[A repeat from July 12, 2013] My father used to go bowling when I was a kid.  Gunnell’s Bowling Alley in Mt. Prospect. Sometimes he’d take me along.  He’d want me to watch and learn – but I always brought a supply of dimes to play the pinball machines over by the exit.  Ready to make a fast getaway.    My dad’s team members all wore the same color short-sleeved gray shirt with the team name and their names stitched in pink“Pete” “Dave” “Carl” “Al” and so on.  I still have my father’s bowling shirt in the closet.  Or attic.  Somewhere.  

Does anyone “bowl” anymore?  And if so, for what purpose?   You throw a big heavy ball — trying to knock down “pins.”  You spend time in the alley.  And then you’re in the gutter.   You do well and you get a “strike.”  But that’s what unions do — which is always bad.  Three strikes and you have a “turkey.”  Next best is a “spare.”  Like a spare tire.  Which you want to avoid around your midsection.  And if you do poorly, and don’t knock any pins down, people avoid looking at you (like this dude is really bad. . . . .).

I haven’t bowled in years.  I may never again.  The last attempt was a neighborhood gathering 35 years ago (“Let’s all go bowling“).  Donna looked at me and said “oh let’s go” so I smiled, drove to the bowling alley, rented the shoes (have you ever smelled the shoes they rent at bowling alleys?) and then didn’t bowl.  I drank some Dos Equis beer and looked at the pinball machines.  But I had the shoes on.  And a Hawaiian shirt.  I guess I looked like a bowler.  But my feet haven’t been the same since.  I can’t understand.  You try to aim a big, heavy black ball.  And then roll it.  Trying to hit some far off target.  Makes no sense whatsoever.  I’m gonna go golfing. . . . .