Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Return of the Pin Panthers

So the other night we started our 2011 bowling season on the Columbus Ski Club bowling league and we wore our official “Pin Panther” embroidered hot pink and black bowling shirts. Plus, I got some new hot pink and black bowling shoes to match my shirt, so now I think I’m all stylin’ in the bowling alley.

I’m sure the guys on the team we bowled against, wearing their plain ol’ t-shirts and regular ol’ bowling shoes, were quaking in fear because our team looked all professional and stuff. But after our first gutter ball, I think they relaxed a little.

Except I did bowl a little too well for the first night of bowling where our averages and handicaps are established. Must’ve been the pre-bowling beer and wings or somethin’. Or maybe it was just the beer.

But, yeah, the first night of bowling on a league using handicaps is not a good night to start bowling above your average.

I can’t remember my scores to the exact pin (must’ve been the beer or somethin’), but they were something like 114, 130-something and 140-something.

Usually my average is only somewhere around 115.

What’s going to happen now is that I’ll spend the next several weeks trying to hit my above-average average…and it’ll be frustrating.

The cup half-full viewpoint would be that my new hot pink and black bowling shoes were the very thing that caused me to bowl so much better or that perhaps I raised my average appreciably by sheer skill and ability.

I tend to think, however, it was just beginner’s luck. “Beginner” meaning that I haven’t bowled since last April. Well, okay, so I did bowl one time over the summer, but that didn’t count because (a) it was on a Sunday morning rather than a Sunday evening, and (b) no beer was involved.

Or maybe it didn’t count because I didn’t yet have my new hot pink and black bowling shoes? Yeah, that’s probably it.

I’m going to think positively and assume that my new bowling shoes with their soft felt soles that allow the bowler to do that professional bowler’s “glide” thing…

…Okay, I just can’t pull it off. I have no flippin’ clue how to do that professional bowler’s “glide” thing. When I tried one time, I hurt my knee. So what I do is pretty much just walk up to the little center dot in my lane and chuck the ball toward the pins and hope for the best.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Sunday night it worked – unfortunately. So this means I’ll either have to drink massive quantities of beer every Sunday evening in hopes that it was, in fact, the beer that helped my bowling scores…or I’ll just have to do what I normally do the week after I’ve had a good night of bowling, which is to bowl three games with scores that don’t even crack the 100 mark.

Believe me, I’ve done it enough to know.

The first time I had a great night of bowling (on another league), I bowled 170 and 182. I was feeling all bowling proficient and figured that I finally “got it” and would be bowling strikes left and right from that point on. Yeah, sure. The next week I think I bowled an 82 and an 88. Can you say “inconsistent”?!

Ah well. Bowling great scores every week on a bowling league isn’t really the point. The beer is. Oops. I mean, the camaraderie with teammates and opponents alike is the point. Getting a chance to heft a 12 pound ball so that my right bicep gets at least a little bit of a workout is the point. And having a legitimate reason to wear a hot pink and black bowling shirt with matching bowling shoes (so that I rather resemble a box of Good N’ Plenty candy)…well that, my friends, is the point.

But the beer doesn’t hurt.

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