The pathetic reason I mention these early accomplishments is because last night was my first activity of a sporting nature. My first foray into athletic endeavors, not just riding a stationary bike. It was [trumpet fanfare] my first outing since the purchase of two brand spanking new hips seven months ago.
Some people might have had second thoughts about attempting to bowl. But now that I can walk like everybody else as well as tie my shoes without the assistance of mechanical devices, I was thinking, how hard could bowling be? Anyone who's played a sport tends to rely on that old adage, the one that goes something like, "You never forget how to ride a bike."
I'm here to tell you, not so much with bowling.
It was like I'd never spent hours after school and Saturday afternoons trying to break 200, then 225. Like I'd never borrowed money from my friends for one more game. Or quit Girl Scouts because I loved bowling more.
Frankly, it was like I'd never been bowling in my life. The ball felt so heavy, the shoes seemed so slippery, and for some reason I kept finishing my delivery about a yard from the foul line. My hips felt great. But holy crap, did my knees creak. And my back felt like a rusty screen door sounds. I also noticed that, uh-oh, there was some painful arthritis in my thumb. Having a bad thumb meant when I released the ball, it left my hand and went directly into the gutter. Not once, not twice, but five frames in a row. Let's see, two tries per frame, that's TEN TIMES. Anybody got some Advil?
Somehow I managed a 45. At least I beat the President the first time he ventured onto the lanes since the 70's. I think he had a 37.
Back in the day, the balls were black, some kid made money setting up the pins, and you had to keep score with a pencil on a sheet of paper. These days everything's electronic. Your score is up on giant plasma screens in front of God and everyone. Unless they're distracted by the giant TV screen tuned to another sporting event -- like the playoff game last night. Sensors even record the speed of the ball you threw. [My best was 7.7 mph]. To make matters worse, somebody has spent money to create animated characters that make fun of you when you blow a spare or throw a gutter ball. Yep. I had a chance to see plenty of those.
The second game I managed a strike and a few spares, along with the gutter balls, but I still couldn't break 100 and had to settle for a ninety-five. I also noticed that I was sweating. There's no sweating in bowling!!! Luckily there was plenty of pizza so I could drown my sorrows in pepperoni, sausage, and extra cheese.
Did I mention that the reason for this bowling party was to celebrate my girlfriend's mother's 89th birthday. [SEE BIRTHDAY GIRL BELOW]. She has had two new knee replacements and kept offering me suggestions for improving my game.
I think I'm going to spend today in bed.
89 is the new 40.