Dinner and Darts with the Gecko 20090812

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Most of you might not realize it, but Gecko Vo and I are very good friends.  He comes to visit me in the summer because I do not run the air conditioning, and, at 79 degrees F and 80% relative humidity, he is very comfortable.

He visited last night, and whilst I ate some chicken, I sat Vo onto the deck and turned on the light to attract insects.  We both ate our fill about the same time, and turned to conversation and darts.

Now, the hard part is that we have to have two boards and two sets of darts, because of the height difference.  My board is centered at 5 feet, eight inches from the floor, and my ochre line (whence I can not step over to toss) is eight feet from the board.

Since Vo is such a good friend, we had to have a board fabricated for him that is only four inches in diameter, and it is five inches off of the floor, and his ochre line is 14 inches from the board.  My darts are 14 gram tungsten ones, three each.  To allow for his stature, his are platinum ones, the greater density making it fair.

The flights on mine are the soft kind, but there was no substitute available for his.  We finally thought of cutting out some from a thin, rigid PETE food container, and those worked well.  They are a bit heavier on the tail end, relatively, than are mine, but the density of the platinum (actually, 90% platinum and 10% iridium, since pure platinum is extremely soft and easy to nick) body balanced them well.

Gecko Vo prefers MacKesson Triple Stout, and that is fine with me.  I like Guinness very much, but MacKesson is fine.  Finding him a suitable beer glass was a challenge, but I was able to construct one out of 6mm diameter Pyrex tubing with my blowpipe and propane torch.

Anyway, we drank and threw darts.  Vo insisted that we play the dart game “Cricket”, not only his favorite game, but also his favorite food.  To those of you not familiar with dart rules, Cricket requires that each player get three scores on each space from 20 to 15, then get three bullseyes to win.  The complication is that the opponent can score off of any of those spaces if he or she gets more than three strikes, until the opponent “closes” it by getting three.  Bullseyes can never be closed.

Anyway, the game was not the interesting thing.  After our forth or fifth refill, Vo intimated to me that he has very serious reservations about appearing in adverts on the Fox “News” Channel.  He was grateful that his handlers finally removed him from the Glen Beck show, but is still not happy on being on Fox at all.

“Mate, these folks are just nutty.  Look at whom with I compete!  (Vo has a perfect command of the Queen’s English).  I mean, I go head to head with adverts that suggest that one calls an attorney for any number of ills to get a settlement.  Then their news readers (I really like Vo’s analysis of them, not journalists, just readers) say that litigation laws should be changed to limit such legal action.  It is not logical to me.  I think that they are, frankly, not quite right in the head.”

To play Cricket, after taking however warm up shots upon which are agreed, each player throws “for the bull”, meaning that the player with the dart closet to is gets the first throw in the real game.  That is sort of difficult using two boards if it is close, but Vo hit the double bull and I only hit a triple 15.  His first throw in the real game netted him a double 20 and an 18.  I was already behind in the game.

“Vo, everyone has to do things for money that might be a little marginal.  I do not think that you are being evil or anything for advertising there”, I said as I took my turn.  Bang!  A triple 20, first throw.  I hit a single 19 with my other two darts, wasting one on a 13, of no value in Cricket.

Vo took another long drink from the glass that I had made for him.  “Doc, you do not understand.  Fox pays us so that we can make money selling insurance.  I have the utmost faith in our product, and can save many people money on insurance, but advertising on a network that lies in a constant fashion is not about what I am.  (I told you that his English is impeccable.  Most folks would have dangled the preposition and would have said “…not what I am about.”) I just do not have a comfortable feeling having my image and voice there.”  He then hit a 20 to close them and two 18s to close them, too.

I took a long swig of my ale and asked him, “Well, what would you do?  You do provide an important service.”  Then I hit a double 19, closing them, a triple 18 to close them, and a double 17.  I was throwing well.

“Doc, I am seriously considering retiring.  I have all the money that a gecko could ever need, and would be perfectly content to have you keep me on your deck under the light at night so I could feed in the summer.  The winters are the difficult bits, since I would freeze here.  I just am not sure.”  Then he threw three perfect darts, each single 17s.  We were tied.

“Vo, my friend, go tell Mr. Buffett how you feel.  He is a pretty smart guy, and I think that he would listen to you.  After all, he supported President Obama during the election.”  After a long draught, I wasted all three darts on the triple circle, but they were either closed out of did not count for Cricket.

“There is more to it than that, Doc.  If they can use my image and voice anywhere they choose, and they can since I signed a contract to allow it, I do not think that Mr. Buffett will be amenable.  You know that he makes tons of money on the GEICO Insurance business, and limiting his adverts would not do him well.  He is a very nice and smart man, but he wants to make money, and there is nothing wrong with that.”  Then Vo threw a double 16, a single 16, and a single 15.  I was way, way behind.

I finished off my glass of stout, and got another one.  Vo is very British, and likes his somewhat warm (it probably also has to do with him being cold blooded), so I poured his portion into his glass and held it between my palms for a minute or so.  Then I filled my glass and drank a deep draw of it.

“Vo, you have to do what is best for you.  You are a spokesman, and must honor your contract, but other than that, you are not obligated to Mr. Buffett.  You are welcome to stay here as long as you like, and during the winter I would buy crickets for you and keep you near the water heater so you will not freeze.”  Vo drained his glass and signaled for another one.  I filled it.  Then I thew a triple 16 and a double 15.  The game was close again, but I am not that good at bullseyes.

“Doc, you are a good mate for me.  I appreciate your counsel and your kindness.  But I am at a very steep chasm here, and do not know now to proceed.”  Then he closed out the remaining numbers, and hit a single bullseye.  He also asked for another fill up of his stout.

“Well, Vo, all I can say is that you have to do what you think is right.  If I were in your position, I would just do the best adverts that I could, regardless of the network.  Remember, THEY pay Mr. Buffett, who pays YOU, not the other way around.  You are taking money from them.”  Then I closed out the 15 and hit a single bullseye.  The game was tied.

Gecko Vo was becoming very drunk.  “Doc, I want to thank you for those words.  It would be different if I had a family to support, but we geckos are pretty much solitary, except for the females whilst the eggs are developing.  I would not know any of my children if I even saw them, and would likely make a meal of them if they were small enough.”  He then wasted all three darts, hitting not any space in play.

“Vo, this is not about you or me.  It is about what you think is right.  If you think that your product is good, go for it.”  With that, I threw one dart and hit a double bullseye, winning the game.

“Doc, please do not say anything about this conversation to anyone.  I might cost me my job!”

“No problem,  Vo, you secrets are safe with me, buddy!”

Just some fiction.

UPDATE:  Just some spelling, grammar, and getting the name “Buffett” right with the two letters “t”.  No change to the meaning.

Warmest regards,


To be posted at Dailykos.com later


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    • TMC on August 12, 2009 at 08:00

    But after this, I might if I could share a beer with him. 😉

  1. and a pony for you!

    Can I add “DD Writers Jam Fest”to teh tags?


  2. terrific story.

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