We paid the very reasonable lane rental fee and sat down to replace our street shoes with what we all agreed were the coolest shoes in the Universe. We also all agreed that we'd secretly like to steal our bowling shoes, only we restrained ourselves. We thought it might look fishy if six pair went missing all at once. As the kids and I compared newly hippified feet, JoyBoy furtively went to register our names with the teenaged boy at the front counter. To our great, noisy mirth, we looked up at the screen to see that the kids were dubbed Manstink, Tugboat, Bologna and Bill for all the bowling world to see. JoyBoy, interestingly enough, had his regular old name and I was shackled with my childhood moniker of Jench. As in Jench the Wench for those of you not in the know. The uncomprehending teenaged boy at first spelt Manstink as Mansink, so JoyBoy had to yell out a correction from across the alley to Anabel's combined horror and delight.
I went first and confidently shot a strike. Wait a minute. Does one 'shoot' in bowling? I think what I meant to say is that I bowled a strike. Anyway, exultation rocketed straight to my head, rendering me stunningly overconfident and my game devolved from there. There were no more strikes for me for the rest of the hour.
The hero of the hour was Bill, or Oliver as you'll know him. He was, to our surprise and great hilarity, an excellent bowler. We laughed and laughed as the seven-year-old trounced us all, over and over again. Each time he'd throw/shoot/wing another excellent shot, he'd dance around in merry triumph, tiny arms pumping high above his bespectacled head. His little chicken legs clad in his little skinny jeans gyrating about in lordly joy made our time worth every penny just in and of itself. O my goodness did we laugh at Bill and his bowling triumphs.
The other kids were pretty good too, which I'm quite sure makes us a family of geeks. Of course, it helps tremendously that we insist upon having the bumpers down, thus eliminating any gutter balls that would most certainly plague us otherwise. We also have no real problem with lofting.
The JoyBoy was a highly inelegant Second Placer. With not an iota of humility, he'd dance around in a superiority-induced frenzy, yelling out things like sucka! you pack of suckas! as he swung his hips about in a very in-your-face fashion. Have I ever mentioned that JoyBoy has taught me a lot about parenting? Part way through our terrifically loud game, another family rented the lane right next to us. In their ranks were three little children, all under the age of what looked to be 8. These little children appeared to never have seen anything like us. They stared and they stared. They didn't smile back at us when we attempted same because, I think, they were frightened. For fear of alarming them further, we tried to tone it down a bit. I mean, we didn't want to look like freaks or anything. Goodness knows we wouldn't want to malign our true nature. Our hour came to a close shortly thereafter. We're going again next week.