I am nothing if not consistent. At least when it comes to bowling.
Lauren’s Community Marching Band (as distinct from the Local Businessman High School marching band that she also plays in) had one of its fundraiser events tonight. Like all nonprofit organizations the CMB is nonprofit in every conceivable sense, which means that it is a constant race between raising money and going bankrupt. I remember this cycle well from when I used to run the museum, so I am generally pretty sympathetic to fundraisers.
Tonight was the Bowl-a-Thon. For a slightly greater than nominal amount of money (it was a fundraiser, after all) you could reserve a lane at one of our local bowling emporia and spend a quality evening taking out your aggressions on ten stoic pins by heaving a ball at them. Win all around, I say.
I’ve always enjoyed bowling. I realize that this is pretty definitive proof that I am Not Cool, but then I have never been cool – not even when I was young and cared – so I’m okay with that. I do things that I enjoy, and I let others worry about cool.
My dad would take my brother and me bowling when we were kids. He was a pretty straight-line bowler. It was something of a realization for me that you could get bowling balls to curve, once someone taught me how. I still remember the first time I actually beat my dad bowling – he did not go easy on us, since that would take all the fun out of winning, but he wasn’t exactly PBA material so we always had at least a chance to win. It’s a nice balance that way, one that I tried to replicate with my own kids. You’ll have to ask them if I succeeded.
In high school I was captain of the bowling team for two of the four years I was on the team. And let me tell you a more powerful “chick magnet” you will never find! I tell you that, except that it wasn’t true. We just liked to pretend that it was, as we were as big a collection of nerds as you would expect of the bowling team, and proud of it. The one woman on the team would just roll her eyes at us when we said that, which was our signal to sit down and be quiet since she could have easily pounded the lot us into a pile of mush oozing out of our rented shoes, and that’s just not how you want to be remembered.
I had the lowest average of any captain in the Central League: 157.
I did roll a few games over 200, though, and once I got as high as 232, but there’s a reason why those games stick out as much as they do. They weren’t common. Mostly I remember having fun no matter what the score was, which is all you can ask of an activity, I think.
I also learned that authority figures generally have No Sense Of Humor and will, for example, put on their deepest and darkest Frowning Faces if you try to keep score at a bowling match in Roman numerals. Even if the other captain agrees to it! It is a lesson that has stuck with me even to this day, though what practical use it has been I could not rightly say.
We got there tonight and it was a madhouse – crowded, loud, and full of people having fun and spending money, which is generally what you hope to see in a fundraising event. Kim, Tabitha, Fran, and I were on Lane 1 (Lauren disappeared into the crowd with her friends the instant we got there) and we got in a pretty decent three games. Everyone broke 100 at least once.
My average for the night? 158.
We also came home with Valuable Prizes, as they were pretty much constantly drawing winners from the bucket for door prizes, raffle prizes, silent auction items, and 50/50 raffles. So win! It’s nice to see that the community supports the CMB enough to donate such prizes.
One thing that has changed since my high school bowling career, though? Back in the day, there was no need for ibuprofen afterward.