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Monday, April 06, 2009

As any kingpin will tell you, there are basically three elements to the perfect bowling technique...

        The Backswing                         The Hold                             The Release

Ideally the ball should rarely go as high as your head, you should try to avoid standing like a hunchback with sciatica, and above all, don't look like you're wearing clown shoes.

But if you can put it all together successfully, you'll end up with this...

Note the swish of the left hand five seconds after releasing the ball, an optimistic technique designed to persuade the ball to veer back on course after a dodgy delivery. Opinion is divided as to whether it works. Lisa says it does, the rest of the world disagrees.

Anyhoo, as the documentary evidence above shows, Lisa and I went bowling yesterday afternoon with our pals, S & A. And I can prove they're our pals...

Bowling with Pals
The scoreboard says so. Although if I'd entered our initials the other way around, it would have said SLAP.

I've been bowling a few times before (including the time I bowled Lisa over), and Lisa likes eating Skittles, so together we made a pretty formidable team. Especially when you factor in the cheerleading efforts of Amelie. I was going to make her a 'Go Daddy!' banner to hold, but I knew she'd only eat it, and I didn't want the sound of her choking to put me off my stride.

As for our opponents, they were an international outfit comprising a Canadian with bowling in his blood, and a Slovakian starved of skittles by the iron fist of communism. To be honest, they both claimed to know nothing about bowling, a fact which may have influenced Lisa slightly when she offered to bet me a pound that she wouldn't come last. I'm still deciding how to spend my winnings.

Anyway, if there's one thing I learnt from Saturday's Grand National, it's not to underestimate an outsider. You might think that someone who's never picked up a bowling ball in his life, and had no idea you have to wear special shoes, could never beat a couple of seasoned pros (and Lisa) in his first ever game. Needless to say, you'd be wrong.

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of that. But feast your eyes instead on the scores above, which came from our second game, a mighty contest in which I powered to (joint) victory, crushing my opponents like a bowling behemoth, with a near-faultless display of pin-pushing. How I only scored 91 out of 300, I'll never know. I think it's some kind of computer error.

So with the sweet smell of victory (and the odour of hired shoes) filling my nostrils, I took Lisa to McDonalds to toast my success with a Creme Egg McFlurry. Whereupon I peeled off the Monopoly sticker from the side of my cup, and promptly won a free apple pie. I thought I must be leading a charmed life. Until I burnt my mouth on the filling, and had to stagger home in pain.