Tonight Earl and Jamie came up with the idea of going bowling. And not just any kind of bowling, but Cosmic Bowling, complete with capital letters. We invited our friend Tony to join us.
Here’s the thing. I haven’t been bowling since 1979, efforts on the Wii notwithstanding. It has been 30 years since I was last seen in a bowling alley, more specifically the Strike ‘n Spare in Mattydale (outside of Syracuse); my Uncle Gary took my sister and I along with our cousins Jean and Heather for a Saturday afternoon.
I have two traumas associated with bowling. The first is that I come from a family of good bowlers; both Grandma and Grandpa City (and all of their siblings and relatives) were in bowling leagues. Grandma always watched bowling on Saturday mornings and early afternoons; she would often remark that I should become a pro-bowler if I really intended on making it in life. So I always feel some of lineage commitment pressure when I am handed a bowling ball.
My second trauma is that I broke two lanes that day 30 years ago when I was at Strike ‘n Spare because I had a habit of not waiting for the pinsetter to do it’s thing and would end up chucking the ball into the little rail thing that tells you not to bowl. I think there was a reason that Uncle Gary never took us bowling again.
So while tonight’s bowling adventure was fun, I have to admit that I really, really suck at it. I think I bowled a 49 in the first game and a 50 in the second. Earl was giving me pointers such as start with your right foot, don’t hop and for god’s sake don’t throw the ball like a shotput again! I seem to have this roundhouse approach to my bowling stance and tend the launch the ball like a backhanded frisbee throw. At least the little extra hop I used to do when I was a kid is gone. A bonus of the evening was that my ball didn’t jump lanes and usually ended up in the general vicinity of the pins.
After a post-game snack at the Denny’s where people are routinely shot or stabbed, I am pleased to say that I had a really good time with the guys tonight. I’m actually looking forward to going bowling again some time and maybe even knocking down a few of the pins.