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Tuesday, May 21, 2002  

Last night was the second time I’ve been bowling since I got my own ball (see my 4/15 entry). Except I didn’t use my ball, because I didn’t know I was going bowling until I’d already left the house. Instead I used the same neon-teal alley ball that I’d gotten attached to before I had my own. The results were fairly amusing.

I still like the way the ball fits my hand, but now it’s way too light for me. I’ve figured out my optimum technique since my curve disappeared, and that technique is what I tried to use. The problem last night was that the lighter ball for some reason brought my curve back with a vengeance. I threw my first ball expecting it to follow an arrow-straight trajectory into the spot between pins one and two. Instead it jinked along such a tight parabola that I nearly had to flee from it on its return arc.

Okay, I thought. I can adapt. On my next frame, I adjusted my starting spot back to where it used to be in the days when I could still hook the ball. The ball obliged by traveling utterly parallel to the edge of the gutter until it neatly clipped pin seven.

This is when I gave up. The lighter ball obviously wasn’t going to help me bowl more accurately. But at least it would let me bowl harder. I cast precision to the winds and concentrated on flinging the ball down the lane with all my strength. My hope was that if I just hit the pins hard enough, the explosive domino effect would make up for my total lack of finesse. If chaos theory was going to insist on being part of my game, it was bloody well going to be working for me.

It worked, for a little while. I got a few strikes with throws that would have left me splits and spares if they’d hit at normal speed. I didn’t have to wait as long after my throws to see how many pins I’d gotten, since the ball was arriving at the far end of the lane before I finished my follow-through. Plus I think the occasional sonic boom helped tip over a few pins that were thinking about staying up.

I couldn’t keep it up, though. Charging the lane like a sprinter out of the blocks and hurling the ball with the force of light artillery took its toll on my body. Involuntarily, I started releasing earlier. And hitting hard has a fairly limited effect when all you’re hitting is the gutter. After four or five times when I had to use my stretched tendons to reel back my detached arm from twenty feet down the boards, I had to admit that it wasn’t working any more.

Whereupon I kept doing it anyway. I was having too much fun to stop.

Trash also discovered a new technique. Her right index finger still isn’t healed, so that was causing her a lot of problems, while also swelling up in kind of an alarming way. Ergo, she switched to her left hand. It was rather entertaining to watch her stump awkwardly up to the lane, every muscle in her body protesting against the wrongness of what she was asking it to do, right up until she dumped the ball onto the lane in a vaguely pinward direction. When she consistently scored eight or nine pins per frame that way, it was funny. When she beat all of the rest of us that way, it was downright hysterical. A flurry of quotes from The Princess Bride ensued.

I tried to point out that I was bowling left-handed as well. She responded that I always bowl left-handed. I reluctantly conceded the point. This was kind of a tough pill for me to swallow, since I’m always going on about the many fine qualities of left-handed people like myself, not the least of which is our greater ambidexterity. Even I had to admit that I wouldn’t have done any better bowling with my right hand. Now I have to shut up about the superiority of lefties for, like, a whole day. I’d be pretty bitter about that if I weren’t too busy trying to un-dislocate my shoulder.

posted by M. Giant 3:26 PM 0 comments


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