Friday, November 25, 2011

bowling for LOL-ers

When I was little, my mom belonged to a bowling league, and she'd take my brother and me with her. I loved everything about the bowling alley: that unique smell, the pinball machines, the sound of balls hitting the pins, and most of all, the fact that she'd give us each a dollar to buy a treat from the vending machines. And this was the late 70's, so a dollar could actually buy some shit. I mean, Christ, a candy bar in the vending machine here at work costs a fucking dollar! Back then I could get a candy bar AND a soda AND play a game of pinball!


Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, G and I went "disco bowling", which means they blast dance music and light up the lanes with neon and twinkling lights. It was lots of fun, although---despite one strike and a couple of spares---I'm generally a shitty bowler.

I started to work up a thirst, so at one point I wandered over to the bar and bought a rum and Coke. When I returned, I said, "Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I got banned from a bowling alley?"

G arched an eyebrow. "No, I don't think so. What happened?"


The year was 1997, and my then-boyfriend T and I went to the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. As was my wont at the time, I had several drinks in me and was feeling mighty good. Oddly enough, I bowl much better when I'm drunk---same goes for pool---and I was racking up the points.

"Whooooooo!" I cried. "Yaaaaaaaaaay!"

...did I mention I'm a noisy drunk?

T took his turn and then I stepped up to the lane. I held the ball in front of me, squinted at the pins, and then pulled my arm back and threw.


"Where's the ball?" I slurred, just as I heard thuds and gasps from behind me. I turned around and realized that I had thrown the ball backwards, sending it down a small flight of steps. A quick-thinking bystander grabbed it before it could get any further. T was visibly cringing.

"Um, oops?" I said as a burly man strode towards me.

"Ma'am, I'm the manager on duty, and you need to leave."

"But I'm bowling," I said petulantly.

"Not here you're not. You're not allowed to come back here again. That could have really hurt somebody."

With a dozen hipsters' eyes upon us, T and I quietly bundled up in our heavy winter jackets and slunk out the door.

I've never gone back to Bryant-Lake Bowl, but I'm sure they wouldn't cut me off at the door; like anybody even remembers the incident besides me. But the next time I'm in Minneapolis, I'm tempted to walk inside and look for a WANTED poster with a picture of my sloppy drunk self on it and the words "Do not let this woman bowl here. She is a menace to society."