The Honest Rules of Bowling
By Hallie Cantor
1. Make plans to go bowling with your friends because you haven't been bowling in FOREVER! 2. Walk into the bowling alley, see all the teens and depressing lighting, and get charged $50 for one round and a shoe rental. Remember why you haven't been bowling in forever. 3. Start plugging funny nicknames for all your friends into the computer. 4. Give up halfway through and start putting in your real names. Also immediately forget which funny nickname corresponds to which person. "Who was K-Dawg? 4 of us have K names." 5. Make fun of the incredibly cheesy animation that plays on the monitors when someone gets a strike. Why was that "Tarzan" bowling ball battling "Pin Pirates?" 6. Really really hope you get a strike. 7. Okay, it's your turn. Remember those random two pieces of advice you once heard about looking at the lines on the floor and throwing the ball as if you're shaking hands with it. This is the one. Your first perfect game. 8. Gutter ball. Huh. Well, it's okay, you were just warming up. 9. Forget which beer was yours when you're done with your turn. 10. Screw it. Just drink any beer. 11. Uncomfortably mill around while waiting for your next turn since there are only three tiny plastic seats and they all have people's bags on them. 12. Continue bowling horribly. 12. Get jealous of the girl who's like "OMG, I'm sooo bad at bowling" and does between-the-legs granny rolls and somehow is doing better than you. 13. Let your friend give you some counter-intuitive tip, like using a heavier ball or aiming slightly to the right of the center pin. 14. Instant gutter ball. Fuck that advice! Fuck that friend! Remember to delete his/her contact after this. Fucking liar. 15. Get strangely furious at the person who's in the bathroom when it's their turn. 16. Eat some of the gross-looking food that someone ordered and instantly regret it. 17. Make a Big Lebowski joke. 18. Decide to just completely give up because you're never going to be good at this. 19. Instantly bowl a strike. 20. Bowling is awesome! You're awesome! 21. Spend your next five turns trying to unsuccessfully recreate that exact arm motion. 22. Ugh. Maybe if you just try to stop caring, you'll magically become really good? 23. Nope. 24. Get angry at yourself for doing so poorly when everyone else is getting strikes all over the place, incredulous at how you seem to be actually getting worse the longer you play, and just generally annoyed at the entire sport of bowling, if you could even call this trumped-up "fun" pastime a sport. Say to yourself, "I know I've said this before but I really hate bowling and have no interest in doing it again." 25. In 3-6 months, return to Step 1.