The Joy Of Bowling


Despite the fact I consider myself to be a serious, competitive athlete, bowling greatness has long eluded me. Being asked to leave both a five and ten-pin league has greatly dampened any future hopes regarding that endeavor. I have yet to find another multiple of five.


My crime?? Laughing too much. Laughing too often. Laughing in the hallowed halls of a bowling alley…


Exhibit A: My wife and I were introduced to Angus on the night we joined a ten-pin league, and he immediately took us under his wing. Angus bowled with his girlfriend, and needed another couple to round out their team. His girlfriend was a lovely, even-tempered woman, with a fairly trim figure. Angus had the general shape of an igloo wearing a hat.


We were cautioned during our orientation that he may on occasion be seen quietly meditating in a corner, between turns. It seemed that Angus believed himself so strong at propelling a bowling ball, he feared blowing the pins to smithereens if he didn’t restrain himself. Pin re-setters are not at all fond of resetting pins from scattered smithereens.


After a crash course in choosing a ball, we began our first match. Our opponents were nice enough folks, with a clear level of competence on a bowling alley. Their first bowler landed a spare.


My wife threw her first ball, and the game was delayed but briefly, while an attendant came out to help it down to the end with the pins. Her last two throws made the trip without stopping, textbook displays of impeccable gutter-balls… Angus was deep in meditation.


Angus’ girlfriend was next. No slouch, she knocked over several pins. Our team was on the scoreboard!!


I was next. Pointing at the pins like Babe Ruth, I ignored the fact that I was recreating a sports moment from a completely different sport. No matter, I didn’t end up close to the pin area anyway. Gutter-balls ran in our family, it seemed. 


By this time, my wife and I had started to chuckle a bit. When I put a backspin on my last ball, we were starting to howl. So was the other team. So were most of the other teams, for that matter.

Not Angus. Angus was still deep in meditation, his face now a bright crimson color…


By this time, I was enjoying the camaraderie of the other teams. As Angus wound up for his first throw, I hollered “The Thunder Rolls!!”


It was the last big laugh of the evening. Clearly at risk of becoming scattered smithereens myself, we were “released” from the team, and soon handing back our rented bowling shoes.


I didn’t improve my record on five-pin lanes. I can only hope that with plenty of weekends spent watching TV competitions, I can ultimately pick up the skills that will allow us to once again grace the polished lanes of a bowling alley.


A bowling alley far from our old friend Angus…