Saturday, March 11, 2006
Balls: Don't go near the Alley
Tess and I were invited to a bowling party last night. It is apparently the trendy thing to do these days. Make it a combination bowling/karaoke party and you pretty much know you are going into something very wrong right from the get go.
I don't know about most people, be we bowl maybe once a year and only when we are invited to a bowling party. So I don't exaggerate when I say I suck at bowling. I know everyone says that and then get all competitive when they slip on the old bowling shoes and start tossing balls. But I mean it, I really suck at bowling.
First, it affects my brain. For some reason , the minute I set foot in a bowling alley, I revert to my 14-year old self and start telling "ball" jokes. I mean, how many times can you say, "Stop touching my balls" or "I hate playing with other people's balls" and not be branded a social leper.
But let's face it, bowling is all about your ball(s). And not being a "bowler" I don't own a bowling ball and am at the mercy of the house balls (I'm sorry, but that just cracks me up). So after slipping into your rental shoes (and I'll spare you the stale bowling shoe jokes) you spend half an hour trying to find the right ball, shoving your fingers into holes where thousands of people bowl have shoved their fingers after using the stainless steel trough urinal and playing pulltabs. I'm not even a germ-a-phobic person, but this grosses me out.
My main complaint is that I never really know what to look for in a bowling ball. Should it be light or heavy? Should my fingers slide easily in the holes or should they fit snuggly (regardless, for some reason the house balls always seem to be drilled with finger holes only ET could use). Finally, what color ball should you bowl with? I refuse to bowl with a pink ball. And blue balls set me off on a whole other set of sophmoric jokes that I can't control. So I generally try to find a simple black or burgandy ball.
So we take our balls to our assigned lanes and spend another 20 minutes trying to program the computerized scoring machine with clever names like Pinhead, Alley McBeal and Guttermouth. Finally the humilation begins. Traditionally, my first ball is always a gutterball. I generally follow this with another gutterball, just to even out that first frame. Tess bowls after me and will at least hit the pins. Then the jokes begin about how much better we will all get after drinking more. But this is a trendier, catered event so we are drinking red wine and eating Won Tons and chocolate covered strawberries. Nothing pisses off the bowling gods like drinking wine and not beer at a bowling alley (though I'm pretty sure this wine came straight from a box).
Bottomline is that I broke my own record for gutter balls and people around me were kindly suggesting they bring in the bumper guards that little kids use. After two games, we had had enough bowling and I'd run out of ball jokes. We sat in on a few minutes of karaoke, but I couldn't take it any longer after an overly long and particularily bad cover of "Total Eclipse of the Sun" sung by a guy. We left and breathed a sigh of relief that our annual bowling outing had been fulfilled.
So, if you comment on this blog, please don't give me bowling pointers. When push comes to shove, bowling is one sport I'm actually pretty proud to suck at. I've concluded that becoming a good bowler is like giving up on life and just wearing sweat pants every day.