I was driving home from small group today and right before I got to the Little River Turnpike I decided I wanted to go bowling. Being from Cleveland I love to bowl more than most people. There are lanes off the Little River Turnpike exit in Annandale where its $1.99 a game, a good deal after 9 PM. Most people think its odd to bowl by yourself, but its something an independent introvert such as myself loves to do.
I don’t have to talk to anyone, I can just bowl and bowl and bowl. I bowled 3 games, as I typically do. Since I am not really breaking, I usually break a good sweat and it’s a real challenge to myself. Some people give me odd looks with this big footed guy bowling by himself. On top of that, my bowling style is one I was suggest no one use, imagine your grandma trying to squat a little like a baseball catcher from the closer dots. The ball also goes slower than all but the most weak girls and children under 16.
What I lack in style I gain in precision. As a child I was on a church bowling league with my father and my two brothers, and I became an expert at hitting where I wanted with precision. Due to my slow ball and light weight due to my back problems, strikes were rare, but I was among the leaders in spares, the bulk of the time knocking down every non-split spare opportunity.
My precision is still good, but it was better when I bowled regularly. I have a little more speed and a 10 lb ball, the heaviest amount I am supposed to carry, and two pounds heavier than what I used as a child. Today my 3 games were going fine, but not great. With me, any game below 125 is bad and any game above 150 is good. My best game ever was a 191. My two goals are to throw a 200 game and bowl a game where I close every frame, meaning that I get a strike or a spare in each fram.
I entered my final frame with a 118, which isn’t great but it isn’t horrible either. I threw the first ball and got a strike, my first of the game. I threw the second and got another strike, which is called a double in bowling lingo. The think about that strike is that it was very late developing. The 6 pin fell so late that the electronic reader marked that it was still up. So I go to the machine and change my 9 to a proper strike. The lane sits there open waiting for a 2nd ball to be thrown with no pins, so I tell the machine to rerack it.
I then prepare to try to cap off a mediocre game with a turkey, bowling lingo for 3 strikes in a row. I see the pins are set and I get into my grandma like stance. I take my steps and throw the ball, it feels good. I look up and the pins are resetting again. I put my hand on my head thinking “Oh-no!!!” not because I think I got jipped on a strike but because its going to hit the bar in front of the pins. It does, with an embarrassing bang and my ball starts coming back toward me. It enters the gutter and slowly rolls toward me. It makes it about ¾ back down the lane and it stops. The machine records me getting a zero and it automatically shuts off because my bowling is over.
Yet my ball sits there. Normally I would just throw another ball down the gutter and send them both down. I cant do that here and I contemplate what to do. I decided that I might as well just get it myself. So I walk down the lane in the gutter, grab my ball and go. It’s a small bit of shame on what was a relaxing end to my day.
PS: I am back blogging, sorry about the break