On the lanes: A fickle game | AspenTimes.com

On the lanes: A fickle game

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

EL JEBEL – I’ve never been more inconsistent in anything in my life (dating, dieting – you name it) than I am at bowling.

A night at the alley would confound the savviest of oddsmakers. About the only thing my bowling buddies and I can count on is a ready pitcher of beer with which to toast fleeting success or drown the memory of yet another botched spare.

Sunday night at El Jebowl was no exception. One among us, who usually struggles to break 100, bowled out of her head and ended the first game with a 145 – possibly a personal best and certainly enough to best the rest of the field. I, on the other hand, bowled a 96 or something and slunk away to seek inspiration from the display case that houses the shoes and ball that Princess Di used when she hit the lanes at El Jebowl during what I presume was her only royal visit to El Jebel.

I was not, however, the low scorer. That distinction belonged to the guy who finished with a 75.

In the second game, the hero of Game 1 couldn’t break 100, and my relatively respectable 136 wasn’t nearly enough to compete with the 165 rolled by not one but two of my companions (including the individual who rolled a 75 in the first game). I think four of us in Game 2 rolled turkeys (three consecutive strikes), for which there is literally no explanation, as none of us are capable of rolling the same ball down the same alley the same way twice, let alone three times.

Before the night was over, one bowler blamed her performance on a groin pull (she later said it was whiplash), but she was really just trying to protect her manicure. Another offered the observation that anyone whose ball speed doesn’t hit at least 19 mph doesn’t have hair on their ass, which I took to mean the men were coming up short if they didn’t hit that mark. However, only one person in our group, a woman, came anywhere close, averaging about 18 mph. She was one of the high rollers in Game 2.

Just to mix it up next time, I’ve suggested we mimic other bowlers we’ve observed who don’t use the finger holes in their bowling balls. Instead, they sort of cradle the orb in their hand and forearm, take a couple of fast steps and fling it down the lane.

I think it’s a chance for someone to hit a new high while our collective efforts hit a new low.