I’ve stumbled upon a wonder sport that is on point for the flip flop life. Wikipedia describes the game this way, “… a sport in which small missiles are thrown at a circular board fixed to a wall.” I cannot think of a more intriguing and alluring description of any sport let alone one perfect for the flip flop life! The sport, of course, is darts. I have recently re-discovered an appreciation for this pub-borne game. Sadly, in this country the obnoxiously loud and flashy coin-operated, electronic dartboard reigns supreme. It has devolved into a terrible pocked plastic board, blinking lights, stupid noises, and awful plastic tipped darts. Darts is not an arcade game and should not be recreated or played as such. Nothing compares to real steel tipped “missiles” and a genuine boar’s hair dartboard. Ideally, score is kept on a chalkboard but a whiteboard is acceptable. The fact that it is typically played in a pub and with old or new friends sets it on the right track for the flip flop life. Add in a pint or two, music and munchies and you’re on the threshold of flip flop bliss.
In the US it can be a challenge to find a bar or a pub with a proper bristle dartboard but when you do it is something to be cherished. I recently re-discovered darts at a nearby genuine English pub. It is owned, operated and staffed by real Brits serving proper English beer and food in as close as a setting as possible to an actual English Pub. This is all well and good but completely beside the point. The point, of course, is darts. This pub has two very nice, genuine boar’s hair dartboards set up in a perfect little rectangular dart-playing nook. You can borrow the communal darts from the bartender or, for a very reasonable price, purchase your own set of better-quality darts from the tiny dart kiosk nearby. We opted to purchase our own darts and have never looked back. There are two main games that Flip and Flop play, Cricket and 301. Cricket is a game in which each person tries to get three of each number from 20 to 15 and the bull. In its most basic form, the first to close out each number wins. There are other more challenging versions that I won’t go into here but you can learn about here. In 301 both sides start at 301 and each dart thrown deducts that number from the starting number with the goal being to eventually land at exactly zero. Thankfully our Pub has a hand operated electronic scoreboard that allows us to punch in our scores and it keeps track of our progress. However, a chalkboard or whiteboard works perfectly well so long as you don’t overdo it on the pints.
This game is easily enjoyed in flip flops. If you are lucky enough to have a near genuine English Pub close by it is important to keep in mind that Englishmen rarely bare their feet in public so your flip flop choice should be done with respect and discretion in mind. Don’t show up in a pair of frat-house Havaianas if you expect to be served well and welcomed back. I suggest a more formal leather flip flop such as a Hari Mari Nokona, UGG Seaside Flip or Flojo Alonzo. The leather will better blend in with the dark wood and leather décor and at the very least give a nod to the local sensibilities. As in all things, think of yourself as a flip flop life ambassador.
If you don’t have an English Pub nearby all is not lost. A very nice bristle dartboard can be yours for about $45 and is very easy to install in your own home. Turn your garage into your very own Public House and host tournaments with your friends and neighbors. The money spent on the board will be made up for by the money you won’t spend on pub priced pints. A perk of an in-home darts pub is that the sky is the limit when it comes to flip flops. It’s your house so wear whatever you fancy.
Whether you step out to your nearby pub or head to your garage, darts is a wonderful way to spend time with friends, sip a few pints and live the flip flop life. So pick up a set of your very own tiny missiles and do life right. Flip flop daily.
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