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I haven’t bowled in a few years but I did last Saturday. My right forearm and left knee are screaming to remind me. It was a fund-raiser, for a good cause. One of those Candle Light bowls.

In case you never bowled, the object is to roll a very heavy ball, the weight of a respectable Thanksgiving turkey down what they call an alley. The alley consists of a 60 foot length of oil soaked wooden planks. The bowler hopes to hit all 10 pins that are strategically lined up in the form of a triangle. Out of ten fingers, you use only three to hold the ball.

If you knock all the pins down, it’s called a strike. If you don’t get all of them the first time, you get another chance and if you then knock down the remainder, you get a spare.

The game has been played for many years dating back to when Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble twinkle toed their way down the Bedrock Lanes way back before the meteors killed the dinosaurs. Only Dino lived on to tell the story.

But the thing I noticed this weekend was the “turnaround move.”

The odd thing about the game is that the bowler holds the heavy ball and looks at the 10 triangularly arranged pins. For that moment, it is bowler versus pins. Bowler must roll the ball down alley and with any luck at all strike some pins. It is a one on one battle for the ages. Only you can roll the ball.

However, here’s the interesting part. After the ball is rolled down the alley, the bowler turns around and faces the people, some of whom were actually watching, many of whom hold beers in their hands talking about things that people talk about with a beer bottle in their hand at a bowling alley.

Said bowler then has a visible reaction to the accomplishment, the “turnaround move.” Here’s a few of my favorites.

The fist slammer: This person slams their fist in a downward motion and often loudly says, “YES” as if a very important event has occurred.

The pom pom girl: Usually a woman bowler. This person happily skips back and has pretend pom poms in her hands making rah rah motions of joy because they hit a pin.

The Wooo guy: This person turns, yells, “WOOO” often accompanied by other vague utterances like, “That’s what I’m talking about” “Who’s the man”.

The pretty lady: The girl turns, gives a quick smirk, checks out the fans who are actually watching and walks back slowly towards the adoring crowd, hip shake is optional.

The confident man: This guy shows little or no expression, maybe a slight nod, then walks back acting like he knew it was going to happen.

The high-five guy or girl: This guy or girl HAS to give an awkward high five to EVERYONE they pass on the way back. Sometimes they miss the hand or accidentally slap someone in the face. When that happens it’s funny, even if your team lost.

The guy or girl who misses the pin(s): DAMN. (Insert choice of colorful distasteful expletive after this.)

So that’s bowling. It’s a great American fun-time past-time. And it’s oh so simple. Hit the pins and you win. Miss them and you still may win if the other guy misses them too. But, have a classy “turnaround move” either way.

Let me know, if I missed your turnaround bowling move.

Thanks for reading.

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