Bowling is for Everyone!
Back in the 1970s, it must not have been the realm of children that it is today: "Bowling centers are popular and wholesome recreational areas for youth. The days of the dimly-lit, men-only "alleys" are gone." While this little informational pamphlet gives tips on how to score a perfect 300, it gives some tips on the culture of bowling.

Way back when I was in NYSP. I was a scrawny kid, afraid of water and not much of a runner. Track sucked, baseball required too much hand-eye coordination, long jump? I laugh at the idea. However, I excelled at two sports: archery, and....umm....bowling? Bowling is a sport? About as much a sport as billiards, darts, and NASCAR, according to the brochure BOWLING for Everyone!, Bowling is "the nation's most popular organized participating sport." How's that for an endorsement! I did do well at a sport, once upon a time. Now that I'm of drinking age, my bowling skill diminishes as the night progresses. I do get better at darts, but that's a topic for another time.

Bowling centers are popular and wholesom recreation areas for youth. The days of the dimly-lit, men-only "alleys" are gone.

Did you know bowling burns 8.1 calories per minute of play? Compare that to 10.1 in football and 8.6 in basketball. The pamphlet insists that this is a major reason women play the game; if I add up actual minutes of play, between waiting for the guy in the next lane to go, waiting for the fat guy from the counter to knock the bowling ball into the returner, and waiting for a player to return from the bar with everyone's beers, there's really not much play-time in bowling. How many basketball courts have beer, anyway? I'm sure you take as much in as you wear off. Just look at ladies' league night at the alley.

Here's the real reason for bowling: "A bowler can strike down ten standing symbols of what bothers him by rolling a 16-pound ball at them." Destruction, yes, that's the reason to bowl. HULK SMASH!

Now, the Hulk, that guy would be a great bowler. Him, The Thing, Blastarr the Bomburst, and Juggernaught would make a GREAT league team.

Once again, technology brings a sport into the civilized world: "The advent of the automated pinspotter ushered in a new era for bowling. The traditional bowling alley -- characterized by poor lighting, seedy looking appointments, and unreliable pin boys -- was replaced by virtual palaces of bowling featuring the best in modern decor and skilled management." Just look how happy bowling makes them! They're the bowlers of the 21st century: clean, well mannered, and non-threatening.

genital-free bowling night

Oh, how they love their bowling-themed wallpaper! I think he's just happy about where his right hand is...and she's not too sad about it either. These young pups demonstrate the proper attire for a night at the bowling alley. Collars on knit shirts, short skirts for the ladies and flat-front slacks for the gents. It's all swell, isn't it kiddies?

alley babes are the best

Isn't she pretty! The pamphlet warns against buying discount bowling shoes and balls, because you get what you pay for. That IS an awfully short skirt for bowling, isn't it? Not that I mind. Let me know which lane she's on before she has a go at it. Thing is, if you're in an average internet age-group, today this lady's old enough to be your mom. Think on that for a while.

The photo above doesn't accurately depict bowling today. She's dressed appropriately, given the fashion resurgence of 1970s era "threads," the setting is a little we go:


Bowling alleys in my area have begun to fill non-league-nights with something called "extreme bowling." With a title like "extreme," you'd expect things like spinning blades and exploding balls, but in fact extreme bowling mostly just adds the soothing tunes of Korn and Nickelback to pulsating black lights. The kids love that these days, I suppose. After a few drinks, all my evenings look like this anyway.

And, here's how it's done, folks! Bill Nye the Bowling Guy shows the proper technique for tossing a bowling ball down-court. Those who learn only from pictures, take note: From the top right picture to the lower left picture, they neglected to show the back-swing. You'll have to read the text to learn such advanced moves, but simply following the pictures will result in torn ligaments and severe embarrasment. Also note, the Tron-glove he's wearing offers cybernetic control of the bowling ball during extreme sports. In the 4th and final image, he's using it to navigate around the bouncing snake-thingies and circumvent the pits of boiling acid.

Queer eye for the bowling guy

I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend, but guys like this gave the bowling world it's manly, seedy persona? Please.

Shitter was full!

Hey, who knew Cousin Eddie could bowl? If anyone could give bowling a seedy side, it's Eddie here. In this rare photo, the Griswold clan learns proper bowling etiquite from their favorite uncle.

Actually, Mr. Sideburns up there is named Larry Lickstein. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!

lefties do it right

As usual, leave it to the left-handed little girl to get it right! She's got the form, the finesse, to actually make it in the sleazy world of performance bowling. Lady on the right, as everyone knows, should keep her mouth shut while participating in a sport. That's the best way to lose a tooth or tongue. Middle boy is inches from falling on his face, but I think he'll just end up stepping over the line. Which is more disgraceful, I do not know. I do know someone who slipped and broke her wrist because someone wore street shoes in the lane area and tracked water onto the slick floor. Never wear street shoes on the lanes. Trust me on this.

I'd have commented on the text of the pamphlet, but it's too damn boring. sure, it explains what those little triangles on the lane are for, but why do I need to know? My average is still in the double-digits, and anyone interested simply in the social aspects of bowling probably don't care much either. Why would I care that the Women's International Bowling Congress was started in 1916? This is hardly necessary for having fun while bowling. Even the glossary is simply boring.

they nizzle the bizzle bazzle
The modern bowling center can be a good place for bridge the "generation gap." Here parents and teens "speak the same language."

Today, with some 20 percent of the nation bowling, the phenomena is both a sport and an industry. Whether you're an addicted league bowler or a weekend casual player, the sport provides good exercise and the opportunity of enjoyment under optimum conditions.

If ever I had a sport explained to me in such bland terms, I'd be sure to avoid it at all costs. With a libretto worthy of a educational filmstrip, I'm glad I can drink under the blacklights at my bowling alley.

Article by Derek

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