Friday, May 29, 2015


There recently was a series on TV called American Horror Story: Freak Show. It was fictional, about one of the last freak shows in America and its struggle to survive. The show featured such characters as a bearded lady, a woman with three breasts, and man with seal’s flippers for arms.

The show reminded me of years ago, when the fairs in NH actually had sideshow attractions. My husband and I, who were in our early 20s back then, always were fascinated with the sideshows. I mean, where else, for a mere $1.50, could we see exciting exhibits such as a “genuine” ancient Egyptian mummy that looked remarkably like a department-store mannequin wrapped in gauze bandages, lying in a pine box decorated with hieroglyphics written in magic marker?

But some of the sideshow attractions actually were meant to be educational.  I remember one in particular at the Rochester Fair that featured a teenager locked in a cage.  The poor kid was crouched in a corner, rocking back and forth on his heels as he grunted and growled like a wild animal.  His hair was long and matted, his eyes glazed and unseeing.  A corner of his mouth drooped, causing him to drool down the front of his filthy, tattered shirt.  A large sign above the cage read: “If you take drugs, this could happen to you!”

“What a shame,” I said to my husband after we exited the tent. “I’ll bet he was a perfectly normal, good-looking kid before he got mixed up with drugs. I feel so sorry for him.”

My husband shook his head and sighed. “Yeah, but as awful as it is, maybe some good will come of it.  I mean, if he makes even one kid think twice about taking drugs, then putting him on display like this will be worth it.”

We stood talking near the tent for a few minutes longer.  Suddenly, my husband nudged me and pointed toward a grassy area behind the tent.  There stood the poor, pathetic drooling kid we’d just seen in the cage.  He was lighting a cigarette and drinking a soft drink…which just had been handed to him by an attractive young blonde.

“It feels great to take a break,” the “zombie” said to the blonde as he slipped his arm around her waist. “It really kills my back and my knees when I have to keep crouching like that.”

Okay, so getting duped was just another aspect of the sideshow’s appeal.  Take, for example, the “Missing Link” that was featured years ago at one of the fairs.  It was billed as a half-man, half-animal “living thing” that had been captured in the deepest jungles of Bora Bora, or someplace equally as exotic.  I really wanted to see what it looked like, but my husband said he refused to waste good money on what he was certain would be nothing but a big hoax.  Determined, I convinced my mother, who’d come to the fair with us, to go into the creature’s trailer with me.

Well, the Missing Link turned out to be a chimpanzee with long tufts of fake fur attached to its body.  He (she?) smelled awful - kind of like a skunk that had taken a bath in a septic tank.  The second my mother set eyes on the Missing Link, she burst out laughing.  Even when the other spectators turned around to glare at us, she continued to laugh.

“I think they should rename it the ‘Missing Stink!’” my mother whispered to me as she choked back more laughter.  When she said that, the creature yanked off a big tuft of its fake fur and flung it at us.  Maybe he was part human after all.

There were a few sideshow attractions, though, that (in my opinion) weren’t fake.  One guy, the Rubber Man, actually tied himself into knots.  And there was a sword swallower who accidentally drew blood (though my husband insisted the “blood” was corn syrup mixed with red food coloring).  And then there was the man who could turn his stomach inside out – and make everyone wish they hadn’t eaten those popular pepper-steak subs before seeing him.

One of my husband’s favorite attractions at the fair, however, wasn’t one of the sideshow exhibits. It was a particular clown in a dunking booth.  Believe me, this clown wasn’t anyone you’d want to hire to entertain at kids’ parties.  His sole purpose was to merciless harass and insult passersby until he made them so angry, they’d be willing to pay just about anything for the opportunity to peg a few baseballs at his head.  My husband liked watching him, mostly because he wanted to see someone shut him up by dunking him.

One night, we witnessed the clown going a little too far with his taunting. As a result, he nearly ended up sharing the coffin with the Egyptian mummy.

On that night, a hulk of a guy who looked as if he could capture alligators with his bare hands, walked past the dunking booth.  .

“Hey, Tiny!” the clown called out to him. “Is that your head, or did your neck throw up?”

The man stopped abruptly and narrowed his eyes at him.

“You’re here all by yourself?” the clown continued. “Well, I have three words of advice for you if you ever want to get a date – ‘soap and water!’”

The Hulk’s jaw clenched, and veins began popping out on his forehead.  Still, the clown wouldn’t back off.

