austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Just got home from Illinois

In other local gettogethers, Saturday had a meeting of the area furries for a bowling night. These have been casually organized things, yes, and modestly attended --- one time even the organizer failed to make it to the meeting --- but this time had some signs of superior organization. For example, they had two lanes reserved ahead of time, prepaid for an hour of bowling when we were ready to begin. Good so far. Chaotic, however, was that there wasn't any kind of accurate head count done before things started, and every furry in mid-Michigan showed up, so there was astounding wrangling about who wanted to bowl and who wanted to just hang out. (Also, for some reason, everybody in mid-Michigan was bowling at all, so the only balls to be found without scrounging were eight- and fourteen-pounders.)

Also somehow the lane bunny_hugger and I got into had the bumpers up. I believe these were intended for one of the people bowling in costume, since wearing a fursuit really drains your flexibility and line of sight and everything else you'd need, but, this was just stuck up for everyone and my appeal to the desk to fix that got nothing but an unfulfilled promise to send somebody over. Everyone else took it for what it was (and one guy managed to gutter his ball --- twice --- even though the bumpers were up, a feat that's really pretty impressive), but bunny_hugger was offended that we couldn't get a proper score. We couldn't anyway, because of the usual problem: too many of the bowlers were there to hang out and only incidentally bowl, and that ate up time with people being yelled at to come down and throw their ball already. These things have to be divided between people who care about the bowling (like me and bunny_hugger) and people who use the bowling as a convenient setting for their activities.

Afterwards everybody drove to Steak n Shake, where we learned that another mob of like forty people had just popped in so the staff was warning that nobody was getting food for like an hour. An enormous pile of boring negotiations in the cold followed, and we heard talk of someone taking a test drive over to a Buffalo Wings place, or something, to see if they could handle our mob. At this point bunny_hugger and I decided we'd had enough, and we went home and made sandwiches instead.

I did, along the way, meet --- and have my tail grabbed by --- a guy who fell into the guess-my-species game based on the tail and badge. When he finally gave up and I told him coati, he asked, ``coatimundi'', saying the first part like the article of clothing. That's the normal mistake for people who haven't heard the name so I reiterated ``coati'', three syllables, the middle like ``wah'', and he said ``coatimundi'' the same way again and explained that he loved them and was getting a character of one, by which I think he meant a fursuit. I'd wanted to talk to him more about coatis and where to get information on them, but we couldn't find one another after that, and all I was left with was the sense of having been part of the world's tiniest, least important bit of cultural appropriation and/or gentrification.

So, it ended up a fiasco. I trust if the organizer had any idea there'd be at least 25 people there and maybe 16 interested in bowling he'd have got four lanes, which would have done much to alleviate every problem. And maybe scheduled for two hours of bowling rather than just the one. And figured a plausible place to eat. (My suggestion would be get pizza at the bowling alley so people can eat in-between frames.) We'll see if we're recovered from it all when the next bowling meet comes around.

Trivia: A 1935 Bela Lugosi film about the murder of a professor without trace was titled Murder By Television. Source: Wondrous Contrivances: Technology at the Threshold, Merritt Ierley.

Currently Reading: The World of Swope: A Biography of Herbert Bayard Swope, E J Kahn Jr.


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