Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bowling for Lepers

Like every good red-blooded American male, I hold these autumn Sunday afternoons very sacred. After a hearty breakfast, I take my place upon the couch, remote tucked safely by my side, some water and a veggie tray, er, I mean a cold beer and some chips strategically positioned on the coffee table, and I fire up the television just in time for the introductions…. Wes Malott, Bill O’Neill, Mike Machuga, and David Traber. The crowd, at least 200 strong, cheers wildly.

Surely, you say, 200 is a typo. Those multi-million dollar pro football stadiums hold more than 200 people. True, I reply, but bowling alleys do not, and you must not have realized that those names I rattled off are from the PBA tour. You know, the PBA. Professional Bowlers Association?

ESPN realized that the only way to compete with the NFL coverage on Fox and CBS is to present the excitement of professional bowling, and I’m hooked (pun intended for all you bowlers out there). To kickoff the show (pun intended for all you football fans out there), the bowlers walk through the pro shop doorway, which has been retrofitted with some beads like Greg Brady put up when he turned Mike’s den into a groovy 60’s hippie pad. Then they break into that fake jog thing where they’re still walking but pumping their arms like they’re jogging, and fake jog through the billowing smoke from the buckets of dry ice placed along the counter of the snack shop while Iron Man by Black Sabbath blares through the family entertainment center.

Thus begins the Greater Omaha Classic, brought to you by PBA tour sponsor Denny’s. Home of the Rooty Tooty Fresh n’ Fruity. Or maybe that’s IHOP. I don’t know – I usually opt for the smoked turkey crepes at Café Brazil. Way tastier food, way more flavorful coffee and hip waitresses that all want to sleep with me. Literally. They’d sleep with anybody after having to wake up at 5 a.m. to sling crepes. But there ain’t no Café Brazil in Nebraska, so Denny’s it is.

I’ve been to Omaha once. I had to go kiss a customer’s ass at my last job because one of our salesguys was a moron. Of course, I’m sure the salesguy thought I was the moron, and the customer likely thought we were both morons and probably wished we would just leave so he could go bowling. Turns out that most of this paragraph is rather unnecessary since the tourney actually takes place in Council Bluffs and not Omaha, but I don’t have any stories about Council Bluffs. Feel free to share your own. They can't be worse than my Omaha story.

The first match featured Wes Malott versus Bill O’Neill. Malott looks like he might work at Ace Hardware, his sponsor. Nothing wrong with that, but the guys at the Ace Hardware by my house are always off their game. They’re in my face when I’m doing something simple like buying a garden hose, but nowhere to be found when I need them to quickly tell me why there’s sparks coming out of my toilet and how to extinguish smoldering ass hair. I’ve digressed, haven’t I? O’Neill was more enthusiastic during the intros and tossed some free hats to the crowd. Nothing fancy like Easter bonnets, but just baseball hats. I heard the hats read “Bowlers Have 16 Pound Balls”, but I can’t get confirmation on that yet. O’Neill wins the match.

The second match featured Mike Machuga versus David Traber. I wanted Machuga to win so he could use the prize money to get a cheeseburger since he was in danger of being outweighed by an Olsen twin. The anorexic one. Traber reminded me of an obsolete shop teacher that had to give up his space to a new computer lab. Mahuga wins.

Why the PBA on Sunday instead of the NFL action, you ask? It was kind of by mistake – I was watching the NFL pre-game show on ESPN and didn’t change the channel in time. I stayed tuned in because I’m a bitter old man. You see, I was a bowling geek when I was a kid and I even attended those TV matches when they rolled through town. Went bowling with the old man on Sunday mornings as soon as I got him over his hangover by presenting him with a double Smirnoff Bloody Mary without any of that leafy green shit in it. I even got to bowl with PBA Hall of Famer and fellow Chicagoan Carmen Salvino. And by the time I was 12 I was always in the battle for highest league average, but gave it all up for the glamour of a baseball and football career. As Donald Trump would not have failed to point out to me, it was a catastrophic error. Turns out I couldn’t hit a curveball to save Crystal Bernard’s life, and my dual superpowers of being both skinny and slow failed to impress the football scouts or the cheerleaders. Had I stuck with bowling I could have been touring the country in my very own vintage Airstream trailer, performing in front of scores of fans weekly, and earning $35k a year in prize money with a little luck. But today is Mike Machuga’s day to shine, and he handily defeats Bill O’Neill to take his first PBA tour victory and a $40k payday.

