Take Your Best Shot

August 1997

TO: Friends and Members of the Atlantic Wreck Divers,

It you haven't herd already, one of our members, Cliff
Darby, was in a motorcycle accident last week, or so the story
was told to me.

However, investigators at the Tidewater Institute of Sea
Stories have discovered what really happened!

It appears that our buddy Clif was at his normal Wednesday night martial arts program which he helps teach. Last Wednesday was student evaluation night. This is when students spar with, and are evaluated by a Master ( our buddy Clif ) to see if they have progressed to the next belt level in their pursuit of the coveted Black Belt. On this particular evening, Master Cliff was evaluating Miss Kim Takenoshit. While kim at age 11, 4' 6" and 65 lbs. may not have appeared formidable, Master Clif should never have said,"Take your best shot dear". As Clif lay sprawled on the matt from a single straight on kick, his collar bone broken in three places, he was herd
to say in Joe Theisman ( Washington Redskin Quarterback who had his leg broken in a football game ) fashion, " I'll be back!". To which the young Miss Kim responded, " Yes, but not to night Grasshopper!". At this point the facts get a little sketchy, but it appears that Clif caused a 13 car accident on the Washington Beltway during rush hour with his moped to mask the cause of his injuries. Clif appears to be out of action till 1998. When asked, the new Black Belt, young Miss Kim expressed regret and promised to show restraint in the future when sparring with senior citizens.

I am sure we all wish Clif a speedy recovery, and hope he has learned that it is pure folly to fool around with younger women!

Ted Green


I'm glad to see that Tidewater Institute of Sea Stories has uncovered the truth behind what really happened in the Clif Darby incident we are now all referring to as the "Takenoshit" Affair!!! This reminds me of the time that Clif used that same infamous line "Take your best shot, dear" on our own Ms. Penny (yet another relatively small, normally mild mannered, but formidable woman - like Ms.Kim)....

As I recall...it was one of those typical Buckley RV road trips to Hatteras NC. All the usual characters were somehow crammed into the RV together; Ms Penny and Doug (after all it's their RV), Clif Darby (martial arts Master), Capt. Ron (Master boat operator), Yoda Richardson (Master welder), and Matt Walters (Master baiter). After a glorious weekend of diving on the E. M. Clark, the intrepet crew had spend the four hours required to load the horse trailer with all their "stuff", and they had started up Hwy 12 towards civilization. Not far outside of Frisco, NC (a "blistering" 10 miles up the road from Hatteras), the RV suddenly came to a grinding halt for no apparent reason. At this point the 3 engineers, 1 electronics expert, 1 welder, and the hair dresser all tumbled out of the RV in order to begin trouble shooting the problem.

Within a mere matter of several hours, and after several arguments between ALL the "Pat Goss" wannabes, the problem was finally isolated to the fuel pump. Amazingly, Doug Buckley appeared from around the back corner of the RV with a spare fuel pump and his famed 50 lb tool "box". The pump was replaced, and the crew was back on the road. However they were much worse for the wear. The hours of frantic work in the tropical Frisco, NC heat had caused tempers to fray. Especially between Clif and Ms. Penny. About 100 feet up the road from where they had first broke down, an altercation between Clif and Penny broke out in the kitchen of the RV. No one present that day clearly remembers what caused the out burst between the two, but Clif was clearly hear to utter the infamous phrase "Take your best shot, dear".

Ms. Penny then reached deep within Clif's overnight bag and produced his .44 Magnum. Ron, Yoda, and Matt all lunged towards Ms. Penny in an attempt to subdue her. But as we all know, Ms. Penny has been known to go from 0 to BITCH in 2.4 seconds. So clearly, these old men never had a chance at stopping her!! She quickly turned the gun on Clif and let go with a single shot. At just this point, Doug rounded a bend too quickly and all the passengers in the back were thrown off balance. The shot miraculously missed Clif, but hit the refrigerator and ricocheted towards the front of the RV. The shot zinged passed Doug's ear, through the firewall, glanced off the block, and then took out the new fuel pump. The RV again came to a slow halt.

This time, "trouble-shooting" was not a big problem. However, all hope of ever reaching Washington DC was starting to fade. Miraculously, Doug produced yet another fuel pump from the RV's RAL's (Random Access Logistics) system. As the second pump was being installed, a police officer pulled over to check on the status of the unfortunate, broken down travelers. Clif, the most clean cut one of the bunch, proceeded to tell the officer that the fuel pump was "shot". The officer immediately became concern about how a replacement would be found, and Clif informed him that they had "back ups". The officer looked at Clif in amazement, and Clif just said "Don't ask".

Installation of the second pump was completed, and the crew tumbled back into the RV for the long ride home to Washington DC. The final result of this entire incident is that Clif learned that it is pure folly to mess with older women!

Karen Flynn


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