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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Today At The Bowling Alley ...

I was meeting two old friends ... one male and one female ... for some catch-up chatter and a beer of three when I was struck by a thunderbolt of an idea. I phoned "the girl" and told her my evil plan. She loved it and was sure our other friend, "the man," would be all in.

So instead of a pub or a restaurant, we all arrived in our separate vehicles to spend a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon in the bowling alley bar. And "all in" was what we became when beers turned into pitchers, and pitchers were joined by shots. And a game of darts brought on more shots. And then it was time to bowl!!

Bowling is such a great sport. Reportedly originating in Germany in 300 AD, bowling was officially sanctioned in America around 1895 where it became a popular pastime for the citizens of NYC. Health professionals describe bowling as an anerobic activity with similar exercise valaue as power walking with free weights. I don't know how health nuts bowl, but I describe it as a"sport" where drinking, swearing, horseplay, and the consumption of greasy foodstuffs like wings and chili fries are almost mandatory. And with electronic scoring, you get to give yourself crude names that other bowlers can see.
If you're a good bowler, your teammates and others around you cheer and congratulate your performance ... you feel like a star. And if you're a bad bowler, your teammates and everyone nearby LOVES YOU and you ARE a star!

Of all the sports out there, bowling is also one of the few I can actually stand to watch on television and enjoy. At first, I thought it was just me and my ADD coming to an understanding, but I think bowlers come across as real people ... not big name celebrities with their assorted scandals or mega-athletes that make more money than God. Bowlers are just regular "Joes" with a little extra talent ... who doesn't enjoy watching the Everyman succeed?

If you like simple things, there are still small-town alleys out there with basic set ups, old school snack shops and arcades for the kids, and plenty of league action to help you groom your game. And if it's highlife you're after, there are lanes that will boggle your mind ... like the lanes at The Orleans in Las Vegas with 70 lanes, 24-hour access, multiple bars for meeting people, and all the glitzy neon and club atmosphere you can handle.

So with a liver fighting for its life, I bowled a respectable 188 that Sunday afternoon with my two friends. And we celebrated one of America's underrated pleasures.

POINT OF RANT: Take the family bowling!

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