Sunday, January 31, 2010

Three Things I Observed While Bowling

1. Bowling has gotten fancy, y'all. We stepped out with the Hamiltons the other night to a local bowling establishment. Somehow we wound up on one of the "boutique lanes." This seemed to mean that the lighting was quite dynamic, the furniture was lug-zhurious, and there were really big TV screens down at the end of the lanes, over the pins, and not just the little screens between the scoreboards. I remember when, if you went bowling, you couldn't watch TV at the same time. But this way I was able to see a lot more ultimate fighting than I usually manage to catch. It being "boutique bowling" did not however mean that nobody wore overalls or chewed tobacco and spat in a clear plastic cup. More about that below. This picture does not show all the lugzhury, but believe me, it was there. Also you can see the color of my bra through my shirt, so that's awesome.

While Bowling

And bowling is not cheap anymore. I remember it being something that large groups of people could do for not a lot of money. Not on Friday night they can't. Friday night is kind of bucks. Of course, Thursday night is a dollar per game, but who wants to go bowling on Thursday?

Beer is still cheap though.

2. Bowling is an intercultural experience. The county we live in has a real cultural division into South county and North county. The south county, where we are, is basically metro Atlanta. It's full of people who came from somewhere else and it's kind of plush. The north county is more populated by people who have been settled there a long time. It is full of, like, cows and possibly Trans-Ams. I SAY THAT IN LOVE. Anyway, this bowling emporium is located at a kind of midpoint between the two worlds (that would be exit 14 off GA-400, for my local readers). Like Istanbul, it is a place where the cultures can mix and mingle, creating a rich, heady brew of contrasting traditions, folkways, and wardrobe practices. On one side of us were two fifty year-old guys and their twenty year-old girlfriends. Twenty might be giving these girls too much credit. I think they had just met, but they were getting on very well indeed. It was another exit 14 love connection.

On the other side of us was a big group of people, one of whom was dipping tobacco and spitting in a plastic cup. It's been a while since I've seen that. I didn't know that was still a thing, what with how disgusting it is, and all that's known about cancers of the head and neck. So I died after I saw that, but I was revived when I heard Lincoln ask, "Who wears overalls to a bowling alley?" I loved that question in so many ways, because, really, where IS the right place for a grown man to wear overalls, except for actually on a tractor? I offered the opinion that this fellow probably wore those overalls everywhere. And that guy could bowl too.

And then I saw a girl wrapped in a pashmina. So, yeah, a rich mingling.

Yet another group, who seemed loosely affiliated with the tobacco chewing, overall donning crowd, had a newborn baby and a toddler with them, all between 10 and 12:30 at night. That toddler really didn't want to be there, though the little baby wasn't too bothered. Kelly and I were reminiscing about the scene from Sweet Home Alabama where she says, "And you have a baby! In a bar!"

I also saw a man removing himself from his trousers before he was all the way into the men's bathroom. Rich mingling.

Actually the tobacco juice thing was way worse.

3. I am a terrible bowler.

I Am a Bad Bowler

See how I have a 77 and everyone else is over 100? We played four games and I never scored higher than a 90. Kelly already told this story, but I did actually bowl a couple or three strikes. Just never in a row. My proudest moment was when, unbeknownst to me, Matt bet that I would pick up a spare, and I did. I am just relieved that my husband didn't bet against me, even though it would have been the smart money. Also he looked totally hot in the shoes.

And I am also terrible at drinking beer, if speed is a factor. I challenged Lincoln to a chug-off, and I couldn't finish my cup. But I had a really good time. Matt and I recalled that we'd last gone bowling sometime in the mid 90's. So we were overdue. You all might want to check and see if your bowling licenses are up to date.


Amy said...

Ah, the rich tapestry of life. I love your descriptions of all the people there. Sounds like a good time! Bowling is fun, and I'm not sure it should be made lughzurious. Isn't the point of bowling to wear ugly shoes and eat gross food while doing it?

I haven't seen anyone "dip" in a long time, either. If you remember, we *used* to see it quite a bit! But it always used to make me gag a little bit.

I am a terrible bowler too. Like, awful. I average around 60-70 a game. I get laughed at.

P.S. Your bra looks awesome!

Kelly said...

