X.63.X.X.X.X.9-.X.X.8/9

How’s that for an amateur in a game of bowling?

I was at a bowling alley with two friends for two hours last Friday, playing a total of six rounds. We were having a lot of fun and I was posting some decent scores throughout the first five games, but nothing too remarkable. The best I got was 153, just below my all-time high of 155.

To make things more interesting, the bowling alley was handing out Flügels for every strike thrown in the last fifteen minutes of each hour. (A Flügel is a mix of Red Bull and vodka. They come exclusively in 20-ml shot bottles.) We got five of them the first time and of course we wanted to get some more the second time.

Two or three minutes before the second Flügel-for-a-strike round, I was up for the last frame in our fifth game. I needed a couple of good shots for a chance to win. With three strikes, I couldn’t have done better. My one friend followed up with two more strikes, but couldn’t get all pins down with his last throw. Unfortunately, none of those five strikes got us any Flügels.

The start of our sixth game coincided with the start of the second Flügel round. I was up first and started off perfectly with a strike for the fourth one in a row. It’s not often that I get three or even two strikes in a row, so that was kind of nice. And of course it got us a Flügel.

In the next frame, I missed my chance for five strikes in a row, settling instead for six and three pins. I got another strike in frame three for another trip to the bar to get a Flügel. From there on, I pretty much split time between throwing strikes and walking between our lane and the bar. I missed in the seventh frame, much to the disappointment of the bar people, who by now were watching our lane closely. Fortunately, I got two more strikes in frames eight and nine. I had a chance to finish the game in style, but one pin sadly wouldn’t cooperate on my last shot.

Still, I suppose seven strikes in ten frames isn’t bad. Even better, I threw ten strikes in twelve attempts from the last frame of game five through the ninth frame of game six. Usually, I need four or five games to get ten strikes.

At the end of it all, the three of us had fifteen Flügels from those two times fifteen minutes. My final score in game six was 212. Just to boast a little bit more: that’s 16 points above the average score in the 2006 World Men’s Championship.

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