How is it that the lameness quotient of my fellow Americans seems to be ever-increasing? A couple of weeks ago, Darla and I were bowling with some friends (power outage, no AC, it was hot, etc.), and we noticed that the majority of our fellow bowlers were using bumpers.
And almost all of these folks were adults. Worse yet, they would celebrate when they hit a few pens, even after bouncing the ball off the damned bumpers.
That’s just seriously lame.
On Sunday, we went to play some mini-golf. We had a great time ( I used to love playing Putt-Putt golf when I was a lad, though Darla soundly crushed me), but we noticed that we were surrounded by people who weren’t trying at all.
Wait, I did see a couple of kids that cared enough about "winning" to cheat.
Look, I am not being That Guyâ„¢ who obsessives about his bowling or his golf (I obsess about other things). I am not looking down on people who can’t putt well, or who can’t bowl, either; [the lack of] god(s) know(s) that I suck at both. It makes me sick, however, to see people high-fiving each other after moving the ball on the putting green, or getting a strike with a bank shot off the bowling bumpers.
Few people have any pride in what they do, and fewer still want any sort of a real challenge.
Why is that?
I’ll blame the forces of political correctness, and whatever umbrella housing the folks who forbid teachers from giving a failing grade to students lest it hurt their self-esteem.
Bah, that’s a longer post for another time, I think.
While most people at the local alleys I’ve been to avoid the bumpers, I have noticed the same sorts of problems â€” nobody tries! There are people who have bowled weekly for years, and I bowl just a handful of times per year. The regular bowlers are scoring between 60 and 100 every single game they play, whereas I come in and bowl consistently over 120… and I barely play! Now maybe they just don’t have the skill to bowl, but one would think playing every week would at least yield improvement. I don’t consider myself good, but I concentrate and think about the challenge at hand each time I step up, and I still manage to have fun.
Actually, I believe there might be a geographical factor working here. The bowlers in Montrose, Colorado try extremely hard at bowling. In fact, my son’s friend’s father has his “300” game scorecard proudly displayed and framed in his living room. I might go so far as to say that the bowlers here try too hard and take bowling too seriously. Maybe the real issue is that nobody tries “medium-hard” at things any more. The populice is either ridiculously lax bumper bowlers, or they are fist-pumping, 300 scorecard displaying, fanatics. Back in my day (god, I’m only 42) we drank hard and bowled in the 140-160 range. We had our own balls, but they rolled around in the trunks of our cars. We had fun, took it medium-seriously and nobody got hurt. I wouldn’t suggest using bumpers at Friday night’s “Rock-N-Bowl” here. You’d get your ass kicked! Just my opinion, but if more people tried medium-hard at things America would be a better place.
You may be right, Dave. And to be fair, maybe we were just there on Lame Day.
I’d honestly love to see a study on use of bowling bumpers by geographical area, especially if it broke down such use by other factors (income, age, profession, gender, etc.).
But that’s just me. :)