Long Time, No Bowl

It’s been quite a while since I set foot in a bowling alley. Tonight I went not so much for the bowling experience as for the camaraderie and fellowship for a good friend’s birthday.

For those not familiar with a bowling alley, each lane is long and narrow. At one end are the pins (10 of them). At the other end is the line which marks the beginning of the lane. And about one third of the way down the lane are little arrows, in an inverted “V” formation, guidelines used to aim the heavy cannon of a ball meant to slide effortlessly from your hand. The lane itself is very, very slick, layer upon layer of wax, to make that heavy cannon of a ball glide smoothly down the lane before careening into the pins awaiting at the end.

Did I mention it’s been a while since I’ve been bowling?

I saw the inverted “V” and somehow assumed that was the “foul” line, the line which one’s toes had to avoid in order to have a fair bowl. So with gusto, I ran down the lane, arm held back, eyes on that front pin, then with great effort released the ball, sent it hurdling, kerplunking, everything but gliding, down the lane. The force with which I released the ball, combined with the layers of wax on the floor below me, conspired to send me hurtling into the air, landing with a soft thud on my rear end at the exact moment my ball made contact with one, and only one, pin at the opposite end of the lane. It took a moment for me to realize what had happened. I tried to stand, to walk back to the safety of my teammates. Alas, it was not meant to be. Each time I put my foot down to stand, it slipped from under me. Mortified, I did the only movement I could muster, a crab walk back to the end of the lane.

As I stood up and turned around, I was met by incredulous stares from my 4 teammates followed by bursts of uncontrollable laughter. As I picked up the ball to complete my frame, one of the gals sidled up to me. “You really don’t want to cross that line.”

Better advice never heeded.

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