Friday, October 03, 2008

Bowling Redemption

As some of you may recall from a couple months back, I was in a bowling league. Well, that league ended but a new season is now upon us. I've been travelling and up to stuff the last couple weeks, so yesterday evening was our team's fifth game, while only my second. And who should we be matched up against, but my ultimate nemesis from the last season, "Drago."

Last I met Drago, he absolutely dominated, as did his team, and we fell 1-14 to them. But this was a new season, we had combined "I'm With Stupid" with "Better at Skeeball" and now we were looking for redemption.

The combination of our teams pushed me out of the 1st spot, where Hilary bowls, down to the third spot, so I would not have to face the Russian machine directly. A quick look at the handicaps before the game and I notice that everyone on my team, except me, has a higher handicap than their opponent, so we've got early leads and just need to put forth our "A" game.

Most of the matchups are staying close for the entire first game, and Hilary is actually holding her own against a less than perfect Drago. He's not a machine...he's a man!!

We go into the tenth frame with the game in our grasp. Hilary pulls out a victory against Drago. Edwin edges his opponent. And then I'm up. I have a decent lead and it's gonna take a miracle for this guy to pull this one out...and then he does it. Strike. It's still OK, I just need a decent 10th and I'll pull this out. Uh oh. Strike #2. Now we're in trouble. I'm definitely gonna need a mark. What is with this team?!! They always find a way. But not this night. We have a stuffed rally monkey sitting on our table, and I've got about 5 beers in my belly. I walk up to the line and fire one down. It's a blood pins remain. STTEEERRRRIIIKKKKEEE! It's over. I've beat him. Now we are going for the sweep.

Carter needs a spare to stick with the guy he's against...and gets it. Now all he needs is at least 4 pins on the last ball and we will have skunked these mercenaries. He bowled a one. A one!! A one?? Yes, a one. And he drops his game by three pins. We're still up 4-1 after the first game and we always tend to do better after we get a little drunker.

And tonight would be no different. I rail off a spare in the first frame. Edwin drops a strike in the second, followed by a strike of my own. We have a rule when we bowl. If you bowl a turkey (three strikes in a row), you must do the running man. Yes, the dance know that's how we roll. If the team bowls a turkey, all four of us do the running man.

Carter has a chance to get us all dancing and break the spirits of Drago and the Russian contingent (none of them is likely a real Russian, but let's stick with the Rocky metaphor, eh?). He fails. Third frame...Eddo and I drop two more strikes. The politburo is getting anxious. Carter once again keeps us in our seats. If we wanna break these guys down, it looks like it is up to Edwin and I alone.

And so we do. Edwin does a spinning running man as the pins fall and you can feel their hearts breaking. As I stand up there, ball in hand, I know I can lay that final upper cut to KO these punks. Three steps, lean, toss, wait, crash, VICTORY. I turn around, give the nod, and throw my arms and legs forward and back like a 1980's hip-hop video. Their heads drop. The remaining six frames are more of the same. Edwin mimicks dialing a phone as he is "dialed in". I throw out the DeShaun Stevenson and Booker T "Can't see me" hand in front of your face, and we're gonna need four body bags.

When the carnage is over, the final score sits at 14-1. A fitting redemption given the score of my last match with these guys. How sweet it is.

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