It could be the shady location of the bowling alley, which is behind the loading docks of a discount strip mall which is behind another discount strip mall in scummy old John's Manville (ever hear of that town? Put a hole in your wall and check the label on the insulation; it's from John's Manville), it could be the blood stains on the bowling shoes they rent out, or it could be the hobos who are passed out in the bowling alley gutters because the gutters outside are too full. Whatever it is, I love bowling at my local alley, Tenpin Lanes. Or, as the neon sign out front says: "T in L e ." Or, as it sometimes says, "T ."
Nobody really knows how or why bowling was invented, and frankly no one cares. Bowling is what enables Americans to truly stomp on the Italians with their stupid "Bocce ball" (or however you spell it). Hell, we're not even sure that it's an American game. It doesn't matter, really; we're still better than Italy.
For our school's "senior skip day," I went with a few friends to the bowling alley. We needed not fear the pursuing school principal, for our bedrooms were all cleverly rigged with dummies in our beds, feigning respiration by means of apparatuses connected to the bedroom doors. Tapes of constant recorded breathing were playing on our stereos, and our alibis were all in place. With the aid of our hypochondriatic friend and his dad's Ferrari, we headed over to the bowling alley. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the asbestos particles were everywhere, and all creatures great and small were abound with smiles (and some with third eyes). It was a beautiful day in Manville, or at least, as beautiful as one can get.
If you've never been to a bowling alley before, it's great. Basically, it's like walking into a mid-70's Blaxploitation film. Everyone has an afro and the only tools available in the whole vicinity are switchblades. It doesn't matter what needs fixin', be it a vending machine, a busted bowling shoe, a block of bad cocaine, an uncooperative mustache, whatever, you use a switchblade, because that's how things work in the bowling alley. The jukebox only plays songs by Etta James, Fats Domino, and The Chosen Few, and every idle pool table or arcade machine has its very own tough guy. The tough guy either owns the pool table or has the highest score on the arcade machine. Either way, it's his turf, and you're stepping at it. So back off, bitch.
What most people don't realize about the bowling alley (even though this is the best part), is that you can bowl in it. No lie; there are ten big lanes to your left as you walk in, and all you have to do is pay $7.10 and ignore the murders and stuff and you can bowl all night long, seriously.
So we bowled, and my mischievous friends three and I did giggle healthily at our names on the scoreboard. Anyone who writes their real name on the scoreboard instead of something like "Anal Drip" or "Shaven Grundle" obviously has no sense of humor.
Upon writing that I realize that my cellphone is not working so I have to go fix it. So until next time, have a good time and rock the lanes" now where's my damn switchblade???