Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Although ol’ Robbo, having taken care of this past week’s necessary Saturday morning yard work ’round Port Swiller Manor quickly and efficiently, looked forward to a very delightfully (and unusually) cool, late-August afternoon in the hammock with a glass full of ice and a Flashman story, instead I found myself dragooned by teh Eldest Gel into going bowling with her.
Apparently, I don’t bond with said EG enough, DAD! And I need to take advantages of these invitations, DAD! Before she goes off to college next year, DAD! Because if I refuse she will come away with no other thoughts about me except my coldness and how to deep-six me in a retirement home for the minimal cost to herself, DAD!
To which my reply has always been, in so many words, “Shut up.”
Nonetheless, I went.
Pricking my memory very hard, I cannot recall than I have bowled since high school. Back then, not only did I go down to the lanes with my friends on Saturday afternoons fairly regularly, I actually once took a semester course in the game in order to avoid the Lord of the Flies locker room of my school’s gym. As I recall, at my peak I was bowling somewhere in the 200 range.
The Gel didn’t know any of this history. Thus, when I stepped up to my very first frame and bowled a perfect strike, she was, shall we say, perturbed.
Heh. Almost made the whole thing worth it.
Of course, although I got a subsequent smattering of strikes and spares, I couldn’t keep it up. My hands have since become arthritic. I wrenched something in my rights forearm kaiaking on vacation a couple weeks ago. Because I don’t dance, my pelvic muscles aren’t used to the stretches and strains of the proper bowling delivery. And don’t ask about my rowing-blown knees. By the third game, I was well over my pitch-count limit and was tossing nothing but junk. And for the last couple days, I’ve been hobbling.
Nonetheless, I can report that I beat teh Gel, two games out of three, despite the fact that she was using the gutter rails. Of course, some of this might have had to do with the fact that her own delivery is something closer to a baseball submarine pitch than to an orthodox bowl. So there’s that.
I will say also that bowling alleys ain’t what they were back in my day, at least some of them. This one was one of those jazzed up kinds with lots of black-light, laser lighting, thumping “music”, automatic scoring, and big screen teevees featuring ESPN and teh kiddy channelz. As the Gel warned, watching SpongeBob and listening to Katy Perry at the same time is a most, um, disturbing thing.
No, as I sat through all the noise, I couldn’t help thinking of teh Good Old Days:
Heh. Even now I still use “Buh-dee” on a regular basis.
Teh Younger Gels were away this week, visiting their cousins up in Bah-ston. Upon their return, they heard all about what I was up to with EG. Guess what they want to do next weekend.
Not sure I’ll be healed in time for it.