Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I don’t like Bowling

Several years ago, five I think, I bowled the last ball of my life. We were at a party for Julie C and decided to go bowling, and I hate bowling with a passion that could kill elephants. It was the 10th Frame, I was playing the all time worst game of my life. I held up what was my last ball (it was the kind where you stick your fingers in… those are unsanitary sess holes in my opinion) I turned around to the party and asked for their attention. I then spoke, and the people listened. I saith "Attention all… This ball I am holding will be the last ball I will ever bowl in my life. I hate bowling with a passion that can melt steel. I hate the freaky shoes, I hate the balls, I hate the stupid slippery chairs you have to sit in, I hate the little yellow reset button, I hate the pins standing there laughing at me as one ball after the other misses them in the gutter. I hate cream soda. I hate the fact that I have to wait for the ball with the big thumb hole. I hate the fact that everyone seems to like this game but me. I find no reason to continue this ridiculous activity. THIS BALL I AM HOLDING NOW WILL BE THE LAST BALL I WILL EVER BOWL IN MY LIFE. THIS IS MY PROMISE TO YOU AND TO THE PEOPLE BEFORE AND AFTER YOU. "

I then bowled the ball.. only it didn't go down the lane, it slipped off my thumb and went backwards in a six and half foot arch. It came about 2 inches from Ray's nuts. Realizing the burden released from me, I took a bow and departed the lane. Ray then took the ball and threw it down the lane for a strike, it was poetic. I removed my shoes and spat in them, then placed a curse on the next wearer, man pity that guy.

I have been asked by many people why it is I don't like to bowl. Well, I used to be a good bowler, averaging 7 strikes per game, yea I fricken rocked the casbah baby.. rocked it all night long. Then Something happened.

It was when I was about 19 years old. I was bowling the game of my life, nine strikes in the 9th frame. I was on my way to a perfect game. I remember women and men but mostly women from all around gathered to watch Alex "The FireBall" bowl the game of his life. I was decked out, totally in the zone. I had the black shirt with the flames on the bottom, and had my nickname embroidered on the chest. I had the glove and wrist support custom painted with flames. I was cooler than the other side of the pillow baby… yea.. the other side of the pillow.

I'm ready to bowl my third and last ball in the tenth frame for the perfect game when someone from behind me says.. "HEY FIREBALL". I turn around. The music stops, and in some dream like sequence everyone around me disappears. The place goes dead quiet, and I am standing alone with a ball in my hand. The lights go dim and a strange fog appears around the bowling lanes. The only light seems to be a spotlight on me. "HEY… FIREBALL" I hear from behind me. I turn around and nothing is there except the set of pins I was just about to crack down for strike number thirteen. "Bowl the ball Fireball!" I turn again, and now standing by the reset button is a tall man. He is wearing a black suit, his shirt was un-tucked and he was not wearing any shoes or socks. He had on a tie, loosened and wrinkled. On his face an evil grin, his teeth yellowed by what could have only been from thousands of years of smoking, and his eyes were opaque windows to a soulless void.

"Excuse me?" I asked ears half cocked.

"I said.. BOWL THE DAMN BALL FIREBALL" he shouts. I swear I saw a fire in the back of his throat when he opened his mouth.

"I don't think I understand what's going on here.. who in the hell are you?" I asked, quickly realizing the irony of the question.

"You think you're all the shit don't you Fireball.. Don't tell me you forgot our deal"

Knowing full well what he was talking about I attempted the back spin of ignorance, "Um.. so, yea.. can't say I do."

"YOU BOWL A PERFECT GAME AND I GET YOUR SOUL…" he replies, then proceeds to pull a piece of paper out of his jacket. It's The Contract.

"OK Ok, ok ok ok.. look.. this is stupid. I wrote that as a joke back in grade 8 with some buddies at a sleepover.. this certainly isn't legal.. or whatever law.. look.. I'm sorry for the confusion, It won't happen again, where the hell did you get this.. anyway.. don't answer that.. ok so..what, what happens now?" I ask

"YOU BOWL THE PERFECT GAME AND I GET YOUR SOUL, SIMPLE AS THAT."

"Well that's a crappy deal seriously.. I bowl like a perfect game and you get my soul, that's like trading shit for gold"

"HEY, I GET EM WHERE I CAN, you have to understand, this isn't an easy job, I busy 24 / 7 in the soul collection business. Besides, we have a lot of busted computers down there and could really use someone like you."

"I don't work with computers"

"OH YOU BETTER BELIEVE YOU WILL, NOW YOU WILL BOWL THAT BALL"

In a flash everything came back. Hell Dude vanished along with the fog and I was left standing with the 13th ball in my hands, people all around me watching, hoping to be witness to The Fireball's first perfect game. I bowled the ball.. only it didn't go down the lane, it slipped off my thumb and went backwards in a six and half foot arch. It came about 2 inches from Ray's nuts. Realizing the burden released from me, I took a bow and departed the lane. Ray then took the ball and threw it down the lane for a strike, it was poetic. I removed my shoes and spat in them, then placed a curse on the next wearer, man pity that guy.

I never dared throw another strike after that day. But just to be on the safe side I thought I just better call er quits all together.

And that's why I hate bowling. Hey, you would to.

Whatever.

The Fireball





5 comments:

Tan said...

That was awesome! Let's publish this one, Alex. I woke up this morning to Ray roaring over this one and now my kids are wondering what I'm laughing it. Kudos.

PollyWollyOxenFree said...

Thats some funny shit :)
Is it all made up?

Anonymous said...

I like how things come around full circle with you. You could almost go through any circumstance and predict the outcome. (This did not affect Ray in any way. 3 kids)

socklady said...

Extremely creative and I think you must have had a bowling invite recently and instead of simply saying.."no thanks" you decide to tell a great story. I love it! Certainly keeps things interesting and I need interesting!

Schaaper said...

I made the vow not to bowl about five years ago, and I kinda feel bad cause I made a deal last year with Joylaine that if she played poker I would bowl. She played poker and I haven't bowled.. yet. I have to come clean with my deal, I just never said when.