I lost my touch after retiring at age 12; my curve ball doesn’t curve anymore and I can’t squeeze into those size 8 bowling shoes. Moist Rub and I were founding members of the infamous Housewives from Encino bowling team in the 80’s, but our sole purpose was to see how much we could torment the serious bowlers in the league without getting kicked out. Now it seems like the only time I bowl is when my sister-in-law comes to town and gets tired of getting her ass kicked in Monopoly. But after Leper Pop t-shirt sales take off, I plan on installing that bowling alley in my house. None of that automated crap, either. Scorekeeping by hand and real live old-school pinsetters, modeled after the Southport Lanes in Chicago. Stop by the house for a game if you’re ever in town. I’ll keep my balls out for you.

37 comments:

Leper Hopeful said...

What a generous offer Sid. I hope Mrs. F'er won't mind. I'll bring my bowling trophy.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you had altruistic balls.

bclf said...

So you peaked at age 12? Too bad. Better not leave your balls out too long. They may crack in the cold air.

keysunset said...

Am I reading sexual innuendoes in this?

Or maybe it's just my imagination, running away with me.

Lame, I know. But this past week/weekend has been an emotional roller coaster. I'm too weary to come up with anything good. That's what Sid & Moist are for I suppose.

Jules said...

I feel your pain, Key. I'm not very inspired of late, either. It's a good thing Our Lepers are on top of things - we can just sit back and laugh at visions of Scrawny Sid the Bowling Wonderboy without having to exert any extra effort. I hope your week gets better. =(

keysunset said...

Leper Hopeful, bclf, and Jules, thanks for keeping me laughing. Y'know that saying about death and taxes. Well it ain't April 15 so guess what was being dealt with lately.

But, ah, our Scrawny Sid the Bowling Wonderboy grew up to be Sizzlin' Sid with the Beautiful Biker Legs. The Marty/Moist/Sid dream continues ...

So you just never know ...

Sid F'er said...

How 'bout that big win for Dick Weber Jr. this last weekend?

He would be the equivalent of Dale Jr. on the NASCAR circuit.

keysunset said...

I'm thinking I want to watch "The Big Lebowski" again.

The favorite line from that movie that gets mis-quoted around here: That (whatever) tied the whole ROOM together!

I think the screenings where everybody watches the movie and then goes bowling might be right up Leper alley ...

keysunset said...

Story about Dick Weber, Jr.

http://www.pba.com/news/features.asp?ID=4264

reminded me of Junior winning the Daytona 500 after the death of his dad. I saw that on tv and I was so happy for him.

Hey, do bowlers get fireworks after their games?

keysunset said...

ok, how did I screw up adding a link in my last post. :-(

I guess she can't be taught ...

Sid F'er said...

Dick Weber

keysunset said...

In a vain attempt to try to figure out where the photos from the MR/SF road trip to Hollywood were, I ran across Rock Star - Aug 21 Moist Rub. Thinking that the photos link might be in comments, I know y'all do stuff like that on occasion, I found the link to Alan. Of COURSE I had to listen ...

OMG, I have seen the light! I'm sorry Mr. Peaches, but I have now infected my computer with Leprosy.

I laughed, I cried, y'all moved me. And when I could get up off the floor, I had to let you know. Nine out of ten voices in my head told me so.

NOW, somebody else post here and at Leper House. It's beginning to look a lot like I own the place, and I'm going to start charging rent ... but then I might have to fix the toilet too ...

keysunset said...

Arnold

If this works, this is a side of me that you really don't want to mess with, and it's all Sid's fault for teaching me how to do this.

Cross your fingers, or just run away really fast.

keysunset said...

nope.

another day ....

keysunset said...

try try again, sorry fellow guinea pigs,

Arnold

keysunset said...

aaarrrrggggghhh

Jules said...

