It’s Sunday afternoon and you know what that means…
Well, okay, so it could mean different things to different people. For me, it means I’ve gotta go bowling in a couple hours.
Yep, I’m bowling on the Ski Club bowling league this year. My team is the Pin Panthers. Cute, huh? I have to credit my teammate Patty for that inspiration. We even got those old fashioned bowling shirts with our team name on the back, a Pink Panther patch on the front and our names stitched on the left front pocket. We look like official bowlers even. Kind of. ‘Til we start bowling.
No, I’m just kidding. My team has done pretty well this year – the last time I saw the league standings list, I believe we were in 3rd place in our division. That’s a little surprising with me in the mix since I’m one of those people who can bowl a 135 one game, and an 88 the next. Yeesh. Talk about inconsistent.
Of course, I’m not really a “bowler,” per se. All I know about the game is that I’m supposed to throw a ball at a bunch of pins at the other end of the lane. And don’t ask me what a curve ball is – I couldn’t manage to throw one to save my life. I’ve seen people do it and I marvel at how it looks like the ball is headed for the gutter, only to curve at the last possible moment, hit the head pin and knock all the rest of the pins down.
Yeah, I’m lucky if the ball meanders relatively straight down the center of the lane and doesn’t cause a split. ‘Cause there’s no possible way I’d manage to knock down two pins on opposite ends. If I get a split, what usually happens is I throw the ball down the middle hitting neither pin, and when I turn around, all my teammates are holding both arms straight up in the air in a “goalpost” gesture. Funny, guys…as if my humiliation isn’t enough.
No, I never really learned the fine art of bowling. As a kid, one of our few pastimes in Alliance was heading to the Parkway Lanes bowling alley where my friend Diana’s mom worked in the lounge area. Not that it helped us snag any free beer since we were underage and anyway we didn’t do bad things like underage drinking. We did bowl a lot, though. I just never learned what it was exactly I was supposed to be doing to knock those pins down on a regular basis.
As an adult bowler, I’ve learned that beer helps. A lot. Mostly it helps me forget the aches and pains I experience when bowling. Or maybe it’s just the pain I experience when I bowl an 88.
One time I bowled a 231. I swear, I did – I even had witnesses! And I received a watch from the USBC – the United States Bowling Congress – for bowling 100 pins over my average. (Apparently, this token is so I can prove that I bowled well once.) But don’t ask me what I did differently that game that gave me such a great score. Maybe I drank a lot of extra beer that day? I don’t know, but what I DO know is that if I could bowl a 231 once, I should be able to do it again.
Hope springs eternal.
Anyway, the fortunate thing about the Pin Panthers is that we bowl for fun. Nobody expects me to bowl a 231. Believe me, they’d rejoice if I did – but they don’t expect it. And they don’t pick on me (too much) when I bowl an 88.
So here’s hoping for a good night of bowling. Now, who’s gonna buy the first pitcher?!