“Tell me,” the clown shouted, “just how closely related were your parents?”

I swear I actually saw steam rising from the Hulk’s collar.  Then, as if right on cue, the clown’s assistant appeared and held out three baseballs. He asked the man if he would like to pay $2 to try to dunk the clown.

“Oh, I definitely want to dunk him!” the man snapped in a voice that sounded a lot like a bear’s, if bears could talk. “But you can keep your baseballs!  I’m going to drown him with my bare hands!”  With a guttural cry, he rushed up to the clown’s cage, jumped up and grabbed the front of it, then tried to yank off the protective metal screen. 

When he didn’t succeed, he shouted at the clown, “I’ll be back later. You have to come out of that cage sometime tonight!”

Rumor has it that the clown skipped out early that night to go hire a couple bodyguards.

 Within a few years, sideshows began to disappear.  When my husband and I went to our first fair that didn’t have one (or any other “unique” exhibits), we couldn’t conceal our boredom.  We stood in one building and stared, yawning, at the sheep.  Then we went to the next building and stared and yawned even more at the rabbits and chickens.

“This sure would be a lot more exciting if one of the chickens had three legs or the rabbit had two heads,” my husband said.

“Oh well,” I said, trying to muster up some enthusiasm. “Let’s check out the arts and crafts building.  I heard someone talking about a replica of the Statue of Liberty made entirely from elbow macaroni.”

“I’d rather go on one of the rides,” he said. “There’s one over there that goes about 60 miles an hour, plays great music, and you can steer it yourself.”

“Sounds good!” I said. “Let’s go!”

He led me back to our car.

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Friday, May 22, 2015


I did something the other night that I've done only three times before in my life, mainly because I have a phobia associated with it.
I’m talking about cleaning out the junk drawer (also known as the catch-all drawer) in the kitchen.

My phobia stems from the fact that during my past junk-drawer explorations, I have found some pretty frightening things, like the sticky lint-roller that had so many paper scraps, threads, thumbtacks, pieces of wire and buttons adhered to it, it resembled some sort of Medieval torture device.

This time, however, the drawer was more puzzling than frightening. Too often, I found myself scratching my head and muttering, “What the heck is this?” or “Why on earth did I keep this?”

For example, I found a loose CD that had so many scratches on it, it looked as if a cat had attacked it. And when I put it into my CD player so I could hear what was on it, it skipped so much, it sounded like the guy who was singing was being jabbed with a cattle prod.

I also found a key ring with about 10 keys on it. I knew in an instant they weren’t my keys because I never use key rings.  I keep my keys loose so I can shove them into my pocket, my change purse, even into my shoe…which probably is why I lose about 200 keys a year.  I’ve had so many replacement keys made, the minute the guys at the local hardware store see me walk in, they head straight for the key-making machine.

Then there were four pairs of eyeglasses in such hideous styles, I couldn’t believe I ever wore them.  One pair had bright-pink tinted lenses that were so huge, when I tried them on, the only thing that showed was my chin.  Another pair looked like something Granny Clampett wore on The Beverly Hillbillies.

I leafed through a stack of coupons that were so old, they included 25 cents off a typewriter ribbon and 50 cents off Purina cat chow. The last time I owned a cat, I was wearing a mini skirt and go-go boots.

There was a tube of cement that had leaked and was permanently attached to a deck of playing cards that had pictures of U.S. presidents on the backs. But it really didn’t matter because there were only 44 cards in the deck anyway.

I found countless doodads and doohickeys my husband had put in there at some point. He had a habit of ordering every tool and gadget advertised on TV. Then when one would arrive, he’d put it away and say, “This will come in handy someday.” But “someday” never arrived for the majority of his stuff.

I guess that’s because there never arose an occasion when he needed a hammer onto which nails magnetically attached themselves, or a battery-operated laser tool that projected a straight line on the wall for accurate picture hanging.

I remember the time I wanted to toss out a package of house fuses I found in the drawer. I made the mistake of asking my husband if it was okay.

Had I told him I’d just found a stack of 100-dollar bills I wanted to shove into the paper shredder, he couldn’t have looked more appalled (note: if I ever really did find a stack of 100-dollar bills in a drawer, it would mean I was in someone else’s house).

“No! Don’t throw out those fuses!” he’d said. “You never know when they might come in handy!”

