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First time bowling in almost seven years…

July 5, 2009, 9:38 AM

So I went bowling for the first time in seven years on Friday with Matthew Tilley at Bowl America in Sterling, and we had FUN. We each bowled three games. Matthew, who used to bowl in a bowling league, scored way better than me, but that wasn’t the point. The point was having fun.

However, “fun” required having the correct ball. I know I use a 16-pound bowling ball, but the fingering was wrong on the first ball I picked up, and after hitting zero pins my first two frames, I realized that I couldn’t be that bad – it had to be the ball. So it was back to the ball racks for me, and I found a different ball. With a different ball, my game greatly improved immediately. Thus it was the ball.

We also came up with fun train names to put into the scoring system. I was Breda 3287AC, and Matthew was Rohr 1299.

In playing the three games, you could tell that I was getting back into it slowly but surely. At the end of the first game, my score was pretty bad, like 50-something. Then on the second game, I did a little better, knocking down a few spares, and then in the last game, I finally nailed a strike (yaaaaay!), though I still didn’t break 100.

Meanwhile, you should have seen the guys on the lane to our left. They really knew their bowling! Nearly every ball those guys threw was a strike. It was quite interesting to watch them. They had their game down.

The only thing I don’t like about bowling is the facilities that most bowling alleys have. Most are kind of old and dingy and smell of stale cigarette smoke. And this one was no exception. The automatic scoring system also looked like it was nearly twenty years old. I think just about every bowling alley got its automated scoring system around 1990 or so. I remember the old days, though, when you used to have to do the scoring by hand, and use an overhead projector so that everyone could see it. Trust me, the auto-scoring is better.

And so here are a few pics of the place:

I for one found the background over the pins to be particularly festive. But yeah, bowling facilities don’t particularly impress me in style or cleanliness, though I do enjoy the game, and don’t get to do it nearly as often as I’d like to.

Meanwhile, we will definitely bowl again. This was fun. And I think we might have to mix it up, too. I understand there’s a bowling alley near me in Glenmont Plaza (just south of Glenmont Metro) that offers duckpin bowling, which I don’t think either of us has ever done before. No finger holes in the balls in duckpin bowling, and shorter, squatter pins. Could be amusing.

Then afterwards, we went to Chili’s in Reston. All in all, not a bad time!

Web site: Article about the purpose of bowling shoes. I looked this up because I couldn't figure it out, except that since bowling alleys don't rent the balls, they needed something to make a little extra cash, so someone decided to rent shoes. But this explains why bowling shoes are necessary...

Song: Not a song, but this is another article about bowling shoes that I wanted to share.

Quote: Meanwhile, did you know I was on a children's bowling league in the late 80s? I kid you not. I was in the kiddie league at Dixieland Lanes in Rogers, Arkansas. That was interesting, and I did it for just slightly over two years. I started a third year, but that year, it felt like something was missing, and I ended up quitting fairly early in the season. I like to forget that the third year ever happened, because the other two years were fun, and that third year was decidedly not, especially after getting really bummed out over a 99 game - one blasted pin away from 100, which I had never done before. Getting the "75 game" patch after that felt like an insult.