Sunday, March 17, 2013


It's March in Canada and that means one of two things: either it is 15 degrees and sunny, or it is -15 and blizzarding like crazy.  I live in the prairies, and it happened to be -15 and blizzarding.  What is there to do on the weekend?  I could sit at home and drink, but apparently society sees that as a problem.  The next best thing is to go out bowling! 

First of all, I am not sure that bowling is a real sport.  It's kind of like golf in that there seems to be 95% technique and about 5% physical fitness.  Just like going to the golf driving range, there seems to be drunk people doing the activity better than me.  Huge guts and large green Shamrock hats seem to be okay and don't impede on anyone's ability to bowl.

I tried going bowling a couple of years ago and my girlfriend and I wound up going to a casino where we heard there was bowling.  Hey, it's a casino - home of the free watered-down drink and broken-down senior citizen playing penny slots for 4 hours and costing them a grand total of $3.00 in change.  How expensive can bowling be?

Well, my friend, the stinky old casinos run by rich old guys has changed.  We got to the casino and the parking lot was absolutely packed.  We parked down the street in some construction lot.  The five-minute hike to the casino through muddy earth was spent wondering if the car was going to be towed or just run over by a backhoe. 

We got to the casino, sweaty and out of breath, and found out that UFC was going on.  Not the big, televised event, but rather some local guys.  On one hand, I had to respect the crowd for supporting local sports, but on the other hand there was something weird about watching Jerry the guy who bags my groceries at Co-Op pummeling the swim instructor at the YMCA.  Anyway, we were on a mission to bowl.  We walked past the slot machines and blackjack tables and found the bowling alley. 

Keep in mind, it was just the two of us.  So when we saw $60.00 per hour, I was a little flabbergasted.  I'm not getting my bathroom rennovated or my transmission replaced.  I just wanted to throw a bowling ball into the gutter!  Good Lord.  We got out of there and wound up playing penny slots for a couple of hours.  The only down side was that I was out three dollars at the end of it, but I saw a lot of bells and whistles in the meantime. 

So, fast forward a couple of years later.  The bowling alley that we went to on Saturday night was absolutely packed.  It makes sense - the prices at the bowling alley near my house is actually quite reasonable.  They charge by the game, not by the hour.  The only down side to this is that there is absolutely no incentive to get your game done - ever.  People are running off to get drinks, go to the bathroom, who knows - maybe people are leaving and getting a pizza and coming back.  I have no idea. 

We got in around 8:30 pm and they had "Cosmic Bowling" going on.  Apparently even the people who run the bowling alley know that bowling is not exciting enough to just have bowling.  The 80s and 90s dance music is blasting and there is black light and laser pointers shooting around like crazy.  It makes it a little hard to concentrate, but that is okay - I was looking for any excuse at this point as to why I can't knock down all the pins.  It doesn't help that in 10-pin bowling, the ball weighs literally 80 pounds.  I was looking around for a bocce ball or maybe a couple of baseballs and trying not to notice that the drunk guy with the huge shamrock hat was crushing the pins and then dancing around.  

Let's Bowl in Calgary.  Good times.  I reccommend it.