Not to mention it was bowling alley that probably didn't help! And meanwhile, I love the peach bra ;)

Sjn said...

best line of your post:
"Who wears overalls to a bowling alley?" I loved that question in so many ways, because, really, where IS the right place for a grown man to wear overalls, except for actually on a tractor?"
You had me LOL!
At least it's non-smoking now, right? I remember when... if you went to a bowling alley, you'd come out reeking of smoke.
Next time... thumbs up Becky.

Mad Woman said...

Never ever try and chug bowling alley beer. Nasty stuff!

I can't bowl well either. Even on the Wii!

gretchen said...

I too, am a poor bowler. However, I have great style and form. I just don't hit anything with the ball. I do, however, do well in the beer department.

I remember back in the '80's when I live in Dallas, we used to go bowling at a place called Don Carter's All-Star Lanes, which boasted the largest bowling alley in the world. It was HUGE. Truly. There were actually golf carts that drove from lane to lane and sold you beer. Amazing.

Amy said...

Gretchen--we lived in Dallas for over ten years and totally used to go to Don Carter's! It was a sight to behold.

Marie said...

Did the overall snuff dipping guy look familiar? Could he be the man from Cracker Barrel stalking you...I'm just sayin'.....

Michele R said...

Four games!!! Wow! My arm would be super sore from that.
Did they ask you if you needed the guard rails to keep the ball out of the gutter? :)

Fantastic Forrest said...

We bowl early on Sunday morning. It is super cheap then. Apparently many people go someplace else that time of the week. Not sure about where.

My favorite line for this post:
Like Istanbul, it is a place where the cultures can mix and mingle, creating a rich, heady brew of contrasting traditions, folkways, and wardrobe practices.

I have to go rent Sweet Home Alabama now. And look up "pashmina." Thank you for entertaining and educating me, Becky.

The Dental Maven said...

That's the great thing about bowling, it's so, er, inclusive!

delaine said...

Sounds like the bowling alley may be the perfect place for people watching. I always think of all the feet that have worn the shoes they give me. Sure, they spray stuff in them but, really, do we think that makes a difference? Next time you'll have to take the kids.With those bumper things they have, Laura and Hank could bowl and make a 77!

Becky said...

I think with the bumpers, I could break 100. And yes, my style and form need work too. Matt had several helpful suggestions, but one of them was that I needed tighter jeans. Not sure that would have helped.

Sweet Home Alabama does have some cute moments, especially if you like Reese Witherspoon. Some of that was filmed near here, actually.

Marie, I think the Cracker Barrel guy and this bowling guy were definitely cousins. Or at least spiritual brothers.

Casey said...

Bowling alleys definitely do bring out the best and worst in people. Wait, no, that's everywhere. The kids out past their bedtime always pisses me off, even moreso since having kids. I can't not judge. Overalls though, are awesome. Pure denim joy. Glad you had a great time out!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing I don't like about this post. Awesome.

Jen said...

I have a bowling alley three blocks from my house but I can never convince the kids that real bowling is actually more fun than video game bowling. Just to people watch is a hoot. I love the American flag on the score tv.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

This makes me want to find a drive-in movie theater . . . stat!

Sara said...

Ha! "dipping" snuff. Memories. We had a fellow stop in the office with a dip in his mouth, but I didn't notice it at first. Cuz I thought he was *drinking from* the paper Folgers coffee cup with the lid with the tiny sipping hole, but he was *depositing into* the Folgers cup.
The best part of waking up is ...nevermind.

Bex said...

i am snooty when it comes to bowling. i simply DO NOT bowl. but my kids love it. so i take them and laugh at them ... err.. i mean with them!

Stacy said...

Hey Becky, still trying to catch up on all your blogs..just when I think I'm doing good..I find 10 more! I wanted to tell you that there is a site called "Kids bowl free" it's a ll summer thing going get to bowl 2 games free a day from 9am-7pm everyday through the whole summer..not a bad deal and they have a adult pass for 29.95 for 4 adults and thats good for the whole summer too, if you want to bowl, also. Well I love reading your blogs..I look forward to it everyday..I hope you are doing well..we think of you often..tell the kids and Matt hello from us..we hope to see you soon..Love and hugs your way..