Thursday, August 31, 2006

GAP Bowling Night

Last night was the annual GA Bowling Night where GAP rented out an entire bowling alley and about 60 of us descended upon the place for some good competition. Well, you'd think that, anyway.

What was truly the case is that most Australians can't bowl to save their lives, and let me tell you, this normally very athletic and competitive country has really got to learn how not to lob a 12 pound ball towards the gutter.

There is a very prevalent stereotype about Americans and bowling as well. (I had at least 8 comments about it before we had even begun.) Apparently, we all spend our youths in bowling alleys and are highly competitive on a daily basis. This is all based on the television show (wait for it..) Happy Days. Really? A huge stereotype of a whole nation and it's based on Joanie and Chachi? I guess so, because let me tell you, I felt the pressure.

It didn't help either that we were assigned teams to bowl with. I had no idea this was happening and instead of bowling with my friends, I ended up bowling with the boss. Doug, the office manager. Yikes. The other people in my lane were all people that I had to reference to where they sat. Oh yeah, that's Aaron who sits downstairs in the corner, so- accounting! And Andrew, who sits in the pod across from me, so geotech! And Linda. Linda? I know I've seen Linda, at other GA functions, but I had no place to sit her in my little mental seat-assigning database and I was at quite a loss as to how to relate to Linda for most of the evening. Disturbing really.

So, let's back up to arrival, where Doug greets us at the door and says "Open bar for beer and wine. Sorry Suzy, no hard stuff!" (Much to Suzy's horror, who is quite shy really.) Upon donning our uber-stylish shoes, (and, oh yes, I was still decked out in my field uniform. I was quite the looker at bowling night!) we all bellied up to the bar and chatted away while actual paying customers finished up their games.

Once the place was cleared of all the non-GA riff-raff, we took to our respective lanes and out rushed the food. Plates of finger food came gushing out of the kitchen like some kind of royal buffet. I was half expecting the jester to come out and entertain us! What was funny about this is, while all this food is being brought out, one tray at a time, everyone happily dove into the food. (OK, that's not the funny part, but here it comes:) Once the little meat pies showed up though, there was a collective sigh of relief, like, "Ahh, now this is catering!" Little bits of unidentified meat for chrissakes!

OK, onto the games. Like I said, I was under this huge pressure to perform based on my ethnicity. My turn comes up and, Strike! Holy Crap! I don't know which is worse, the expectation that everyone had, or the expectation that everyone has now! One more turn and... spare! I was beginning to believe all the hype myself! Well, I managed to get on fairly well, actually, until the 5th frame, where my whole game tanked. Gutter ball, gutter ball, 2 pins, six pins, gutter ball. Gah! I managed to scrape together a couple of pins toward the end and I got a score of a whopping 89.

What a disappointment. The good news is, I still beat 85% of the other people bowling. Is that good news? Anyway, the next game I seemed to get over my jitters and I was bowling really well. Even got some people loosened up (I'm sure it wasn't the open bar) and got 'em dancing to the 80's songs blasted by the video DJ.

Final score: 143. A personal best, I'm sure. And it maybe might have had something to do with the fact that our lane got screwy and wouldn't reset, so we just kept bowling strikes for the last three frames.

I'm sure I would have gotten all those strikes anyway.

1 comment:

Trina said...

I want a picture of you in field clothes with bowling shoes. I think I would print that out and hang it up somewhere ... maybe once I get a house out here in Kansas.