Next to the Bush/Gore election results in Palm Beach County the most frightening set of numbers I've seen recently are: "36-38-40". No wonder Bill Clinton chases other women.
The most impressive, albeit obvious, statistic in years however, has got to be the one recently published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) dealing with the rough and tumble sport of darts. During the 42-month period beginning January 1, 1987 and ending June 30, 2000, just 30 darts-related injuries were recorded -- an average of a minuscule 1.4 injuries per month. Hence the inescapable conclusion: the sport of darts is safe. Duh.
Certainly the CPSC numbers make more sense than the Gore campaign's theory that the same eagle-eyed, 92 year-old ladies who can simultaneously keep track of twenty bingo cards, can't discern the difference between the names "Gore" and "Buchanan" on an election ballot.
The CPSC, of course, is that independent federal regulatory agency which helps to keep American families safe by reducing the risk of injury or death from consumer products. For example, it was the CPSC which banned the sale of lawn darts back in 1988 when three children were tragically killed by sticking the metal points of their darts into the nose of a pit bull named Darrell Berry.
The CPSC tracks all sorts of similar vital statistical stuff. For example, did you know that during the exact same 42-month period in which only 30 darts-related injuries were reported to the CPSC's network of hospitals, more than 3.6 million people were bitten by a dog? I've done the calculus and what this means is that the sport of darts is 1.2 million percent safer than, say, living with a golden retriever.
What's more, during approximately the same period of time, literally dozens of kids were injured while playing with flammable silly string and multi-colored xylophone mallets. And, thanks to our friend the CPSC, the Toysmith Corporation's "Surprise Party Time Ball" was recalled after it was found to contain little plastic packets with "several blue, white or green capsules" resembling look-a-like drugs. So, darts is safer than handling string, playing a musical instrument or eating plastic.
Another of our friends is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. According to the CDC (Motto: "Ebola is a Bitch"), injuries can increase by as much as 50% when that evil nectar, alcohol, is involved. This, of course, is tremendous news for the darting community. Why? Well, hell, if you can figure out what a seven-mark on the nineteens equals you can surely work this one out in your head.
Okay, let me help.
The CPSC has already provided indisputable evidence that the sport of darts is safe. Generally speaking -- not that this is a negative thing -- darters tend to partake of a bit of the barley. The point is: if darters were to have sworn off the drink for the same period of time that the CPSC tallied up 30 darts-related injuries, there would have been only half as many. Therefore, darts is not only safe: it could be twice safe as the statistics suggest and a whopping 2.4 million percent safer than sleeping with a dog. Yep, Clinton definitely has something figured out.
Let me give you another interesting statistic. Way back in 1997 the American Sporting Goods Association reported that there are some 20 million darters in America, pegging our sport at a level of popularity higher than the sport of baseball, among others. What does this suggest, you might ask -- besides, of course, that more people are throwing darts than baseballs because they are far less likely to get killed? What this statistic suggests, although it may not be as obvious to those of you less schooled than I in probability and statistics, is that baseball players, particularly professional pitchers, are pussies.
Why? Let me explain.
On average, a pitcher throws a baseball something like 100 times during a nine-inning game. He tosses the ball, which weighs 5 ounces, approximately 90 miles per hour over a distance of 60' 6". Therefore, during a typical game the professional baseball player tosses a baseball the equivalent of 1.15 miles.
In contrast, during an average weekend tournament (including practice rounds) a dart player strokes a 24-gram arrow, the distance of 7' 9 and 1/4", at a speed of approximately 40 miles per hour, approximately 5,000 times. Therefore, during a typical tournament the darter tosses his darts the equivalent of 7.36 miles.
Now compare. The baseball player throws an object which on average, if you know your conversion tables, weighs over six times more than a dart and, during a comparable exercise, he throws it over a distance that is 85 percent shorter than the darter throws his darts.
Now, anybody that's picked up a Nerf Ball and thrown it and then picked up a snowball and thrown it KNOWS that it is far, far less physically taxing to pick off, say, a cute little child at twenty yards with a vigorously thrown snowball than it is to repeatedly toss an extremely light object a shorter distance.
So, again -- for those of you who may have lost the point here, darts is not only more popular and more difficult physically than the pussy game of baseball, it is also much safer. The only mystery which remains is why baseball players are paid the big bucks and dart players can barely afford a six-pack. Possibly there is an error somewhere in my calculations?
One of the most revealing statistics, buried deep inside of the larger CPSC statistic (in the world of higher mathematics this is called a sub-statistic) is that of the 30 darts-related injuries reported, "in a few (technically 10 percent) of the cases" participation in the sport of darts was not a direct factor. For example, in one instance some guy simply slipped on the floor in a "darts club" and sprained his ankle. To chalk this up against the sport of darts is akin to slapping synchronized swimming with a black mark if somebody pukes when they learn it's an official Olympic sport.
Finally, as bizarre as it may seem, in 14 percent of the instances recorded by the CPSC as official darts related-injuries the culprit was not actually the dart but, rather, the dartboard. Indeed, in one such instance, the injured party actually walked into a hospital to explain that he "fell out of bed onto a dartboard." Presumably, this individual was a six year-old bed-wetter named Timmy who slept in the upper bunk. Who the hell knows.
The point is that numbers don't lie. The sport of darts is safe. Baseball is for pussies. And Hillary Clinton is the last Great Pyramid.
From the Field,