I went bowling this weekend. Man, that is a lame sport. That's not to say that I hate bowling, because I don't. I am, however, unable to stop mocking it. So, mock I must.
First, however, faint praise.
Bowling is the only sport I can think of where the object is to create as much disorder as possible. If entropy could endorse a sport, it would pick bowling. Pins are neatly arranged in a charming little pattern and then the player attempts to knock the crap out of them. Players in other sports typically seek to put balls into some sort of hole, like a hoop or pocket, as though the object of that sport were to tidy up. Meanwhile, if bowlers could put explosives into the pins, they would. Steeeeeee-KAPOW-rike!
Bowling is a sport like demolition derby is a sport.
But enough with the praise. I don't want to gush. On to the mocking!
First off, this bowling alley, like many others, smells like an ashtray. This is kind of a remarkable feat because smoking has been banned in places like in California for around a decade. How are there still smoke molecules in the air? Every surface in this joint is either hardwood, plastic or bowlingball-ite, so where is the smoke coming from? It's really a remarkable feat of stink-engineering.
Secondly, a bowling alley is filled with mockable people and many delicious stereotypes. I particularly enjoyed the aging greaser guy with his busty-sweatered gal who adoringly watched every ball he bowled. They were straight out of the 50's. Had he traded in his collared shirt for a white T with a pack of cigs rolled up in the sleeve, they would have been all set.
On the lane next to us we had a group that included a really spazzy seven year-old scrawny kid. This kid would grab his ball and launch himself at the lane at full speed. After a few feet he'd either hurl the ball with all his might towards the lane, or he'd trip and fly across the floor. Both outcomes were equally amusing. My daughter watched this kid carefully and declared that she wanted to bowl that way too. After a short discussion, I convinced her that his bowling form might not be the right model for imitation.
On another lane my wife noticed an entire family standing at the end of the lane, all smiling and looking down towards the pins, as though they were posing for a picture. They stood there for an eternity and we couldn't figure out what they were doing. Finally my wife noticed a bowling ball, most of the way down the lane, literally inching towards the pins. The family member standing in the front? A small two year-old boy.
His ball traveled down the lane at a nearly imperceptable, but steady, pace. It finally reached the pins, tiredly leaned against the nearest one, and stopped there. The pin didn't budge. Monty Burns couldn't have bowled more poorly.
Of course my family sucked at bowling too. We put the kiddie bumper-guards down that prevent gutter balls and my daughter utilized them with every single ball. Had we not used them, she would have scored 0 points 4 games in a row, which is remarkable in itself. Her balls would lazily bounce back and forth across the lane, more like a slow-motion pinball or pachinko game than bowling. She'd watch the balls make their way about halfway down the lane, then get bored and come back to her seat, rating each effort with an unfathomable algorithm, yielding either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. She seemed to enjoy it though.
I'd mock myself, but easy targets like that are beneath me.
On a final note, the top money earner for this Professional Bowlers tour is this man:
Mock mock mock!