Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We had a work bowling party last night. Our show versus another show by the same production company. This was the third match-up -- a tie-breaker from the previous two. I didn't care who won. I’m not competitive. I try to just have fun, but I wanna get a good score, dammit.

The first step is finding a good bowling ball. Last time, I wound up using a cracked cumbersome 15-pounder with tiny grips. I’m convinced that was the problem. After all, when you finger something, sticking your fingers in its holes and then toss it in the gutter, you don’t wanna end up feeling bad about it.

Okay, I won’t make a blue-balls joke here, but the heavy ones I hated were colored aquamarine, whereas the ball I found that was perfect was bright red. Just the right size and weight. Knowing how the the other guys would probably steal it, just like last time, I kept my eye on the ball as it sat in the ball-return. No one was touching my highly-coveted rock to roll. I was psyched as I prepared to bowl.

The first game I just did okay, but I consider that a warm-up. Both for bowling and for the fun. By the end of the game, I stopped worrying about my score -- and making sure no one took my ball -- and joined in on the betting pool going on at a different lane: Five bucks says he won't get another gutterball, double or nothing on picking up that spare...

But in the second game, I got three strikes in the first three frames. I was trying to make light of it to keep the pressure off. I went around to brag, while I could, that I was working on a perfect game.

Thankfully, no one dared to wager money on my chances at a 300, and I felt relaxed as the joint turned its alley into a party zone -- cranking up the tunes, lowering screens showing music videos, and dimming the house lights while turning up the blue light to make the white pins glow.

It was my turn to bowl, so as I bopped my way back to my lane, I suddenly realized my ball was missing. I saw several spheres sitting in the ball return, but no red ones. Okay, normally it would be no big deal, it was just a friendly game and I shouldn't be possessive toward something I was borrowing like the sweaty shoes on my feet.

But I found it hard to be easy-going -- I was working on a perfect game. And I didn't want to blow it because of equipment failure.

I was ready to hunt down the culprit, scanning the tinted alley to catch the yellow-bellied red-ball thief red-handed, when it dawned on me -- the blue light turned my red ball a dark shade of purple. It was there the whole time. Brilliant.

Back in business, I picked up my indigo orb and paced to the line, using that proper weight and grip to swing into a flawless delivery for my fourth strike...

Seven-ten split. Son of a bitch.

Well at least I got no one to blame but myself. I wound up with a 156 -- not my personal best, but better than I usually do. And better than anyone on our team (hey, we're TV producers, not quasi-athletes), which helped our show beat the other one. But I didn't care. I'm not competitive.


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