Monday, September 18, 2006

Mr MSG the Bowling Team


Mr MSG is the name of the bowling team that I play in. I liked the name ZOO, but over the weeks, Gary preferred the MSG reference. It is from the initials of the players in the team and not from monosodium glatamate. As a sidenote, some people are "allergic" to MSG. They get headaches. In the 90's, scientists figured out that glutamate was a neurosignal to the brain.

Yesterday was the Jubilee tournament. I never participated in any tournament before. Frankly, I was just not athletic. And the thrill of competition was something that I avoided. It was akin to the thrill of natural selection. My body would pour so much cortisol into me that I would be sad for a long time.

Jubilee was in Palo Alto. A long drive for a bowling tournament. When we got to Palo Alto, the SO pointed out all the 1950's architecture like the car wash. The bowling alley itself harkened back to the time of rock and roll's birth.

We enter the bowling alley and see people… lots of them. Oh my god. It's like Vegas. Or like a racetrack. This is insane!!! I don't do well in crowds. This put me off in my mood. There was no air conditioning. Bowling bags everywhere. It seemed nasty. The bowling floor had equipment from the 1960's. No changes at all even with the plastic seats.

We get there at 2:30 PM. The game is at 3 PM. We order pizza and drinks. I hope for the best. The SO asks if we could enter a side-contest. I'm thinking "is she nuts?" we're just beginners. BUT, bowling has developed a perfect handicap series. It allows beginners to compete with veterans.

Game 1 began. I threw the ball and felt it go into what seemed like a canal. Oh-oh. What kind of lanes are these? The approach is sandal. Thee front is maple and the middle is pine, according to a book I later read. The lanes are uneven, not like Albany Bowl. I did not realize that bowling alleys like these still existed. I thought that everyone had switched by now. The wooden lanes gives the place a nice character. I fish out a 129 from the first game.

Game 2. I resist the temptation to experiment. But I can not find a string of spares or strikes. But I manage to eke out a 140+ game. Mostly, I could hit some spares. I was bowling with a straight ball and going at it from an angle.

Game 3. I figure that the lanes have changed so much that I sort of need to find the curve. I switch to the 3 to 9 o'clock suitcase hold. The ball hits the 4-7-8 pins. The second ball does the exact same thing! It was good that no one was looking. By the sixth frame, the score was something like 88. In the seventh frame, I readjust the hold. I FOUND the curve! Got a strike for the eighth. In the ninth, I get another solid strike. The pins have more action. It allowed the other pins to knock down the 10th pin. In the tenth frame, the ball slips somewhat, but there is still so much action that I got a strike!!! A TURKEY!!! Gobble-Gobble!

I leave to celebrate. The sister-in-law calls me back to tell me that I have another one. I actually manage to close out the game with two more strikes. AMAZING. My first five bagger in a game. In a tournament!!!

Final score was 177 or something like that. Woohee!!!!

The SO had an out of this world game in Game 3 with a 195+ game. WOW. She got a turkey and fulfilled her desire to try and get bowling shoes. Awesome.

The bowling alley was so challenging that I found my curve ball!!! Praise be to God!!!!

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