The Sam Wildman Story

(1100 words) Seen at the top clubs and casinos, always with a glamorous woman on his arm, usually a different one each time, he was ebullient, witty, handsome and, at a time when the usual darts stars were stretching their XXL nylon darts shirts to the limit with enormous beer bellies, Sam, though he liked his ‘ciggies,’ appeared slim and fit. Everyone said he was a lovely man. It was only when he was under the influence of alcohol that he became abusive, aggressive, and gargantuan-headed. As Roger Merrill, doorkeeper at the Ritz, says of him, “We all loved Sam when he was sober. He could do great impersonations – Prince Charles, The Fonz, Shirley Temple, Fred Flintstone, you name it. Then you could give him a dart and he’d put an apple on someone’s head, usually a good-looking girl, and throw the dart right into the middle of it from ten feet away!” “Did he ever miss?” I asked. “Not when he was sober.” Roger gave a wry smile. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t very often.”