Monday, November 22, 2010

Week 11: The Hoff's Turn

Confession time: Sunday night was the third day in a row last week
that I visited Lanes N’ Games. It has become my home-away-from-home.
The shag carpet wall tapestries, the flag-stone Brady-Bunch stairway,
the sound of the balls rolling and crashing into the pins like waves
at the beach... to me, it’s now as peaceful and welcoming as a zen
garden. Sadly, I am not even being ironic.

It was an eventful night, though our bowling was lukewarm at best.

Cap’n Al is injured, and has taken herself out of the line-up until
January. After a rousing game of not-it, she handed over Temporary
Co-Cap’nship to me and Flo. We will struggle to follow in her
footsteps, gifted as she was at interpreting the byzantine policies
and practices of the League. The good news is, Cap’n Al shares my love
of the Lanes N’ Games ethos, and will join us for beers and
camaraderie whenever she can, until she is back in top bowling

The Edge’s plea for subs last week paid off doubly. DL, who has been
on the roster since we began, but had yet to materialize, finally
came, shared a beer, checked out the scene, and got his league card,
though he didn’t bowl. Apparently, there was more than one strategy
employed to get him there: Al had cleverly tried flattery, and told
him he was our last hope, and we needed him to “save” the team; the
Edge had taken the opposite tack and challenged his manliness,
suggesting perhaps he was sca-oowed and his Mommy wouldn’t wet him
because she didn’t want hims to get huwt. I don’t know DL well enough
yet to make an educated guess about which of these tactics was the
effective one. Anyway, we’re glad one of them worked.

Our other new sub, E, an old friend of Al’s, began the night by
informing us she was a “terrible bowler”, and that her “friend” had
laughed when she said she was going to bowl, “reminding” her  that
every time the two of them had ever gone bowling, she had fallen on
her bum. Nice friend. E was a bubbly, delightful addition to our
team--she started out rough, but as she rapidly improved, she made
little hops of joy whenever the pins went down. Somewhat more
disturbingly, she managed to transmit her bad bowling mojo to a
hapless fellow a few lanes down, who fell--not on his bum; possibly on
his head. His mishap also set off the “over the line” buzzer, which I
had never heard before, and of which I am now petrified. He was ok,
after a moment of alley-wide concern, and Erin seemed to improve even
more rapidly after that. Hmmmm....

Maybe the mojo-transfer was due to Flo’s new good-luck necklace, a
beautiful painted home-made bead necklace made by her 5-year-old
daughter. Flo was apparently at the height of her mysterious powers.
The previous week, one of our opponents had sheepishly confessed to
Flo that she had had a few margaritas before bowling, and was
therefore not really bowling at the top of her game. This week, Flo
had barely arrived at lane 51 before one of our new opponents had
introduced himself and announced to her that he had been drinking Four
Loko all afternoon. Who knows what secrets her sweet face will coax
out of this week’s opposing team?

The consumption of alcohol combined with bowling is a topic of great mystery and debate. Our new friend J, another of last week’s opponents, drinks only classic White Russians, which seem to serve him well, as he has a very respectable 166 average. I thought I had worked it all out--after 2 beers, I seemed to reach a state wherein my mind
quieted and I could achieve the optimal oblique focus that I have decided is the best psychological approach. After 3, this focus disappeared, though I didn’t much care. Then I took the kids bowling during the week, and bowled two personal best games (167 and 186), WITH NO BEER AT ALL. Flo (who was there for the 167) suggested it was the combination of sugar and cheezy 80’s pop-music that may have provided the effect. More research is definitely needed.

The Edge was feeling off all night, having spent much of the day
buying a sectional sofa. He bowled respectably the first two games,
and had some phenomenal Angry Strikes, and some really good stories,
but lost it completely in the last game. Maybe it was the fact that
his high score from the previous week, a personal best of 147, had
gone un-blogged. Probably it was the whole sofa thing.

Our team has been missing a key member. Even GJ, aka “Robo-sub”,
wearing some truly phenomenal plaid pants, strolled over at one point
and asked, “Where’s the Mouth”? Happily, Varsity has been (quietly?)
keeping up his game in strange bowling alleys across the country, and
will join us again this week.

The stats:

***Flo was on the high score sheet from the week of 11/7!! She was 3rd
in the women’s “high series with handicap” section, beating out even
the league leader! Go Flo!***

The Hoff:  132, 130, 164
The Edge: 136, 137, 95
E: 77, 102, 95
Flo: 98, 112, 92

Rounds of beer: 3
Team accidents: 0


  1. An intriguing post, I must say. What I found most puzzle--and felt warranted a little more research--was the sofa. So, in the spirit of past students I've taught, I went on my 1-minute Google (insert ad here) search.

    Look at the treasure I found:

    Yes, there is a split-personality sofa: the Hyde sofa, inspired by Stevenson's novella. Now what we know is that The Edge ( bought a sofa. On the surface, a rather mundane and not terribly noteworthy event in one's life, aside from the fact that it has been noted in this blog. But do we really know WHAT kind of sofa The Edge bought? Is he harboring, or harbouring (as RL Stevenson would have put it), a secret? Perhaps a Hyde sofa sits in a basement lab, hooked to a still, pumping fluid into The Edge's veins prior to his werewolfian transformation into a bowling god...or monster ( It may be beer; it may be vodka, cream and coffee liqueur; it may be some concoction inspired by any number of Looney Tunes cartoons. Who knows?

    Yes, who knows. The Shadow knows. And "show[ing] its own complexity with the alternation of light and shadow," I think WE would know, too. But the sofa can't talk. Or maybe it can, but it remains that deep, dark, mysterious secret. What we do know are the Angry Strikes. And then The Edge completely losing it in the last game. (That's a good thing, right?) What more proof does one need?

    So Third Railers, in the words of Stephen King, RUN--don't walk--to your nearest furniture store and get the Split Personality Sofa! You may at first feel like you are at the crossroads making a pact with the Devil, but soon you will find yourself lighting up every alley in America. Your game will be creative, inspired, and 200+. And you, too, will be making little hops of joy and transferring mojo, like Erin. I mean, Erin MUST have a sofa too, right?

  2. Hoff-- you must start your blog again.

  3. or she could write this one ... every week! cuz you know you love it!