“But we haven’t used fuses since back in the 1970s when we lived in the mobile home!  And we have circuit breakers now.”

“They’re still brand new and in the package,” he’d argued. “You should never toss out anything that’s new, no matter what it is.”

“Then I should keep this still-sealed pack of cigarettes I found tucked in the back of the drawer?”  I asked.

My husband had quit smoking about 10 years earlier.

“Darn!” I heard him mutter under his breath. “So that’s where I hid them!”

But with the most recent cleaning of the junk drawer, I felt less obligated to keep things, even if they were new, now that my husband is gone.  So I tossed out an assortment of door hinges, screws, nuts, bolts and cabinet pulls.

With my luck, one day something in the house will break down and the repairman will say, “You’re out of luck. It needs a Rickenhoffer size .01 screw that isn’t made any more – so you’re going to have to buy a whole new (insert any expensive appliance here).”

And the screw will just happen to be one of the ones I just trashed.

I have to confess I also found a few TV-advertised gadgets I’d thought were must-haves back when I bought them, like the plastic bottle-tops that snapped onto soda cans, so you could turn soda cans into bottles and thus, screw a cap onto them to prevent de-fizzing.

The only problem with them, I discovered, was you first had to open the can before snapping the bottle top onto it. Otherwise, once the top was in place, you’d have no way to open the can. So I opened the can and then tried to snap the bottle top onto it, which, I soon discovered, took near-Herculean strength. I ended up squeezing the can too hard and causing a geyser of soda to spew into the air.

Which explains why the drawer has five of the six bottle toppers still in their package stuffed in there.

I did manage to get rid of quite a bit of clutter in the drawer, so I feel better about it now. Although, there probably still are a few things in there I should have tossed out.

But heck, I never know when I might need a dozen dried-up rubber gaskets or a headband that has a peace symbol and, “Make love, not war!” on it.

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Friday, May 15, 2015


During the weekend of April 25, I experienced two acts of kindness that I feel deserve recognition…and my heartfelt thanks.

First of all, George Merrill, an 86-year-old from Hooksett, contacted me that weekend and said he’d read an earlier column of mine where I’d described my nearly impossible task of trying to shop for a warm jacket in late winter when all of the stores already had their shorts and bikinis on the racks.

George said to me, “I have a present for you – a nice warm winter jacket. I don’t want you to be cold any more.”

His kindness really touched me. And the jacket turned out to be beautiful – water-resistant, down-filled, hooded.  It definitely will keep me toasty warm for many winters. Many thanks, George.

The very next night – well, actually it was about 2:30 in the morning – I, the diehard night owl, was in my pajamas and watching TV, when one of my dogs, Willow, wanted to go out. I have a four-foot-high chain-link fence surrounding my entire yard, so I always just open the door and let out my dogs when they have to “go.”

A few minutes later, I went to call Willow back inside, and the sight that greeted me on the back porch sent me into an instant panic mode. The poor dog’s face wasn’t even visible beneath all of the porcupine quills covering it. Even worse, her mouth was so stuffed with quills, she was gasping for breath because they were obstructing her airway.

Willow and her quills!
I ran to get dressed, knowing I had to rush her to the nearest emergency animal hospital, which is in Concord. I’m pretty sure I put on my sweater inside out, and I couldn’t even remember if I’d hooked my bra or not, but in record time, I was ready to head to the animal hospital.

Just as we were about to leave, however, something happened that stopped me dead in my tracks. All of a sudden, my right eye felt as if it had exploded. I saw flashing lights, a shower of black spots and what looked like cobwebs covering my entire field of vision. At that point, with only one good eye, I realized I couldn’t drive, especially at night, when it’s more difficult to see anyway. I also knew, because I once worked for an optometrist, that my symptoms might mean I had a torn or detached retina, which is pretty much a medical emergency.

Not knowing where else to turn at that hour of the morning, I grabbed the phone and called 911.  I’m not even certain what I said to the woman who answered, but I’m pretty sure I must have sounded like someone who’d been nipping the cooking sherry, as I rambled on about porcupine quills, my gasping dog, and fireworks in my eyeball.  But she was calm and reassuring, telling me someone would be sent to help me.

And sure enough, help soon arrived in the form of Patrolman Brian Warburton from the Allenstown police department.  Before I knew it, he’d calmed Willow, put a leash on her and led her out to his police vehicle, where he helped her into the back. Then he asked me if I wanted him to call an ambulance for me. I said no, that I really wanted to go to the vet’s with Willow, and then I’d go to the emergency room from there, probably by cab.

