Sunday, April 30, 2006

OE Update - Bowling, it's not the same anymore

A few weeks ago I went bowling with the CWU College Republicans.

I grew up in a bowling alley so it was really wierd to be back in some lanes again after decades. My dad was co-owner of Kent Bowl. He used to drill his own bowling balls to compete in leagues. My Mother was a leaguer too, in fact I'm not quite sure who was the most serious about knocking over a bunch of pins.

I couldn't go to the meeting but decided I'd show up at the "after-meeting social event." I was early (or they were late) so I rented a lane to see if I could still remember how. I went right up there and hurled the ball, trying to do it without too much thinking, and see what came back naturally. I was "so-so" years ago. It felt pretty good, I think I got more than five pins.

You can't tell at these lanes. In Kent they had the 10-pin pattern to light up when your ball was being returned. A "birds eye" view. Meanwhile, as I'm wondering why my $3.99 Goodwill ball, with BILL's name on it, was not coming back to me.

The manager showed up to alert me I had to type my name in the scoring machine. I told him I was from the era of pencils. I assured him I could type my name as he was wanting to point to each key that spelled my name. When I was succesful, he pushed the GO key for me. Good thing. I had decided to leave my glasses in my vest pocket.

Bowling is another one of those skills that if you think too much about it you descend into that realm of over-analyzation hell, where you end up tripping yourself.

He pressed the reset button for me too. 'Bill' still didn't come back. I had to press it again. Reminded me of the hours I used to spend "behind the chutes" when Dad needed to repair the retrieval system in Kent.

So with ball in hand for another gracefull hurl. I now had an audience. I should have handed out some of my Geico caveman flyers. I was also in that over-analytic mood, realizing I didn't get to practice my score recoring skills. So I couldn't remember which foot to start off with. It crossed my mind how I passed up ballet lessons.

One and a half games, and I figured it out, mostly. Then the Republicans showed up. I had never met the club, except for on-line, so I knew what they looked like. They all knew how (and why) to type their name in already, and seemed ameanable to allowing an old guy in their activity.

They were all nice, and interesting. But there was still something missing. The computer scoring machines took half the fun out of it! All I had to worry about was throwing the ball. I found it more difficult to remember when your turn is unless you're involved in the game by adding and multiplying. It could be age too.

I wasn't as shocked as I thought I'd be at the price of a game and shoes, standard inflation stuff. Computers ARE more expensive than pencils..


*sandra* said...

why weren't you ever published?? lol that was amazingly poetic

6:18 PM  
Bart said...

Hi Chris,
Love this piece. It brought back a few memories. I was once a member of something called The Modesto Blind Bowlers. I'm not blind, but about half of the leagues members were either blind or partially sighted. That's a somewhat long story. BTW, I nuked the my site a few days ago and have replaced it with something in a rather minimalist format.


1:42 PM  

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