Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Big FugUski

Den and I went bowling the other night. Some of you might know I used to be in a league. I was never a great bowler, but certainly serviceable, if inconsistent. And my partner at the time who had a 180 average, was actually content to have me, the 128er, as a partner.

Anyway, I haven't bowled in four years or so and the last time Den and I tried it, I had to use a house ball and shoes instead of my own super ball. What a disaster. I mean, my ball even has my name engraved on it. How could I possibly, ever, use another? My scores were fully reflective of this horror.

"You call yourself a bowler?"

"I didn't have my ball!" And I obviously had no respect, either.

So when we got to the lanes this time, I proudly displayed my shiny, marbled red ball, and informed him it was made out of a speshul Reactive Urethane. Until it came to room temperature, and unless it was clean and free of bowling alley oil, it wouldn't gather enough friction to curve properly on the lane. My scores would reflect this horror.

"Making excuses already," he said.

Let the seething resentment begin. I showed him the label on the ball. "See? Reactive Urethane."

He rolled his eyes. "So you have this super duper radioactive uranium ball and you're still telling me you're gonna do lousy."

Fine Amigo. Just fine. "No. It'll just take a while for the ball to perform."

"Sure it will."

And you don't even wanna hear the bloodbath that was our argument over speed vs technique. Naturally, I'm a technique girl, whereas he, as a crime writer and a man, just wants pin guts spattered on the backwall.


Anyway. Several spares, strikes and double strikes later, I rolled my last frame. The ball arced slowly and seductively left, towards the curve on the breast of the head pin. With a gentle brush, every single pin laid flat, in tandem, like the Hand of God turning down a sheet.

People in neighboring lanes gasped. It was that neat. That beautiful. I turned to my opponent.

He stood frozen, gazing thoughtfully past me, down the alley. "Wow. Having your own ball really does make a difference."


"And technique definitely matters."


"You look like you're stalking prey."

I rocked that.

"But." He stroked his five o'clock shadow. "I still want splatter."

And The Dude is still bowling for respect.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This account is actually almost close to what happened. Ann is just leaving out how she tried to get me drunk on crappy bowling beer, then somehow hid all the balls with human-sized finger holes so that I had to use a Vulcan death grip on mine while stumbling around in the size 19 clown shoes they had reserved especially for bowling novices.

Other than all of that, Ann pretty much got it right. Especially how gracious I was in defeat. I'm nothing if not a good sport.


April 29, 2008 8:06 AM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

I think most of my friends already knew you were a good sport. After all, you're dating me!

Now if only I can find a way to keep you in those clown shoes...

April 29, 2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous jane/fabdame said...

Abide Dude, abide.

April 29, 2008 9:20 AM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

*patiently abiding*

...even though it's dark. Darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night...

April 29, 2008 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Bev Stephans said...

I think your next book should be "The Bowling Chronicles"!

April 29, 2008 3:09 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

You might be onto something, Bev!

Or on something. Not quite sure.

Den and I have plans. Big plans!

April 30, 2008 5:04 AM  
Blogger Mary Stella said...

"Scoring in the Alleys" by Ann Wesley Hardin.

Strikes, Splits, Scores -- but no Turkeys. *g*

Ann, I bowled in leagues decades ago and carried a 145 average. My custom ball was a beautiful purple. These days, the closest I've come to bowling is Wii. So far, my friend's kids keep beating me. I have a hard time adjusting for my curve.

May 02, 2008 9:25 AM  

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