He said, “No, I’ll drive both of you. We’ll take Willow to the animal hospital first, then I’ll take you over to the emergency room, okay?”

“But what if there’s a murder here in town while you’re doing that?” I asked. I had visions of myself, a.k.a. old “Squinty Eye,” and quill-faced Willow riding shotgun while he chased after criminals.

He chuckled. “Don’t worry. Someone else will handle it.”

I felt like hugging him.

All the way to the animal hospital, Patrolman Warburton carried on a friendly conversation, which helped take my mind off how upset and scared I was. And when we arrived at the vet’s, he was the one who led Willow inside. I didn’t have to do a thing. I happened to glance into the back of his vehicle when I got out, and it was covered with quills and blood. I cringed.

Everyone gasped when they saw poor Willow enter the waiting room. A vet told us Willow would have to be intubated immediately and given pain medication. Then, she said Willow would be anesthetized so all of the quills could be removed, which probably would take hours.

“Well, that gives us plenty of time to get you taken care of,” Patrolman Warburton said to me. And off we went to Concord Hospital.

He dropped me off right at the emergency-room door and told me he hoped everything would turn out okay for both Willow and me. I said, “Thanks to you, everything probably will. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without you tonight!”

He just smiled and said he was glad he could help.

I couldn’t believe it, but I was the only person in the emergency room. In a way, I was pleased, but in another way, I wasn’t.  I mean, I could tell, because of all of my stress over Willow, that my blood pressure probably was high enough to blow up the meter.  I had figured I’d have plenty of time to compose myself and relax a bit before being seen by a doctor or having my vitals taken, and by then my blood pressure and heart rate would be close to normal again. But because I was the only patient there, I knew I’d be called in right away…and they’d probably send me straight to the ICU, thinking I was about to suffer a heart attack.

As it turned out, I was led directly into an examining room where an ultrasound immediately was done on my eye. That was followed by a slit-lamp exam. By the time my vitals were taken, I’d managed to calm down a little. My pulse rate, however, which usually is in the 60s, was 98.

The doctor told me there was no sign of a torn or detached retina, which was good news. But she said I really needed to get my eyes dilated so the backs of them could be examined, so she wanted me to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible…like within hours. I also was advised not to do anything strenuous, and if I had to cough or sneeze, to do both with my mouth wide open. I prayed I wouldn’t have to do either one in public.

My eyes were dilated and examined twice during the next two days. The diagnosis was a vitreous detachment with opaque floaters. Basically that means my eyesight’s not in any danger but I’ll have to learn to live with seeing dozens of black cobwebby spots floating across my field of vision for a while. It also means I’m old.

Willow, high on painkillers, came home looking like a pincushion, minus the pins. The vet said the smaller, finer quills would continue to work their way out of her skin for up to as long as six months. So patting Willow has become a game of chance. I never know when I’m going to get stabbed.

One of the first things I did when I got home was look for any gaps in the fence or holes underneath it. I found both, so I patched them with chicken wire, big rocks and plastic fencing.  My yard never will make the cover of Home and Garden magazine now, but I’m hoping it at least will keep out any other critters that might be thinking about trespassing.

The night after all of the excitement, Patrolman Warburton called to ask how Willow and I were doing, which really impressed me.  I told him we both were going to survive, but if it hadn’t been for him, Willow probably wouldn’t even be alive.

So it definitely was a crazy weekend, but everything, thank goodness, turned out okay.

Except that darned porcupine owes me $900 for veterinary bills.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015


I recently wrote about how much I enjoy going to the post office because something interesting always happens there. Well, last week was no exception. I went to two different post offices. One of them had me scratching my head and muttering, “What the heck?” when I left, and the other had me laughing out loud.

The first post office I went to was one I hadn’t been to in years, but I was in the area for an appointment and had some packages to mail for eBay, so I decided to stop there.

The clerk took the first package from me and then proceeded to enter the data into the computer using only his index finger and the “hunt and peck” method. Long minutes passed and still he was pecking away at the keyboard.  I knew that the woman’s address wasn’t a very complicated one, not like some of the foreign addresses I have to mail packages to that have streets with names like Vanderhaskensenden Blvd., so I couldn’t imagine why he seemed to be entering the entire alphabet into the computer.

