The story I am about to tell you is absolutely true. I could not make this up if I tried. Well, maybe I could make it up – but it would not be a story even remotely believable. I suppose sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. And this true story is strange. Here goes.
A few weeks ago I blogged about our bowling with some senior adult friends of ours who live here in our campground. I mentioned that Lisa and I have learned the importance of connecting with people on their territory – even if it is something we are not necessarily fond of. A really nice couple here, Tom and Diane, are big bowlers and to spend time with them Lisa and I bowled with them during “senior day’. You can read about that experience in that previous post. Neither of us did particularly well in terms of score – about normal for us. I scored my average of around 140. Which brings me to yesterday.
We decided to get a group together and return to the bowling lanes and along with Tom and Diane we were joined by my golf buddy, J.C., and another couple, Glen and Kaye, who were there just to watch. I mention them so that you know I do have witnesses to what transpired.
I have never been a good bowler. As I mentioned in that previous story, it is a game that looks easy – but is really not. The best I have ever bowled is around 160. Until yesterday. Don’t think I am about to start bragging – that is not what this is. This story is so surreal I am certain it had more to do with the stars alignment than my bowling ability.
We bowled three games each during the senior special and it was my first game that was the highlight. After finding a pair of shoes to fit and locating a ball that felt good enough to use (since I don’t have one of my own and never have) I rolled for the first frame. It felt pretty good as I released the ball and the result was a “9” with a good chance for a spare. Got it! And I was off to a pretty good start – for me. Frame number two – a “6” and a spare. At this point I was thinking it would be just another normal round for me with maybe three spares (on a good day) and, who knows, maybe two strikes. That would be exceptional. But here is where it gets weird.
My third ball could not have hit the sweet spot any better and it resulted in a strike. Wow! Two spares and strike. I was really on my game. The fourth frame was much the same. My ball struck perfect again and I had two strikes in a row. Now I need to say here that I have never bowled three strikes consecutively and maybe only on a handful of occasions have bowled two. So this was really something.
Frame five. People are starting to now notice what is happening and paying more attention. I roll again – it looks good – like all the rest – could it be? It is – three strikes in a row. Okay – its is about time to get back to reality. I am thinking my luck has finally run out. People are laughing and ‘high-fiving’ and shaking their heads and doubting I’m telling the truth about my bowling game. What is going on?
Number six. I try not to think about my string of strikes and am interested in just keeping the ball out of the gutter at this point. I roll – it looks good – I can’t believe it – it has a chance – STRIKE number four. I think I may pass out at this point. This is just not happening.
On to frame number seven and I have two spares and four consecutive strikes. I try not to think about what I am doing – just do like before and I can’t believe the results are the same – STRIKE. Five strikes in a row and the crowd behind me is going nuts. At this point I am speechless – just shake my head and sit down.
Now I am getting near the end. Will I keep this going any longer or will the karma of the moment fade away as fast as it arrived? I take up my position with the scratched up red/pink ball that I found on one of the racks. I eye the target and let it fly. STRIKE! That is six strikes in a row. What is happening here?
My string of strikes ends on the ninth frame with another “9” and a spare. Now I have only the tenth frame remaining and to this point six strikes and three spares. It is time to end this thing and I bowl two more strikes and a “9” on the tenth frame. Our friends are cheering and laughing at my score. 254.
254. I just bowled a 254. But, even more amazing I was seven pins from a perfect score. SEVEN! I have never been close to 200. 180 would be a lifetime goal for me. But never, never in my wildest dreams would I think I could bowl a 254. My next game was more the norm for me – though actually a score I would be proud of – 168. But with my last game of the day I got back into my earlier groove and bowled a 200. What a day!
Diane had my scores printed off and told me I had a 622 series. I asked if that was good. By her reaction I suppose it is. I actually asked the bowling ally if I could purchase that pink ball – but they said no. The way I was feeling I would have paid a hundred dollars.
After we left the bowling ally – we all had lunch together and then walked over and bought a ‘Powerball’ ticket for the big 400 million dollar give away last night. J.C asked me to touch his ticket hoping my luck would continue for a few more hours at least. But, someone in South Carolina won the 400 million so I suppose my good karma has come and gone. But I bet they didn’t bowl a 622. So take that!
Maybe here is where I should wax on about some life lesson learned through all this. I suppose I could say something like – keep trying you never know what may happen as long as you don’t quit. Or maybe something more spiritual like: the unexpected blessings of God come in various shapes, sizes and scores. But really I can only conclude one thing about yesterday. I bowled really good.
And if you are looking for me – I’ll be at the bowling alley.