I took The Divine Miss T bowling yesterday, and . . .
Okay, I’ll just stand here while you run through your Big Lebowski jokes. I’m a patient man. Dum dee um dum. Voe doe dee oh doe. I am an antichrist, I am an anarchist . . .
All done? We can go on now? Great.
It’s been years since I went bowling, and I discovered that I need to start stretching in the morning. The old flow-through technique was hard to get into. Though I like the monitors that automatically keep score, I could really do without the distracting music videos on the alternate screens. Meanwhile, The Divine Miss T — soon to be a second-grader — stood by the foul line with her legs planted wide, bent and swung the ball as hard as she could make it go. The ball would then take a leisurely roll up the alley, caroming off the bumpers at least once, before nudging its way into the pins.
Midway through the first game, I was lining up a throw when this big bald doofus sidestepped couple of feet in front of me. He had activated the two lanes to our immediate left and was using his right leg like a broom, swishing side to side along the foul line. If I’d completed my throw, I could have fractured his ankle with the bowling ball.
“Excuse me,” I said.
“Excuse me,” he snapped. “I gotta get the dirt off the foul line.”
There was a subtle undercurrent of weirdness in his tone, so I immediately went into observational mode. While Miss T did her thing, I watched the guy sidelong as he alternated bowling on the two lanes he’d reserved. Every time he switched lanes he would perform a little ritual with a towel, flapping it over the hand dryer as he stepped around to the other side. Each time he prepared to make a throw, he would perform an odd little tippy-toe dance before stepping off.
I might have thought he was a league bowler staying in practice, but he wasn’t bowling that much better than I was. I scored 118 and 119, and when we left he was finishing up a little over 120 in each of his lanes. He was a museum-quality specimen of obsessive-compulsive disorder at work, and it was something to see.
As we saddled up and headed to the front desk to return our bowling shoes, I was tempted to call out “Hey, you missed a spot!” If I’d done it, the guy would probably still be doing his chim-chiminny chim-chim-cheree foot sweep at closing time.
But I didn’t do it. Instead, we headed to the arcade for a couple of rounds of knock-hockey.