Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And As We Say Farewell to Another Bowling Season...

So this past Sunday was our last night of bowling and all that is left of the season is the banquet. Fortunately, I wasn’t anticipating winning any bowling trophies, which is a good thing because I simply have no more room on the mantle for another award. Oh, sure. Who am I kidding? Like I have any other trophies on there. I don’t really seem to have the talent for trophy collecting.

Anyway, I’m sort of sad that the season is over, but I’m also sort of glad. I was running low on Advil, and now I’m thinking I won’t need to restock until just prior to the start of the next bowling season. Let’s hope not, anyway. Besides, I’m kind of tired of beer.

Yeah, I had to take a lot of Advil (and drink a lot of beer) to keep the ol’ joints from complaining too much. Knees, elbows, shoulders – you name it – they weren’t happy that I repeatedly hefted a 12-lb. ball and threw it down a wooden lane trying to knock down some pins at the other end. The number of throws was even higher considering I didn’t get very many strikes.

But oh well. It has been great hanging out with friends on Sunday evenings for the past few months. Got us through the long winter, that’s for sure. Plus, we had cool bowling shirts and, well, where else are you going to wear hot pink and black shirts with “Pin Panthers” imprinted on the back? At a Putt-Putt course? Euchre Tournament? I don’t think so. That would just look silly.

I figured that our last night of bowling would be stress-free because we weren’t in any sort of play-off situation, so it would be purely for the fun of it. Because of this, I assumed I’d be getting strikes right and left. I assumed wrong. Well, I was throwing the ball down the lane right and left, which meant I wasn’t getting the middle pins and thus, no strikes. Not a single one. All evening.

So, as you might imagine, my scores were pretty abysmal. I didn’t even break 100 the first game. I did break 100 the second game, but only barely. I finally managed to squeak by at a little higher than my average on the third game, but for the most part it was a pitiful performance.

As if bowling itself isn’t enough jam-packed fun, we also throw in a buck per game and we play poker. At the first spare or strike, we pick up a set of 5 cards and we get to draw one card from the pile. And any mark after that earns us another card. Well, I wasn’t earning many cards all evening. Which is a shame because we were playing with Chippendales cards. Who wouldn’t want the chance to pick up a card featuring a smiling, bare-chested oiled up dude with a six-pack? Well, bedsides the two dudes on our team?!

Lest you think we get to play with Chippendales cards every game, I must tell you the rules. We play with “normal” cards regularly. However, if a woman bowls a game with a score over 150, we get to play a game with scantily clad men. Cards, I mean. Not real scantily clad men! And if the men bowl a game with a score over 175, we play poker with cards featuring scantily clad women. Oh, who am I kidding? The women on these cards are not wearing any clothes whatsoever. And, no, I didn’t make the rules.

One night my parents, who happened to be in town that weekend, came to watch us bowl. I had to forewarn them about the cards thing because one guy on our team bowled TWO games the previous week with scores over 175. But my 80-something-and-change mother did me proud. One of my teammates kept trying to embarrass her and would hand her two cards and ask her to pick which “woman” he should keep and which one he should discard. My mom didn’t bat an eye – she matter-of-factly studied them and then told him which woman she thought had better, uh, attributes. Go mom!

(Dad, by the way, was probably getting eye strain from furtively looking at the cards out of the corner of his eye all the while feigning complete indifference. But I wouldn’t swear to that in court.)

Anyway, on our last game of the season, I bowled three spares. That meant I got to pick up my first set of cards and draw one. I had three natural Aces and a 10. The card I drew was a 10. Yippee – a Full House on my first hand! At the second spare, I drew another Ace. Wow – 4 Aces. Finally, after my third spare, I drew a Joker/Wild Card, which meant I ended the last game of the season and the last game of Poker with FIVE ACES. Yay, me!

It was a great way to end the season. It even took some of the sting out of my abysmal bowling scores, but I’m not dwelling on it too much. I don’t want to go through the summer bummed because I bowled crappy the last night of the season.

Maybe we could practice all summer and be bowling champs next year? Well, “champs” might be a bit of a stretch, but I could see weekly practices – provided we play poker with the Chippendales cards. I’d maybe even be willing to buy some more Advil for that.


  1. Thanks for the memories, Jane!

    I'm up for summer practice and improving my score. I'd still prefer to score below championship level, though. That is WAY too much pressure. I'll be happy with one 150 game each week. (hee!)

    Pin Panther Patty

  2. Hey, I just noticed - your name and the team name are alliterative. You must've planned that when you picked the Pin Panthers, eh?!

    In total agreement - I don't particularly want to be in the championship game myself - but I, too, will be happy to bowl a 150. Either that - or we'll need to play cards with our Chippendales friends more often! :)