Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Perfect Strike

I grab my ball and head out the door, remembering to lock it up. Make my way down to the car. Jack pops the trunk as I get near and I toss the bag in the back. As I get to the passenger side of the car, Jack opens the door from the inside.

“Well thanks Jack for being such a gentleman. I bet even your lady friends don't get that kind of service.”

“Actually, they do.”


“Well, door broke two days ago and now no one can enter the car from the outside.”

As we start to drive away, I turn to Jack and say, “Isn't it time to get a new car?”

“Pete, do I look like I am made of money?”

“Driving this car, no.”

“You see that is the plan. Drive this piece of crap until it dies and then buy another. That way no one will car jack me or rob me or ask me for money.”

“What about impressing you dates?”

“It is only what's under the hood that counts.”

“Huh, that's usually not the case.”

“We could take your car. Oh no wait, it's in the shop.”

“So I take it we aren't planning on impressing any of the ladies?”

“Dude, we are going to a bowling alley. Either we won't find any chicks, or they won't care about what a piece of crap car I have.”

“You said that you have the new Blumpkins CD, let's listen to that... Geez, someone stole your radio.”

“Yeah. Only thing of value in the pile of steel.”

“Well evidently they didn't break in through this door.”

“Very funny, butt munch.”

“So how was your date last night?”

“It was ok. I don't know if I am her type.”

“Hey isn't that backwards.”

“Well kinda, but I think she is looking for a more image conscious person.”

“Then how did you hook up in the first place, Jack? I mean, the torn jeans and faded hoodie that you wear usually attacts those high-powered business women.”

“Well I met her at my brothers wedding and she just happened to be in town this weekend. So she only saw me in the suit.”

I burst out in laughter, “Oh that is rich. So is she hot?”

“Well, yeah, I went out with her.”

“Uh huh. How about smart? Funny?”

“She had an ok sense of humor. I think. She laughed when I picked her up.”

“Did she keep on laughing?”

“No. When she realized this is my normal car and this is my normal garb, the laughter stopped.”

“So, would you change to keep her?”

“Me change? Heck no, Pete.”

“Finally here.”

Jack pulls into the nearest parking space. We both grab our bowling balls and head into the alley. As we head in, I notice the exceptionally hot little lady behind the desk.

“Pete, stop staring the girl behind the counter!”

Oh man, Jack can be such a jerk. I quickly turn away. I just know that my face is like the side of a fire truck. Jack grabs my shoulder and pushes me up to the counter.

“You go ahead Pete and get us a lane.”

“Gee thanks. Um, can we get a lane?

The girl behind the counter smiles and asks, “Do you need shoes?”

Jack turns to her and says, “Nah Pete doesn't need shoes. He had to order his special since he has such big feet.”

Now it was the both the girl at the counter and my turn to get red in the face. I look down at my feet and say, “No thank you, we are good.”

I look up to see her smiling. She says, “You are on lane 7. If you need anything, just ring up.” And she slides the score sheet over to us. Wow an old-fashioned manual scoring place still exists.

I grab the sheet and accidentally touch her hand. We both smile at each other. I feel so much like I am still in high school. Alright Pete. It is time to break out of this crap and be the full fledged adult that you are. Or at least I should continue to call myself that. So I hand the sheet to Jack.

“Hey Jack can you go down to the alley and get setup. I'll get us something to drink.”

“Sure, as long as you're paying.” Pete says as he walks away.

So I turn to the girl behind the counter and say, “Hi, my name is Pete.” Geez what horrible start, what am I going to do. I know that I am going to screw this up. She is going to blow me off and laugh with all her friends about this.

“My name is Angie.”

“Well Angie, can I get a pitcher of beer and your phone number?”

“Uh sure. Come on over to the bar.”

So as we walk to the bar, I am shaking slightly. I can't believe that used a pick up line. I don't even care if she shuts me down right now. Maybe I am not so much of a wuss after all.

We near the bar and she slides around to the other side and grabs an empty pitcher.

“What do you want?”

“Uh, do you have Killians?”


Angie walks over to pour the beer. I know I blew it. I wish I knew what was going on in her head. Did I say everything right? Or should I have been smoother? Why do I even try? Even if we did hook up, she would think I am such a dork.

She comes back over and sets the pitcher down with two glasses. She looks up and says, “I am finished working at 8:30 tonight, if you want to go out.”

“That would be great, but my car is in the shop this weekend.”

“That's alright. I can drive. I don't mind.”

“You want to do the old-fashioned dinner and a movie thing? My treat.”

“That sounds like fun, but I get to pick the movie.”


I look down at my watch. 6:20 PM. Perfect again. This is working out too well.

“Well Angie, I will be here when you are done.”


So I pay up for the beer, leaving a nice healthy tip. I know that I am already going to be dishing out for this lady, I might as well get a head start. I grab the pitcher and glasses and head down to the lane. I set the glasses and the pitcher down on the table nearest our lane.

Jack turns to me and says, “Took you long enough. While you are up there, why don't you pour us some beer.”

So I start pouring the beer out making sure his had a little extra foam head on the top. Making me pour when I haven't even had a chance to get my shoes on. I finish pouring, pop off my shoes and head down to the alley with my bowling shoes in tow.

“So did you get her number?”


“Really, with as hard as you were trying, I would expect that. No girl likes a stalker.”

“Well, I don't need a ride home tonight, I have a date with her.”

“No way dude. That is so cool.”

“So we can drop it and just bowl.”

“Ok. But I figured you would be happy and want to talk about it.”

“I am happy. But I don't want to get nervous. Well, more nervous than I already am.”

“Ok. Ok. Well, I put you up first so roll down those pins big boy.”

I walk up to the alley and grab my ball. I turn towards Jack, “You know, I shouldn't ever tell you anything.”

“What do you mean?” says Jack, feigning innocence.

I start my approach, swinging the ball back and gliding out toward the lane. There is a slight pop and the ball releases from my thumb and glides effortlessly out over the boards. It lands and the ball starts spinning counter clockwise and bounces across my mark. It keeps sliding down the lane and gets within a couple of boards of the gutter before it starts to hook back as it dives toward the pocket. As the ball connects with the pins, there is a loud crash and pins explode across the alley. A strike.

I turn around to walk off the lane shaking my head.

Jack says to me, “What are you shaking your head about? Afraid you are running out your luck?”

“Nah, it's just been about 4 months since I last bowled and that ball looked damn good.”

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