Friday, September 19, 2008

Andare a Giocare a Bowling

It was Christmas day in Sorrento, Italy. The weather was chilly, but nothing else sans a lone and somber Christmas tree, which seemed to depress the lobby of our hotel rather than enlighten it, reminded us of the holiday back home. We had each other, my immediate family, but we had nothing to do. The day had closed all stores and had brought each Sorrentine to his or her relative's home; the streets were abandoned. After a quiet brunch in the hotel, we gathered ourselves outside to stroll about the empty streets of this bayside town. The wind blew sharply, giving our cheeks a rosy hue, and garbage and cats seemed to move with it along the streets. Ahead shined the sole lit sign in the entire town, and it pulled us near.

"Nice! A bowling alley," Jacob shouted and pulled me and my parents in. We had enjoyed great games of bowling around the globe. I recall at this moment a strobe-lit game amplified by harsh techo music in Germany. The conditions at the German alley acted as steroids to our final scores. The Germans were impressed with our family bowling skills, and we were certain that the elderly employee and the rest of the empty Surrentum Alley would be equally impressed.

The skills came naturally and we were making the pins fall as the ornaments fell off the hotel's tree when brushed against. I bowled a few gutter balls, a few spares and a few strikes. Jacob bowled as well, or well enough to invite glances over from four young Italian men who had just walked in. Being so empty, the sounds of our strikes bellowed through the alley. Jacob and I and our father began to joke around and we bowled through each other's legs, changed the other's name on the above screen to anagrams like G.A.Y., A.S.S. or other highbrow words like P.O.O. We were able to edit each other's scores using the "correct score" feature available on the control panel as well.

Soon later, as our hands got tired and we had successfully wasted enough of our Italian Christmas, we packed up our shoes to leave. Just as we walked away, one of the Italian men, we'll call him Antonio, saw our tampered scores above. I had changed mine to near-perfect 299, giving myself a 9 on the last frame while Jacob gave himself a 300. Antonio shrieked aloud; "Trecento! Trecento!" He blindly reached for his friends behind him to gather their attention and they all stared in awe at our perfect scores. Before we knew anything, all four men gleamed and excitedly applauded us. They searched for English words. Mario found a few; "Tree-hundred! Superior! Tree-hundred!" They beckoned and continued in celebration.

Uncertain and little embarrassed, our family hesitantly smirked, waved off their applause and exited quickly as rock stars eschewed fans aside tour buses. Once outdoors, we broke into echoing laughter and bolted back to the safety of the hotel. "I think they has a pen out so as to try and get autographs." Jake said. A good-humored, rootin- tootin', knee-slapping fun time followed until the next day when walking past a newly full capacity Sorrento bowling alley we peaked inside to see, to our greatest excitement and/or fear, that taped to the wall behind the shoe counter was a printed computer paper sign that read:

Alto Punteggio (Top Scores):

D.U.M.: 300 - 25/12/02
A.S.S.: 299 - 25/12/02


Jacob said...

Tales of this epic bowling game echo all the way to the iberian peninsula. Grandparents tell it to their grandchildren, serving not only as a mythical tale intended to inspire the listener, but also as just a heck-uva good bowling story!

Wolffystyle said...

Wow, jacob, you sure have a wonderful blog. How do I get your rss feed?

Jeff said...

one time i bowled a 140ish :]