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“You broke the bowling alley!”

December 20, 2009, 5:22 PM

Meanwhile, before the snow, I had a fun Friday night out on the town. The town of College Park, that is. I got together with JB, Anyman, and Burnt Toast from Anonymous, and we went out for bowling and dinner. We had a blast.

We went to College Park Lanes for bowling, where we rolled three games of duckpins. Of the three games, Burnt Toast won the first two, and Anyman won the last one (by one pin over Toast). JB hovered between second and third place, and then I came in last on all three games.

The strangest moment was when I accidentally broke the pinsetter. I wasn’t quite paying attention, and rolled the ball thinking that the pinsetter was finished. Turns out it was almost finished, but not quite. As a result, the ball hit the pins while they were still in the pinsetter. Oops. See, unlike in regular ten-pin bowling, a gate does not come down across the entire lane when the pinsetter is in action. So my ball hit the pins, and knocked a few of them out slightly left of the center. Yeah, if they hadn’t been in the pinsetter, that would have been a great shot. So the pinsetter sat for a minute or so, and then rose up with the pins it still had. Then after another minute or so, it unceremoniously spewed out the pins that it had been holding. Seriously, it just dropped them all to the floor, like as if it was carrying a bunch of stuff and accidentally dropped it all. We tried to get the lane to reset the pins from the controls we had, but it wouldn’t respond. That led to the comment, “You broke the bowling alley!”

And here’s the lane, #16, minus pins:

We ended up having to get the front desk to reset the lane. They turned the lane off and back on, and then reset the pins twice. The first time, the pinsetter came down with a few pins missing, and then hit it right the second time. And we were back in business.

Then we also got a few other photos. First, the photo of the crew:

Then we got one of those obligatory everyone’s-feet-in-a-circle kind of shots that people put on Facebook. We did it just because it’s so trite. People usually use it to show off their flip-flops and what have you, but we did it in matching bowling shoes. And here we are:

Then when Burnt Toast went to the snack bar to get some food, JB and Anyman pointed at him, because Anyman was declaring that he was going to beat Toast.

By the time we were done bowling, the snow had started. And so when we got to my car, it was covered with a light dusting of snow. That inspired Anyman to draw this in the snow before we brushed it off:

This, by the way, is the “4chan smiley”, like on the sign that WalkingStickMan is holding here, from the April raid:

WalkingStickMan at the April raid

Leaving bowling, we went out for dinner. We ended up going to Plato’s Diner in College Park, Maryland. The food was good, and the service was excellent. They were even quite kind and understanding when I accidentally knocked over my iced tea. What happened is that I had gotten up to move my coat after I was given the okay to put it in the adjacent booth. Then in sitting down, I accidentally bumped an open menu, and hit my glass with the menu, knocking it over, spilling tea all over the menu. Oops. Thankfully, it didn’t get on anyone, and it got cleaned up pretty quickly. I felt pretty dumb about doing that, but stuff happens, I suppose. Then we also learned that Maryland has an official state dinosaur (it’s Astrodon johnstoni).

Then after dinner, I took the other folks home. That was exciting, because the snow was covering the roads by then. This is when I’m glad to have a front-wheel-drive vehicle. If I still had the Previa with its rear wheel drive, it would have been a whole different story. I’d have been slipping and sliding all over the roadway. But the Sable and its ABS made snow driving a little easier, though it was still somewhat treacherous. But as long as you go very slowly and make sure all your moves are deliberate, you’ll do fine. You need nerves of steel, which I usually have when I’m driving (and this was no exception). I made it up and down hills and around turns to get them to their respective houses, and got them home.

Then after that, I took myself home. I took Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) to the Beltway to Georgia Avenue to get home. That was a long, slow ride home on snowy roads, but I’ll tell you, it was SO worth it. We had such an awesome time out, especially since now we’re still pretty much snowed in, and so I’m looking at a third day of not going anywhere (the Federal Government is closed on Monday).

And hopefully we’ll do this kind of outing again. This was fun.

Web site: A compilation of amusing bowling accidents

Song: By the way, College Park Lanes is currently working to convert half the facility from duckpin to ten-pin. Thus when they're finished, lanes 1-20 will be duckpins, and 21-40 will be ten-pin.

Quote: By the way, for those keeping track, this is the fifth Journal entry in a row where I have shown a photo of my car.

Categories: Friends, Snowpocalypse