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Monday, September 6, 2010

SPORTS & LEISURE: Sneaking Stacey Down The Alley- Stacey Cardalines Reporting...

Stacey prepares to assault the gutter.
Bowling and I have a funny history IRL.

They didn't have bowling in the part of France that I grew up in, and guys in my high school figured out how I was about things fairly quickly... so I never had to bowl then, either.

Then I started dating the man that I would marry. We'd alternate date planning, so I would get one weekend, and he would plan the next one.

So, our first dates went like this... carnival (him), fancy North End Italian restaurant (me), Batman movie(him), Miss Saigon(me), Alice In Chains concert (him), wine tasting (me)... and then, Bowling.

He thought I was being passive/aggressive when I told him I had never been bowling before. By this point in our relationship, he had come to realize that his girlfriend was French, and that the French have a well-deserved reputation for being rather difficult.

But I was game. He had tolerated Miss Saigon well, and I owed him one. So, off to Alley Kat we go.

Not knowing what bowling entailed, I wore a skirt. That was problem #1, as bowling involves bending, stretching and so forth. Problem #2 was the fact that they expect you to wear these awful second-hand shoes.

"I-am-not-wearing-someone-else's-shoes" I said to the Colonel (my husband insists upon being referred to by military rank, long story). "You have to.. it's the rules," he replies. I took the shoes, so we could bowl without the little man at the counter bothering us.

I never wore them. I was wearing pantyhose, so I just kicked off my heels and slid around in my stocking feet. We'll come back to that later.

Problem #3 was the ball, which was a two-part problem. I was in college, and may have weighed 90 pounds. This ball was big, like a basketball made of marble. I had to use a second hand to support it.

Also... whoever invented bowling didn't pay the Korean girl at his salon what I pay mine for manicures. There were two chances of me jamming my fingers into that filthy ball- slim, and none... and ol' Slim just left town, Jack.

So, I sort of hiked up my skirt, held the ball in both hands, waddled toward the pins, and pushed it off my shoulders. It would hit the alley with a terrible noise, roll about 5 feet, and fall into the gutter. I did this maybe 40 times, maybe knocking down 15-20 pins for the evening. I also got to have Pretzels for dinner.

To end a perfect evening, my stocking feet slid out from under me, I fell onto my butt, and the ball went out of my hands and into a lane which I wasn't playing in. I looked so angry when I got up that no one- the guy in the lane I invaded, the manager of the alley, the spectators, and even my war-veteran husband- said a word.

The Colonel got none that night, as you might imagine. We do get along in an opposites-attract sort of way however, and we ended up marrying.

I've managed to avoid bowling ever since. However, SL is sort of like life's second chance in many ways. People love bowling, and it falls into my area of responsibility as a sportswriter to cover the entire SL sporting world. to Bergson's Beach Bowling we go.

Here's the addy:
I'll say right now that I had a terrific time.

First off... they don't make you wear those silly soup kitchen shoes. Second, you can't hurt virtual fingers. It's very easy to pick up.. you just aim in mouselook and fire away. The computer keeps track of the score.

I'm not that good at it, but nothing humiliating happened. My rolls in the 10 frame game were 1) gutterball/3 pins, 2) 1,4, 3) missed my lane,2, 4) 5, ball stopped before the pins, and so forth...

There was one regrettable incident where I threw the ball at a heckler (the ball goes where you are pointing when you release), but you've probably already guessed that I missed her.


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