In recent years it has become increasingly obvious that we rely on modern technology and electronic devices to have a good time.  We seem to need the company of others less and less and can enjoy ourselves, to an extremely passionate degree, by yelling inanely at computer screens or games consoles.  However, if we continue along this path Disney Pixar’s ‘Wall-E’ will become some sort of psychic documentary and ultimately we probably don’t want that.

I realise that a blog about doing real material things and not sitting at home staring at screens is highly ironic on an internet blog as you have to have been staring at a screen to read it.  But, by drawing attention to it I can eliminate it.  That’s how irony works.  Right?!

One of my favourite things to do, with real people and real things, is bowling; The American kind with pins in a V shape and lanes and a disco.  I know that half the fun of it is the bright lights and the computerised scoring systems and the obscure but nevertheless charming animations to highlight the success of a ‘strike’ or ‘spare’ but there is something quite delightful about the achievement of knocking over pins using a big ball, a small amount of technique and strength.  It’s a similar sense of achievement to sporting success.  Of course, there are those that would argue that bowling is indeed a sport and what on earth do I mean when I say ‘a small amount of technique’?  To these people I would probably say, you can professionally play anything and call it a sport.  There are professional World of Warcraft players.  Is that a sport?

The best thing about bowling though isn’t really the sporting achievements or the healthy competition.  It’s the socialising that makes me such a huge fan.  Unlike with a lot of other team games, bowling has mandatory socialising time built into it when the other people are taking their turns.  It has built in slush puppy time and built in hot dog time because for bowling it is essential that you’re in the right frame of mind and this is only achieved by fully immersing yourself in everything the alley has to offer.  This includes junk food and excessively sugary drinks.

Of course, how could I hope to write an article about the wonders of bowling without mentioning the shoes?  Let’s just take a sentence or two to discuss those.  There is undeniable pride associated with graduating from Velcro to lace up – like you’re being welcomed into the adult bowlers club. There’s also something quite fantastic (and disgusting) about sharing footwear with the entire population of your local bowling community.  What else (apart from skating – smart ass) offers you that kind of opportunity?

So, read this article.  Absorb it fully.  Then turn off your computer, call some friends and go bowling.  In fact, go to your nearest Hollywood Bowl because they always have special offers on and this way you can have fun and save some money too!


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