Ten Pin Bowling – Oshawa, ON

In celebration of Family Day, it was time for an impromptu family outing. It started out as a regular Friday evening in Whitby: my dad’s usual chatter in the Millage kitchen, food on the counter, and all of us looking for an excuse to not have to put away the leftovers. Next thing I knew I was feeling good and wearing a pair of red and white leather shoes on a hardwood floor.

Like many a Canuck I’ve bowled on a roughly annual basis since I was a child. It only recently struck me that I had no idea how the scoring really worked in ten-pin bowling. Sure, I knew the basics – a pin is a point, and more points were good – but what about strikes and spares? How did those slashes and “x’s” add up? Perhaps more importantly, what sport has employed automated electronic scoring almost exclusively since the 80’s!? This gets bumped up to the top of the alien technology conspiracy theories just ahead of Velcro.

Paul’s mom, Lynn, joined me, my folks, and Paul, which was lucky for us because:

a)      She defeated her son – a very cool thing for a mother to do (Nice try Sherry!)

b)      She knew all the rules.

Lynn explained to me that when you get a strike, then your next two shots (the ones you take in the next round) count twice, both for the round they were thrown in and the previous round in which you earned the strike. It’s the same for a spare, but with just one throw. I apologize for the formal rule explanation, but that’s the most enlightening piece of sports related information I’ve picked up since I discovered the secret “H” in the Hartford Whaler’s symbol.

I know Homer Simpson popularized bowling with his combination of Everyman Style and his perfect game, but I had no idea the effect it had on the game’s reception here in Durham. I had heard of “Rock’n’bowl” being a hit around some local alleys, but we attended Leisure Lanes on a regular Friday night, and it was packed. Not only was it packed, but it was packed with the widest variety of people I’ve seen under one roof on a Friday night in Durham in a long time. People too young for the bars, people too old for the bars, and people sick of having Jameson Whiskey forced upon them by strangers at the bars – everyone was there!

It wasn’t long before our pins were dancing, we were dancing, and the people around us were staring. But eventually they started dancing too – there’s no hiding from the contagiousness of my father’s bowling alley hip shakes.

I’ll be bowling again soon, I welcome you to join.

In other Gymineer related news

I’ve recently suffered both an eye injury (which has turned out fine), and a knee injury (which I believe will also return to its normal size one day), both from hockey. This is relevant for two reasons:

1)      I was hoping to hit the slopes soon, but now may be delayed a week or two getting up the hill. The official Gymineer stance on this is that unless you’re being paid or have a tremendous amount of pride on the line, athletic longevity should take precedent over risky athletic performances while injured.

2)      The knee injury was troubled to a further degree by a hockey tournament this weekend, which was by far the most competitive hockey I’ve played in years. I’d like to thank the good people at Sunrise Medical for sponsoring our team and putting it all together. It was action packed and incredible. I’d also like to thank my dear mother for her efforts at filming the weekend festivities. What that means to you as a viewer is that the plethora of highlights which were caught on video are actually just shots of the arena ceiling with the voice of an excited mom apologizing in the background. I’ve got James Cameron looking at the footage to see what we can do.