Bowling for Boys and Girls Book
Maybe it's the Mid-Westerner in me, but I've been compelled to bowl for the last few years. I've always been attracted to the kitschy/novelty aspects of the game - the endless parade of ashtrays, greetings cards, the curious trophy I saw of a bowler having dropped the ball on their foot, etc. I've watched the sexiness of the game from the sidelines for long enough, so now I'm in the game!
Growing up, bowling was the only sport I was interested in watching on TV (you've gotta set goals, I guess...) and I was envious of my classmates who had a bowling unit in high school gym. So I was on my own to learn how to bowl on the streets of suburban Chicago (in the alleys, so to speak...). I'm not any good, but it's the only social sport that I've been interested in. All that said, check out my score sheet from last Sunday:
Um, yeah. I'm as freaked out as you. If I break 100 I'm a happy guy - but there it is, seven strikes. I clearly had the "beer frame jitters", then choked in the 10th frame to come within a hair's breadth of 200 - all with rented shoes and an alley ball the color of fever snot. I'm probably making too big a deal about this, but isn't this the exact kind of news to share with friends? I feel so sporty... like a burly guy who drinks Milwaukee's Best - by choice. Perhaps this what it feels like to finally be a man?
Funny thing is that the most helpful aides I've found in bowling are all from the 50's & 60's. Perhaps the immense popularity of the game back then contributed the most to the science of teaching the necessary skills. I've watched some helpful old 8mm & 16mm films, but I also found some help in this 1963 book. While aimed at school children, this skinny book has a lot of essential techniques. You also learn about buying your own ball and shoes, how to keep score, the benefits of automatic pin setting technology, even some snapshots of bowling history and culture.
These tips and tricks have helped my score in real bowling, and unexpectedly have also helped in video game bowling. If I break 200 at the bowling alley I'll stutter out a joyous post, but instead of waiting until Judgment Day for that, how about a future post about the fun that we've been having bowling on the Nintendo Wii?