The Complete Teenage Guide To Bowling With Friends

the bowling pin that won't fall downBefore I start, I want to clear something up about my misleading title: you should not go bowling with friends.  Ever.  Rolling your friends down the slickly-oiled lane and then, amazingly, still not getting that one pin that won’t fall down results in bad things, such as fewer friends and black eyes.  Instead, I recommend you go bowling with bowling balls.

However, this doesn’t mean you and some friends can’t go bowling.  In fact, if you are in the mood for a contact sport that’s fun, athletic, slightly dangerous, physical, and macho, I recommend that you play some football.  Then you can use whoever’s head pops off during your football game to go bowling (so, yes, I guess you could go bowling “with” friends)(this would probably be something like, “C’mon, Billy, stick your tongue out and knock down that four pin!”).

Honestly, bowling can be a terrific sport, as it combines all the elements of the perfect sport: winning, score, winning, a ball, winning, injuries, and winning with dramatic injuries.  I know that I personally have won many bowling games despite the fact that I, according to both WebMD and myself, broke both my wrists and my jaw at the beginning (in an injury attributed to “Getting the Bumpers to Go Up/Down/MOVE ALREADY!”).

There are a few things that you should know, though, when it comes to bowling with friends as a teen, so, of course, being an expert bowler who has yet to roll a gutter ball* I figured I could compile a few of them here.

*with the bumpers up-although I’ve known some people to bowl fast enough that the ball jumps the bumpers.  I’ve rolled many gutter balls with the bumpers down, but only wusses play with bumpers down.

The first thing you should know is that the bowling shoes are sized according to the Nordic shoe scale, where sizes were seven times lager than normal so you could smuggle a battle-axe past the raiding-boat security official in your shoe so you could raid small villages.  With that in mind, adjust accordingly.

The second thing-and this is hands down the most important thing you can do to ruin/enjoy your bowling experience-you will need to do is choose a theme.  Oh, man, because if you choose the wrong one your friends will all jump and yell at you and you’ll try to hit some of the randomly functioning buttons on the bowling-computer console, and the only thing those buttons will do, when hit frantically, is transmit your personal information to Somali forgers.

So, some advice for choosing a theme:

  • Don’t choose a theme with pink (for boys)
  • Don’t choose “No theme”
  • Don’t choose “80s theme”
  • Don’t choose with your eyes open

If you take that advice, than your theme will be perfect, unless of course it isn’t.

Now all you need to do is pick a bowling ball.  The average bowling ball weights, in pounds, are: 6, 8, “Who Do We Appreciate?!”, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 523, and unmarked.  If you are willing to take a gamble, go with unmarked, definitely.

Also, I know (from personal experience) that you, as a teen, will gravitate toward a ‘6’ to see if you can bowl fast enough to break the sound barrier (because bowling alleys aren’t loud enough for teens-have you heard how loud we play our music?). However, bowling alleys have wised up to this, and make the ‘6’ finger holes too small for you to fit your fingers into (unless you bowl using your right pinkie finger, left pinkie finger, and right pinkie toe).

As a side note (still from personal experience), you won’t break the sound barrier, although you will break just about everything else, including the employee(s) of the bowling alley.

All right! You’re finally set to bowl!  Before the first person goes, cherish the moment/turn, as this is the last turn anyone will bowl with an unbroken machine.

Yep, that’s right.  After the first turn, regardless of the score, your bowling machine will now break.

You will notice this because the score machine will give you all perfect 300’s, the little metal barrier won’t come back up, and the machine will slowly vomit pins, dropping from the top, until at least 90 pins have formed a pile on your lane (I’ve no idea how this works, because no lane has 90 pins.  I suppose the bowling machines are working together and gaining intelligence. [Prime scary theme music]  Look for “Attack of the Bowling Machines”, upcoming, in theaters near you.  Rated PG-13).

When this happens, you have two options.  You can hit the reset button, or wait a bit.  If you wait a bit, the machine will get out of the way, and you can enjoy bowling against 90 pins (thereby getting more than your money’s worth).

Regardless of what you choose, it will be impossible for you to avoid a bowling employee eventually coming down, walking up the lane, and disappearing in the back.  They won’t actually fix the machine, because, if you ask (from personal experience), the employee will reply, “I dunno, dude…I’ve never…never seen it do this before…Weird…Never seen this before, no idea how to fix it…Well, yea…I wish this idiot writer would stop trailing off all my sentences, making me seem like I was clueless…”

Then, the second time your machine breaks (on the second turn, usually), a second employee will try to fix it.  They will disappear behind the back longer, for a long time, and then even longer, and then just when you expect their mangled dead body to be pressed down onto the end of the lane in the shape of 10 pins (I’m getting lots of ideas for “Attack of the Bowling Machines”) like some bad reality crime/horror show, they’ll reappear and tell you the same thing (“I dunno…never…STOP TRAILING OFF MY SENTENCES, STUPID, RIGHT NOW…”).

Basically, that sums up your bowling expe-OH! WAIT!

I almost forgot to talk about the graphics (remember, your theme that was so important).  In between every role, you will see themed graphics on the computer monitor telling you what number of pins you knocked down, using non-related objects such as bi-planes, swords, fire, and a bike pump (I’m not kidding).  The graphics will be fun to watch until the second frame, where they will be re-used and become old.

Also on your TV screen (heck, might as well make this an even longer post) will be the bowling instructor from planet Zorkex.  I’m going to assume that everyone on planet Zorkex has perfect physical control, as the TV screen animated bowling instructor will only tell you where you need to hit the pins to knock them all down.  The sub context is clearly that you can easily hit wherever the computer tells you, being a perfect bowler, but that you are too stupid to know where to hit the pins in the first place.  Duh.

Now I can say, “Basically, that sums up your bowling expe-,” as this post is finally completed.  So, what are you waiting for? Grab some friends, grab some ESPN cameramen, and go bowling!

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