I believe in you Key! Third time's a charm!

keysunset said...

i think i can i think i can ...

Arnold

keysunset said...

:-D

Leper Hopeful said...

Woohoo! key does it! It was like watching the ball leave the QB's hands...will it be incomplete, will it be an interception, no - the pass is complete, first down!
Nice work.

And key says: "I'd like to thank the academy, and Jules for the support, and the Little Engine that could..."

keysunset said...

"... and all of you who suffered great agony during Sid F'er's teachable moment with me. I thank you all. And for your patience, I give you (I hope) ...

Key West Sunset

keysunset said...

btw, the key west sunset site has nothing to do with me, they just have some beautiful photos. Enjoy.

keysunset said...

O.K. friends, if I still understand how this works, you can have a sampling of Christmas Island to go with your sunset ...

Christmas Island

keysunset said...

hot cha!

Sid F'er said...

Damn, we need a new post here. Good thing we have a message board to keep things busy. I'll peruse my list and see if I can find anything entertaining to scrawl about tonight. Where's Cap'n Break-It when you need him? Probably off somewhere breaking shit.

213 said...

I believe that when I inquired about contributing you gave me the Flunky the Late Night clown treatment.

How do you like your Cap'n Break-It now?

-Cap'n Break-It Jr.

Sid F'er said...

213 - you're still here?
After your first rejection you went to the depressing room and sought drudgery while others stayed on board and remained members of our little LP community through the comments area and message board. Took a bowling post to get you all worked up again.
Why aren't you cleaning the soil in New Orleans? Those poor people need your help, Flunky.
Break-It, Jr.? I think not.

keysunset said...

Geez, Sid. Are you in a bad mood today?

OK, GROUP HUG!

no, Sid, don't run away, come back, come back, Sid.

213 said...

Sid,

I believe that I broke more in my mere 3 months in Leper House than you did in your 2 years. You even tried, but failed, to break the Snoopy mug.

Break Like the Wind

- David St. Hubbins.

Sid F'er said...

I'm not the one claiming to be Captain Break-It. However, I thought I broke the Snoopy mug. Now that was comedy.
My stein didn't break as it was tossed into the sky over 6th Street in retaliation only to bounce harmlessly to the curb...

213 said...

Mea culpa.

I stand corrected. It sucks being old.

However, I thought whichever one didn't break "stuck" the landing.

At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it at least until I have to issue another retraction to comments on historical posts that no one is reading anymore except those chosen few (it's been said that many are called but Frew(bud) are chosen) who can be prompted via e-mail when there is an addition to a comments page.

keysunset said...

every so often this stranger wanders through the land of the lepers, wondering at their mutterings and finding it humorous.

(I guess you have to have a blogger account to get the email notification?)

Sid F'er said...

213 is just a show off. I don't even know how to get email notifications. Rather than share this nugget of technology wizardry, he'd rather be smug about it. Bastard.

213 said...

I'm not showing off; I'm whining. I don't know how to do it either. But once when I commented, Mr. Rub responded via e-mail with history indicating that he had received e-mail notification of my comment. Thus, I ASS-u-me-d that you, Mr. F'er, being blogmaster of Gozer, had comparable amazing powers of observation.

Sid F'er said...

You can choose to receive email notification if you own the account. But only to one address and Moist Rub is our designated comment keeper.

I think you can set something up using RSS, but I have no clue. Do some research, 213, and let us know.

keysunset said...

Ho ho, so Moist is holding back on you Sid! Censoring the information he passes on! :-D

Well, ask him please as owner of this blog to add the feature to post the date by comments as well as time. Unless guessing when people wander through is part of the charm ....

213 said...

Apparently Moist and keysunset are the only ones notified of new comments to old posts, but I'm not going to let that stop me from making another one in an attempt to torment that Sid F'er.

Did the suggested research into RSS, and it looked promising until I found that blogspot does not make an RSS feed available.

I may just have to break down (go ahead and give it to me) and get a blogger account as keysunset suggests.