not realised the DARTS outstrips them all in its total inability to rouse even the slightest interest.
True, the organisers try to raise the pezazz-quotient with funky music, strobe lights and dodgy pyrotechnics. True, the players do their best to be colourful with outrageous shirts, logos and beerguts. And their audience, aware of the utter nothingness of the event as these fat guys throw diminutive arrows into a cork circle, go to great lengths to be interesting.
Including the females in the audience, a curious subculture who seem to drool uncontrollably for their obese champions. Normally I would cede the palm to busty females, but these harridans, these harpies, are the kind of women who make a man check to see that he still has his kit intact.
The trouble is, there is so little else on TV, unless you are into the Israeli "surgical strike" in the Gaze Strip, that it's Darts or back to Bedford for another J Arthur.
So, maybe darts isn't so bad after all.
ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-ONE!
Yep, that'll be the day.