I Hate League Bowling
©2017 Hal Padgett
—A hyperbolic, psychedelic, cynical account of a real event—
Here I sit, languishing, flanked on all sides by incestuous fornicating goats and gluttonous squealing swine. By the wretched sorcery of Satan they roam the earth freely and have damned near assumed complete command.
Shouting and guffawing seem epizootic among these foul creatures who no doubt will discharge then fling their feces at any moment. My every “howdy do?” and “didja see?” is countered with insular taciturnity. Yet I’ve sheepishly followed the twisted path of manifest destiny and now join my large-browed compatriots for opening night of league play, all of us wan and sickly green in the hideous fluorescence of Beach Bowl.
O to relive the glory nights of my cosmic past—Cosmic Bowling to be exact—when—my spirits fortified by abundant intake of the bounteous yield of liquefied fermented hops and barley nurtured to near-maturity by the underpaid slave-labor force at Anheuser-Busch—I would stroll into the alley of Eden and succumb to the caress of swirling disco lights and the pounding heartbeat of the classic “Cotton Eyed Joe” sampled into a seven minute dance mix. It was sin as elegant as it was forgivable.
Then, having assumed that only God could have bestowed such splendor unto me, I would launch my custom finger-hole-drilled fifteen-pound polyurethane orb with Holy deliberation on a perilous sixty-foot journey through the treachery of oily, rutted maple four generations old. The parabola of its flight the curved blade of a scimitar; its honed, convex edge slicing into the ten mini-towers of Evil and eradicating them from the face of Lane 13.
Inspiration for that splendid feat was drawn in no small part from the vision of an earth angel—Lucy Fur. Half my age, yet all grown up. For more Thursday nights than I can remember, she of the flawless skin—except for that sprawling mosaic of radical tattoos smothering her right shoulder—could be seen by my side, sipping White Russians so kindly over-poured by the matron saint of earth angels on a budget: Gladys, the bartender with the slippery wrist. It was truly Heaven on earth.
Back in real time, cattle are lowing two lanes over, and the swine next to me just oinked. Judging by his stern squint and bristling nose hairs, it’s my turn to bowl. I feel awash in the odium of Satanic afterbirth. But a 16-ounce Yuengling draft is only $1.90 and that is a much needed blessing.