Being forgetful can be pretty embarrassing at the bowling alley

OK, let me ask you a question. Have you ever went from one room in your house to another and when you get there you completely forgot why you wanted to go to that room in the first place?

If you are chuckling now it means that this has happened to you. For those of you who are anywhere near my age, it probably has happened more than once. Well something similar happened to me at the bowling alley this week. Not once mind you, but twice. It was embarrassing and, truth be told, a little scary.

I debated whether I wanted to share this with my readers, but I remember a friend of mine sharing one of his own embarrassing moments. It seems he had gone to a dealership to get his car serviced. Upon entering the waiting room he noticed a guy across the room who looked familiar, though he couldn’t place him. Since the man was staring back at him he decided to wave. The man waved at him at the exact same time.

That can happen when you wave to yourself. He was actually staring into a mirror and when he realized what he had done, he quickly looked around the room to see if anyone had noticed the exchange. Fortunately no one had seemed to notice.

As he told the story we all laughed and then asked the obvious question. Why, we wanted to know, did you tell us this embarrassing story? He responded with “it was too good a story not to share it.” I guess if he can laugh at himself, so too can I. At the risk of being called a blundering idiot, here is my “shining” moment.

Before I tell the story you have to know two things that are pertinent to this tale. When we showed up at the lanes, the approaches were very sticky. The first two guys to throw practice balls stuck and most of you know about my fear of pitching head first onto the lanes. So I decided to use a different approach on this night.

Instead of the usual three steps and slide, I decided to go with a dozen choppy steps and then plant my foot before throwing the ball. I’ve seen Ryan Chevalier use this technique (very successfully, I might add) for years. He doesn’t slide. If fact he doesn’t even wear bowling shoes!

The second thing you need to know is that I am the anchor bowler on my team. I love the thought that the game may come down to me in the 10th frame and I relish the chance to be the hero. Like taking the last shot in a basketball game, it’s fun to be the one to have to get it done. Given my measly success rate at winning games, one would think that I would be tired of being the goat. Such is not the case however.

So on this night I am using my new approach with mixed results and game one comes down to the 10th frame. I need to double to win the game and I take to the approach with my usual gusto. Only thing is, I forgot that I was using a new technique. At least I did until I was about to slide after taking my normal three step approach.

At this point I realized my mistake but it was too late to stop. I was completely discombobulated and just threw the ball. It did not get anywhere near the head pin. I left four pins and picked them up. I struck on the last ball of course, (too little, too late) and we lost the game by six pins.

If only this had been my one “forgetful” moment of the night. But, oh no, here comes game three and the same situation presents itself. I need a double and two pins to win and a chance to redeem myself.

I go to the ball rack and stare down the lane. Five seconds go by, then 10. My teammates must think I am focusing. In reality I am waiting for the ball return to send my ball back. Then I realize that I haven’t even bowled yet. My ball is right beside me just waiting to be picked up and thrown using my new style (assuming I remember this time). Talk about embarrassing and a little scary!

I was in the kitchen wondering why and considered waving to myself

I wish I could tell you why this happened, but I don’t have a clue and now you know the rest of the story. I can tell you however, that I recovered, threw a double and we won the game. It helps if you can forget being forgetful and move on.

Here is this week’s list of honor roll bowlers.

Rocket: Tim Sturgill 661, Steve Barnes 636, Steve Norman 614, Tyson Shope 612, John Funk 589 and Dottie Funk 433.

55 Plus: Bob Reinhart 642, Ken Gaietto 590, Jim Ruess 574, Bill Mizen 569, Dan Coppes 534, Rick Hanna 503, Dick Gabel 493, Ron Mellott 468, John Ferstler 457, Paul Gosche 457, Jim Ferstler 444, Dave Everhart 435 and Jim Donaldson 428.

Sportsman: Rustan Burks 674, Scott Hartsel 667, Rich Yates Jr. 648, Scott Ferguson 613, Paul Gosche 609 and Kevin Fitch 608.

Imperial-Majorette: Ben Hoyda 701, Tracy Gerber 590, Steve Steinmetz Jr. 585, Steve Steinmetz Sr. 584, Anna Tong 493, Miriam Fankhauser 476, Deb Nominee 453 and Dodi Gaietto 443.

Alley Cats: Robin Dickman 583, Kim Weaver 489, Robyn Wight 480, Jeanette Lynch 472 and Cindy Sendelbach 463.

Tuesday Night: Doug Snyder 614, Matt Distel 613, Jason Kohlenberg 607, James Lord 607, Steve Barnes 596, Mark Orians 581, Aaron Sherman 577, Rick Smith 559, Jerry Collins 553 and Justin Hoepf 552.

Al Stephenson is The A-T’s bowling columnist.

Read his blog at: