I can’t remember the last time I went bowling, but I assure you the next time won’t be far off. I haven’t laughed this hard in decades.
Neither of us are bowlers, so we asked to be separated from as many other lanes as possible. Naturally the attendant put us right in the middle of the bowling alley. So up front that everyone, including those at the bar, has the most advantageous view. Must be some kind of bowling humor.
The first ten minutes were spent guessing what type of animal might have died in our rental shoes. They seemed more gelatinous than leathery. And can there be a shoe uglier than golf shoes? Yes. Bowling shoes. I had to remind my husband that a good preventative Epsom Salt soak later in the day should ward off most nefarious foot problems but we vowed to deep six our socks before we put our own shoes back on.
And then we wondered how to navigate the computer screen that has replaced that large table-cloth sized paper they used to give you to keep score. Hum. No cheating in this game, that’s for sure. Everything was automatic.
But the real fun was, we are sure, watching us bowl. Oh My God. My husband apparently learned from Fred Flintstone. He’d take five steps forward, STOP SUDDENLY, then take a couple of tiny steps and throw the ball – mostly in the gutter. I am NOT making this up!!! The hysterical part was that each time he let go of the ball he drifted sideways, backing cha-cha like into the next lane, blocking the adjacent bowlers. At first they thought this was funny. But once they realized we were going to bowl a second game I think they got a little annoyed. I tried to solve the problem by shouting “Don’t Move!” or “Stop!” to my husband each time he started to drift, but that annoyed not just our bowling neighbors, but everyone else in the house, some of whom I saw stop mid-release to see who was yelling. But nothing I did or said could keep away his drift and then his hands slapping his cheeks as he ran back into his own lane.
Now for me. Every time I turned to walk back to my seat in horror because I’d again thrown two gutter balls in succession, my husband was practically blue with laughter. He said I would throw the ball, squat down in some contorted way, rotating my arms furiously to generate some kind of air current that would keep the ball in the lane and out of the gutter. It never worked, but that didn’t stop me from trying each and every turn.
And throwing one gutter ball is simply not the same as throwing consistent gutter balls. I wasn’t sure what face I should be wearing. Mostly I grinned a lot, winking to the little kids who had lined up to watch the spectacle. I was their hero. I was playing their game!
Apparently embarrassment can be fun. It got so we were so bad, it had to be more fun than if we were good. I actually thought we might be on Candid Camera with our balls being loaded (like dice) so that no matter how or where we threw them, they would veer off in the wrong direction to AVOID the pins. Of course we did knock down a couple. I think my first score was in the 40’s (I don’t know because I don’t have that big scorecard). My husband got close to 80 on one of his games. Who knew that we’d wind up being the real entertainment for the afternoon bowling crowd.
Will we go back? Absolutely! It’s cheap, though not as cheap as America’s Funniest Home Videos. I think we should set up the camcorder next time and try for the $100,000 prize, or at least our 15 seconds of fame.