Sometimes the Victrola
wouldn't work at all. But that was mostly when it was too cold
outside. There were only two record
s in the pub
anyway: an album
of Irish Drinking songs
, and an Otis Redding
record that no one listened to. No one even knew how it got there. The staff at Harkness mostly used it as a platter
for cheese cube
s. Seamus O’Nuzum’s wife made the best cheese cubes. Or so the barflies thought. What they didn’t know was that she just bought them at a store
. Those barflies would believe
anything. Like when Seamus told them that the Pope
ed the pub’s dartboard and
all the dart
s. Seamus was kinda tipsy
when he said that, and he doesn’t even remember it. That was really the only time that Seamus had even been tipsy.
Anyway, the dartboard in question had been donated by Ned Snogard, a childhood friend of Seamus’. He donated the dartboard because it was a birthday present he got a few years ago, and he wasn’t any good at it. He kept a dart, though. He had been meaning to give it to the pub for years now, but never got around to it. So once he rode his bicycle over to Harkness on a cold wet day. He expected to hear a rousing chorus of an Irish Drinking song. But he didn’t, because it was cold and wet. Since there was no music, the sound of the door slamming resonated throughout the pub. All heads turned to face Ned. He stood there, with a box in his hand. In the box was the dart. “Hey Ned,” said Seamus, breaking the silence. “What brings you here?”
“I, ah, came to give you the da — remember when I gave you that dartboard?” He gestured towards the wall on which the dartboard was hanging.
“Yeah, sure do, Neddy. Why?”
“Well, I forgot to give you one of the darts that goes with the set. A green one.”
“Oh really? We always noticed how the green set was one short. I thought one of these drunken buggers lost it,” Seamus said, glancing at the patrons of the pub.
“Well, they hadn’t. I just never gave it to you. And when I found out that I never gave it to you, I just kept putting it off until now. So here it is.” He handed the box with the dart in it to Seamus.
Seamus took off the top and took out the dart. Its green plastic band shimmered in the light of the pub. Seamus stood there a while, gazing at the dart, at the way the point looked like it was the sharpest thing in the universe, like it could puncture anything. At the way the aerodynamic quasi-cylindrical form seemed so perfect and natural. At the glistening verdant circle, infinite and eternal, enclosing and surrounding the dart. He wanted to throw it at the dartboard right then and there, but fought the urge to do so. He walked over to the box of darts on the floor underneath the dartboard, and placed the final dart in the empty space.