Ronald always hit bull’s-eyes. It didn’t matter how much grub he gobbled, or how many stouts he downed. He always hit the little red circle in the center of the dart board. Everyone loved him at Chester’s Grub & Pub.
Most nights, some of the regulars would challenge Ronald and try to get him to slip. They’d give him shots of tequila (without lime & salt), cover his eyes with a blindfold, move the dartboard across the room, but he always hit his mark. One time someone called him out for having loaded darts, as if that was even possible. Ronald got Jean, one of the bartenders, to kick the naysayer out of the pub.
They all truly loved Ronald for his improbably accurate darts.
But on a summer night, the longest day of the year, in fact, Ronald wasn’t the only one in the pub with an incredibly impressive skill. Over in a corner booth, Damon sat, and finished off a tall glass of the bar’s cheapest IPA, which really wasn’t all too cheap. He asked Jean for another.
Jean placed another glass in front of him, and Damon gave her cash for the drink, plus another dollar for a tip. He only ever paid in cash, claiming the best bank was under his ass at night.
“Say, who’s that guy in the other corner playing darts?” Damon asked Jean.
“Oh, that’s Ronald,” she answered.
“Don’t think I’ve seen him miss the center.”
“Yeah, he never does. It’s fucking crazy.”
Damon leaned back in his booth, sipping on his IPA, as Jean walked back behind the bar. Foam covered his upper-lip, and for some odd reason he refused to wipe it off until all the beer was gone. It would have been quite hilarious if he wasn’t so big and burly.
He slammed the empty glass onto the table, and left his booth. A regular was shooting pool at the pool table opposite where Ronald was throwing darts. Damon walked over to join him.
“Hey, buddy, mind if I join?” asked Damon. The regular nodded, holding out his hand to shake.
“Let’s play, Willis.”
Minutes later, it was apparent to everyone in the pub that Ronald was no longer the only one with an incredibly impressive skill. See, Damon never missed a shot in pool. Like Ronald, he could drink and drink, or eat and eat, but would never miss a shot.
Sometimes he was humble and only made one ball at a time. Often, though, he enjoyed knocking a few in on the same shot. It was his incredibly impressive skill and he liked to show it off from time to time.
Obviously, Willis lost the game, and the next one, and so did everybody else that challenged Damon. They all regretted having wasted four quarters.
Ronald soon noticed nobody in the pub was paying attention to him anymore. He thought he wasn’t the jealous type, but the fellow playing pool taking his spotlight was making him feel funny.
He never felt this feeling before. It was rage—no, hatred. How could there be another as skilled as him at Chester’s Grub & Pub? Of all the places in the city, it had to be Chester’s! He had been coming here for years, showing off his dart throwing, getting laid from time to time because of it, and never had there been anyone else as impressive as him.
But now there was.
He had to confront him. He had to hear him speak—to see if he truly was as impressive as himself.
Ronald walked over to the pool table and pushed his way through the crowd. Everyone cheered as Damon defeated his latest opponent, Arnold. An old lady went crazy, lifting her pint up as the eight-ball fell into the corner pocket, splashing the beer on Ronald as he passed.
“Ay—who do you think you are?” yelled Ronald.
“Damon. And you?”
“Ronald—what of it?”
“Well you asked for my name it’d be rude not to reciprocate.”
Ronald didn’t appreciate Damon hurling fancy words like “reciprocate” back at him. Maybe he really was more impressive than him?
No, he couldn’t be, Ronald thought, nobody could be.
“You want to cut out the pool? You’re causing quite the commotion,” said Ronald.
“Not particularly,” Damon responded.
Ronald couldn’t take it anymore. He looked Damon in the eyes and he understood. He was impressive, and he knew it, and there was nothing Ronald could do about it. He couldn’t be more impressive than he already was. He’d tried before but concluded that his impressiveness was maxed out.
“You need to leave—leave now,” Ronald ordered.
Then, Damon responded with the vilest, most demeaning phrase that could ever be uttered in Chester’s Grub & Pub that summer night, on the longest day of the year:
“Am I just too impressive for you, Ronald?”
Nobody actually saw what happened next.
Many claim they did, but it would have been impossible because of Ronald’s dart throwing abilities.
All the patrons in the pub saw, after Damon uttered his terrible insult, was two metal darts stuck into Damon’s eyes, and then Damon on the ground jostling in pain like a dying beast, and Ronald walking slowly over to him, and Ronald pulling the darts out of his eye sockets, and Ronald walking out of the pub one last time, dropping the darts behind him as he left the room.
You see, Ronald always hit a bull’s-eye, and this time he got his chance to hit two. Ronald, the dart-throwing bull, might possibly be more impressive now than Damon, the pool-shooting bull.
They probably shouldn’t have ever let Ronald into the pub.