Today we got the first unexpected crisis of the wedding, so while spaceroo called everyone in central California, Skyler took me and Roofus bowling. The first bowling place we couldn't find; after calling Spaceroo we determined it was recently torn down. I like to think they were putting up a drive-in movie theater, but it was actually condos.
Our second target worked better, bowling-wise, as the place still existed. Skyler bowls sometimes; Roofus bowled sometime this millennium; I last bowled, I believe, in 1982, so the music was the same as then. The lanes were fancier now, what with a backfield painting of bowling balls falling from the twilight sky, automatic scoring, and Amiga-style mid-90s animations for strikes, spares, and gutter balls. Scenes included a dragon incinerating the pins (for a strike), or chewing up the bowling ball (for a gutter ball); some were even bowling-related. Many featured this odd if cute bowling ball with mouth, arms, and legs. The animations were maybe more captivating than our actual bowling, which ranged from pitiful (I hit this several times) to pretty good. Skyler got four strikes in a row, and in the last game I got three strikes in a row when I stopped resting the fingers not in the holes on the ball, as they would send it spinning into inappropriate lanes.
In the first game Roofus scored 102, Skyler 143, me 73; in the second, Roofus 112, Skyler 173, me 76. So we ignored Skyler's claims that bowling is not the official sport of Wisconsin and he wasn't really any good. In the last game we had Roofus 113, Skyler 87, and me ... The curious thing is that in my final frame, the first two shots got me to 113. For the final shot, the automatic pin setter failed to put down the number 7 pin. We tried poking around the inadequately labelled keyboard, and guessed what button was the pin reset. The first time it lifted all the pins, swept the alley, and put them back, with the number 7 pin still missing. The second time it swept the whole alley and reset all ten pins. My last shot swung dangerously to the left, but just barely knocked over the number 7 pin, giving me 114.
In the push toy grappling hook vending machine we saw Popeye in a caveman-type fur skin; the Sea Hag; Little Lulu; and what I guess was Bat-Dog. Lest you think this was the vending machine of public domain cartoon tapes, they also had a plush Nestle Crunch bar.
In the padding of the bowling shoes was the notice: ``Warning: Shoe Contains Security Device.'' This made me long to see Maxwell Smart bowling, and also made me ponder shoes with Insecurity Devices. Along the way to the Post Office and to buy fajita materials we cooked up what I think could be a successful little pricing game for The Price Is Right.
Trivia: 113 charter members signed up to the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America in 1899. Source: Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950, Donald E Osterbrock.
Currently Reading: Shadows In the Sun, Chad Oliver.