Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It`s All in The Hat

"You know you can have the bumpers up, don`t you?" says the maintenance man on his way back from beyond the pins.

"No need, thank you!" say I brightly, hoping he gets hit by a twenty-pounder.

I look up at the score board defiantly. We`ve just finished our first game and out of a maximum of 300, I`ve managed to score 28.

A dazzling record of which I`m proud - no-one else has come Near!

I might point out here that we haven`t touched a bowling ball for two months… during summer school holidays the alleys are best left to zillions of gifted and hyper-excited children. (Particularly since they added LaserThwackBattleFun to the superbowl centre). (With Lasers).

Of course we four have missed the thrill; we`ve been playing together for two years now and our enthusiasm has brought us very close; though it`s usually me winning The Flaming Ball, the simple hilarity of the game means it`s always a Fun and Good-Natured test of skill.

What a delight it was to push open those gleaming doors again and enter the reception, misty-eyed as we gazed once more upon the table football tables, the virtual car rides and the YouCanBe-Rambo Experience.

Aah, those Mechanical Arm machines where you can win a ghastly Thing of Plastic (or a fluffy Meerkat for the dextrous). The place pulsates!

We go through to the lanes clutching our vouchers for a free non-alcoholic beverage at half-time... Then begins the FindaBall ritual.

George likes a Fourteen-pounder despite semi-dislocation of shoulder. Bill and Ella both take a Ten-pounder, (having gone so far as to acquire their own), and I wander despondently about the racks searching for an Eight.

Which are usually orange and taken by a child who should be back at School, or by a fleet of regulars whose championship started three minutes ago and whose aisles are lined with all the orange balls.

The first fling is Thrilling – will the ball make it all the way down the lane or will it smash into the floor and just stop three feet away; will it ricochet from bumper to bumper and finally have a touch and go tussle with one pin…

(Not that we often bumper-up of course) - we win or lose by Pure Skill.

Is it gaining this sporty new skill that makes Bowling so beam-inducing?  Yes... but there`s
the camaraderie too, the gleeful collective astonishment of an actual Strike and above all, with the autumn chill drawing hordes of lunchtime spectators, nothing beats the Roar of the Crowd from the gallery.


JW10 said...

Ha-hah. got here without a prompt by your good self, Dolores.

Not been ten-pin bowling for ages. Glad to hear you don't use the bumpers or the ramp. One of the heavier balls when we went was coloured green. We called it the Hulk ball. Damn heavy and hard to manoeuvre.

Nice blog again, DD. A definite strike.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Thank you JW. (Thought Further Prompting might be pushing it a little...).

I`ve seen those Hulks of Green, in fact George sometimes wields the like. It`s hard to find the balance between Light enough to wave round one`s head, I think, and Heavy enough to make it as far as the Pins.

As for the ramps... (when I manage to drag one away from a Child) I find them very Tricky - something happens to your perfectly-aimed ball between the top and the bottom, and it veers off in all directions at once. sort of. (nearly got a strike like that)

JW10 said...

It sometimes is a game of chance, DD. One time the ball slipped out of my hand early and rolled slowly down the rink(?). When it reached its target it knocked over 7 or 8 pins. A much better score than if I bowled normally.

Ah, the good old ramps when the weans were young. I'd lift the Hulk ball onto the ramp and then together we pushed it down the hill. Thanks for bringing back some nice memories for me.

Dolores Doolittle said...

I can see you have some fiendish cunning moves JW. Wonder if George could lift me up onto the ramp and I could Hurtle down the rinklane, limbs a-whirling - Unbeatable!

Guess what - on a completely different tack, a tale of Bing! When I went on today for one of my Rare searches, it drew a birthday cake out of stars, with candles and whizzy things and `Happy Birthday Dolores`! How did it know? Can`t find anywhere I told it - it`s like one of those films where the TV starts talking to you...

(sorry - if I`m cutting back on POST prompts...)

JW10 said...

Happy Birthday Dolores, hope you had a smashing day.

Phew, that is one scary Bing tale. See, that's what happens when you use a searchie. They know everything. Next time you go on a Bing, it'll tell you your library books are a day late.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Thank You JW - how very kind (and Unexpected). Had a splendiferous day thankee - How we Merrymade!

But one Does feel slightly PC-infiltrated by the screen cake - thank Heavens I probably lied about my Age...

(are you Looking at me)?