Ten Pins and a Hot Afternoon

I know it sounds crazy, but I’d never bowled a day in my life until last weekend. It was a hot afternoon when we pulled up to the bowling alley and a group of us, including small children, too k possession of Lanes 5 and 6. As I slipped on shoes that were eerily reminiscent of the pair of shoes I wore in third grade with bobby socks, I watched a bowling alley employee pull up the "bumpers" in Lane 5. "What are those bumpers for?" I asked my husband.

"Those help young children keep their bowling balls from flying in the air and permanently disabling other bowling alley patrons," he answered.

"I think I need to be bowling in Lane 5," I joked, but secretly really meaning it. "Speaking of that, what do I yell if I accidentally hurl a ball in the direction of humans? Fore? Five?" I inquired.

"If you hit someone with a bowling ball in this crowd, you’d better run for your life!" my husband warned.

"I don’t think you have to worry about … EERRRRRGGGUUUGGGGG! YOWIE!" I yelled as I attempted to pick up a bowling ball. "Who in the heck made these things so heavy anyway?"

"Get your thumb out of the finger hole," my husband stood behind me and instructed. "Put your two middle fingers in the two small holes and your thumb in the big hole. Cradle the ball in your hand and take four steps, ending up with your left foot at the line. Then, extend your arm back with the bowling ball in it and roll it down the alley toward the pins."

"I have to hold the ball AND put my arm behind me?" I yelled, annoyed with the whole process already.

"One, two, three, four," I muttered as I shuffled toward the line and then hurled the ball. I watched horrified as the ball careened toward Lane 5 and a toddler who appeared to be fine once he regained consciousness.

"Does anyone care that I broke a nail when I threw that ball?" I asked the bowling alley manager and the toddler’s worried parents.

My husband pulled me back to Lane 6 before anyone maimed me for life. "You’re twisting your body to the left when you throw the ball," he said.

"That’s because I’m trying to hurl a 15-pound ball down a long alley toward some stupid pins that really look pretty good just standing there!" I shouted. "Why ruin a good thing?"

"Do you want a ball made out of Styrofoam?" he joked, but secretly really meaning it.

I ignored him and bowled. Then I bowled some more. I bowled without injuring anyone except myself when I accidentally dropped the ball on my toe during the one, two, three … FORE! "These shoes should be made of steel," I suggested to the bowling alley employee when I returned the shoes to the counter.

He looked at me like I was crazy. "I bowled a 45," I told him and then he really looked at me like I was crazy. "And I broke a nail to do it," I added.

"All in the name of good, clean fun," he said sarcastically as he popped a chili-fry in his mouth.

I think I’ll be back. But probably not the rest of this season. I’m out with a toe/nail injury.

 

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About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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