Finally, after every other window clerk had assisted at least five customers each, he looked up at me and said, “The computer is telling me there is no such street or address in Norco, California.”

I told him it was the address both eBay and Paypal (the customer’s method of payment) had given me, so I was certain it was correct.

He shook his head. “No, the closest city with that street address is in Sacramento. Does she live there?”

I said I had no clue.

“Well, sometimes the computer acts up like this,” he said. “It wants me to send the parcel to Sacramento. Maybe Norco is a suburb. But don’t worry about it.”

Three packages and 20 minutes of his one-finger typing later, I finally got out of there. By then, my feet hurt, my back ached and my mouth was so dry, I think my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth.

When I got home, I checked my receipt and noticed the destination had been changed from the Norco, California zip code of 92860 to 95815 – Sacramento.  I searched on my computer for a street map of Norco and located the woman’s street within seconds. I also checked the distance between Norco and Sacramento and it was about 400 miles. That’s one mighty big suburb.

Finally, I went to the US Postal Service’s website and entered the tracking number on my receipt so I could track the package in question. It said, “Not found.”

I have a strong feeling my eBay customer’s package is going to end up hopelessly lost somewhere in Sacramento.  What she bought from me was Joe Di’Mousio – a little mouse figurine dressed like a baseball player.

I’m really worried that poor little Joe Di’Mousio may never be seen or heard from again.  But even worse, I’m probably going to be stuck refunding the woman’s money.

Two days later, I went to another post office to mail more packages. It was nearly closing time, so there was only one customer ahead of me and one behind me.

The customer ahead of me was a bride-to-be who was mailing wedding invitations…only to find out the decorations she’d put on them made them unable to be machine sorted and therefore, required additional postage.

She didn’t seem upset about the extra postage, but she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to find a stamp that matched the pretty flowered ones she said she’d so carefully selected and applied to each envelope. For one thing, the selection of stamps in the additional denomination she needed was limited.

The clerk showed her several stamp designs, none of which matched or complemented her flowered ones.  Finally, an employee who’d been working out back came to the counter and offered to help the woman find a stamp so the clerk could assist me and the customer behind me.

All I can say is the poor man tried his best to help the bride-to-be, but all he succeeded in doing was making her (and the rest of us) laugh.

“How about Abraham Lincoln?” he asked hopefully, holding up the stamp for her to see.

The guy behind me in line and I burst out laughing.

“Lincoln was very big on emancipation and freedom,” I just had to say. “He might not be a wise choice for invitations that represent tying the knot!”

The employee showed several more designs to the bride-to-be.

She shook her head. “No, none of these would look good next to my flower stamps. I do have more of the flower stamps at home, so I guess I’ll just have to put another one of those on each invitation, even though I’ll be losing about 28 cents on each one. The only problem is, I know I’m going to be one stamp short. Do you have an extra flower stamp?”

Unfortunately, he didn’t.

“Tell you what,” the male employee said to her. “Are any of those invitations to one of your husband’s buddies?”

She nodded.

“Well, mark my words, you can put any stamp you want on that one, and the guy will never even notice it! I guarantee it!”

The bride-to-be picked up the stack of invitations and leafed through them.

“This one,” she said, holding up one of the envelopes. “Jessie.”

The guy behind me said, “I’ll bet if Jessie’s like most guys, he’s not even going to the wedding!”

I said, “Well… he might, if there are free drinks!”

“You’re sure now?” the employee asked her before giving her the stamp. “You know, you still could make everything a lot easier and just elope!”

She laughed.

So I think poor Jessie ended up with both a flower and Abraham Lincoln on his invitation.

At least he’s a lot better off than poor little Joe Di’Mousio.

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Friday, May 1, 2015


Ever since I was in grammar school, I’ve enjoyed candlepin bowling. I never was very good at it, but I always enjoyed it.

The bowling alley closest to my house when I was growing up in Manchester was called Queen City Lanes. There was another one not too far away called Hub Lanes, but I didn’t like it as much because it had such low ceilings. It definitely was not a place for anyone who was over six feet tall…or suffered from claustrophobia.

When I was in junior high, my school decided to form a bowling league. I was so excited about it, I think I was the first one to sign up. Once a week, the school would bus us from the West Side all the way over to Lakeside Lanes, which was near Massabesic Lake.  Lakeside was so new and ultra-modern, it made the other bowling alleys in the area seem practically prehistoric in comparison.  I felt confident that all of the state-of-the art equipment would vastly improve my bowling score.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I’m pretty sure I broke a record for throwing the most gutter balls in a single season. Not surprisingly, my team came in dead last in the big tournament at the end of the year.

