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A big bowl of fun

John Poole

“Hey Tut, set up those things that look like mummies over there and I’m gonna roll this here stone over in a desperate attempt to knock them down.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s fun damn-it. Eventually we’ll have electronic scoring, parking lot brawls and women on roller skates serving us drinks!”

“What the f**k are you on?”

This is the exact conversation that took place in 5200 B.C. when a game similar to modern day bowling was invented in Egypt. Although the evidence of this being true is not exactly substantial (the game not the conversation), it is true that Dutch in New Amsterdam were bowling at ninepins down a plank that was a foot and a half wide in 1650. Bowling was actually banned in Connecticut in 1841 because of the gambling frequently associated with the game (how could they). There is also some evidence that the modern tenpin format was established to circumvent this law and I don’t even care if that is true because I’m going to believe it. [some shady-ass website: 2001]

Though “The Dude” and some weird guy being played by Steve Buscemi failed to make an appearance, a good time was had by myself and some friends at a bowling alley this weekend. Oh yeah, we did some bowling as well, however, my fingers couldn’t quite fit in the holes properly so the ball took some wild projections from my swinging hand. And yes, I threw a few gutter balls. I had flashbacks of being about 9years old at some classmate’s birthday party at the bowling alley and praying to sweet Jesus that I didn’t throw a gutter ball because all the other kids would certainly laugh at me. I threw a few then, but that’s to be expected as a 9-year-old.

There is no reason any able-bodied adult should throw a gutter ball – and I threw two. That’s right, two gutter balls. I really wish I had my gutter ball tosses on video. It must have been a graceful display of pure athleticism. Certainly worthy of SportsCenter or maybe even that half-assed sports show on Fox.

Is it just me or do you always hear about people getting jacked up at bowling alleys? I guess I can’t really put my finger on anything besides Allen Iverson getting pounded by some thug in a bowling alley near Washington D.C. Apparently the result of the shakedown landed A.I. in prison for a while and solidified the stigma of bowling alleys being havens for hoodlums and gang bangers. Maybe it was subconscious fear of getting jumped by thugs that made me throw those gutter balls.

What else could it have been?

Play Rock ‘N Bowl with John Poole online at poolejohn@gmail.com


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