Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In The Gutter

We went bowling last night. Which means I'll have the Dickies' "Bowling With Bedrock Barney" stuck in my head for the next few days.

At the Orleans Casino here in Las Vegas, you can bowl at midnight for one dollar per game. Throw in an extra three bucks for shoes and a party of two can cause mayhem on a lane for the price of a Hamilton. (How sad that I had to look up who is on the ten dollar bill! My husband said Jefferson. I had absolutely no idea. Yet, I know Ben Franklin's puss adorns the hundred even though I spend far more Hamiltons than Franklins. Strange.)

I hadn't bowled since breaking my elbow 18 months ago. I was afraid my arm wouldn't hold up.

I don't bowl very often but, when I do, I tend to follow an almost identical pattern: first game I score in the 70's, second game I remember how to bowl and manage to post and respectable 150 plus, third game my arm it tired so I bowl another 70.

Last night, I had two gutter balls in the first frame. Second frame, another two gutter balls. Third frame I knocked down one pin then followed it up with a trip down gutter lane.

I wanted to rip off my elbow brace and quit but my husband wouldn't let me. He said, "You're not a quitter. Oh wait, yes you are." He still made me keep bowling.

Now, I'm not one of those obnoxious people who has to win at everything but I am accustomed to being pretty good at all things sports related. I don't even mind coming in last place if I'm still happy with my performance. But the thing I hate most of all is pity. By frame number three the other nine people in my group were starting to feel sorry for me. They weren't even busting my balls anymore. It was humiliating. I was in hell.

When I knocked down a few pins in frame number four my group cheered. It was horrible.

Finally, I started to figure out how to compensate for my arm. Instead of going for my usual hook, I threw the ball right down the middle. By the end of the first game I had brought my score up to 71. Not bad considering my disastrous first half.

In the second game, I was actually leading for awhile but then my arm started to hurt. I finished with a 117.

We bowled for 2 1/2 hours. For the last two hours I had a blast.

My arm is pretty achy and fatigued today but nothing an Aleve can't fix. I'm just glad I've regained most of my mobility. I suppose that's the real victory.

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