My problem seemed to be my wrist, which had a mind of its own. Whenever I’d throw the ball, I could feel my wrist twisting and the ball inevitably would curve right into the gutter. I was tempted to duct tape a metal rod onto my arm, to keep it perfectly straight.

But my inability to bowl didn’t bother me. In fact, when I started dating, bowling was the first thing I’d suggest when a guy asked me where I wanted to go, even though I knew it meant he would be staring at my least flattering side all evening. Thank goodness there were no photo-taking cell phones back then because if someone had snapped a photo of me bowling, with my hips totally blocking out the entire view of the pins, I probably would have given up the sport for life.

Funny, but I’d always been under the impression that candlepin bowling was a universal thing…until the weekend a family friend, Barry, from Pennsylvania came to visit my husband and me, and we took him bowling.

I’ll never forget Barry’s expression when he first set eyes on the pins and balls.

“You’re kidding, right?” he asked, his eyes wide with disbelief. “This is what you call bowling?”

When he realized we were serious, he picked up one of the bowling balls and examined it.

“This is a croquet ball!” he said. “And there aren’t any finger holes in it!” He then stared at the pins. “And the pins don’t have any shape to them. They just go straight up and down!”

“Like candles?” my husband said, smiling.

Barry’s first attempt at using a candlepin ball was…well, nothing short of a complete disaster. The ball was so light compared to the huge, heavy ones he was used to, he flung it too hard and his arm went straight up in the air, releasing the ball into one of the lighted ceiling panels – which came crashing down onto the alley. My husband and I were pretty sure we’d have to re-mortgage our house to pay for the damages, but the manager, who looked as if he wanted to make us go stand down near the pins so he could peg balls at us, said his insurance would cover it. 

Over the years, my husband and I bowled on several couples’ leagues, and my mother and I bowled on several ladies’ leagues. I never did very well, but at least I had a great time socializing.

Anyway, for some reason, a couple weeks ago a sudden wave of nostalgia struck me and I had a burning desire to go bowling. I’d bowled probably only twice in the past 12 years, but that didn’t matter. I couldn’t suppress the urge to bowl.

When my friend Nancy and her husband Paul, who hadn’t been bowling in ages, either, said they’d go with me, I was thrilled. I immediately searched for my bowling shoes, which I hadn’t seen in ages. It took a while, but I finally found them in a box in the basement. They smelled so old, musty and mildewed, I had to put them out in the garage to air them out.

“You think your bowling shoes are bad?” Nancy said when I told her about finding mine. “I dug out mine and there still was a pair of old socks in them! Even worse, the shoes don’t even fit me any more!”

As we drove over to Lakeside Lanes that Friday, we discussed how we probably all would end up in traction the next day. I had visions of my assorted body parts popping out of place the minute I threw the ball. Still, I was willing to take that risk.

Lakeside, I noticed, had changed quite a bit since my previous bowling days there. For one thing, everything had been computerized, with large overhead screens showing slide shows of scenery as well as score sheets. And every time a bowler knocked down all of the pins, cartoon characters, dancing and cheering, appeared on the screens to celebrate the event.

Nancy, Paul and I collectively bowled so many gutter balls, we often didn’t even have to press the reset button.  And when I did miraculously manage to knock down all of the pins and get two spares, I ended up with gutter balls on both of them.

Bob, who’s worked at Lakeside seemingly forever, was extremely sympathetic when I scored nothing on my spares. In fact, he actually stopped laughing long enough to tell me that if I got another spare, I might want to try walking down to the pins and kicking them down so I could score something on it.

We bowled three strings each. Our scores averaged in the 50s and 60s, which definitely wouldn’t win us any trophies in a tournament. But we had a lot of laughs.

As we were leaving, I said to Nancy and Paul, “This was fun! We’ll have to do it on a regular basis, so we can get better and better at it!”

Their expressions, which kind of looked as if they’d just been told they were going to be audited by the IRS, made me think they probably weren’t quite as enthusiastic about bowling as I was. 

But I’m determined to talk them into going again…just as soon as I regain the full use of my right arm and I can walk upright again without making any “oy” noises.

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