So a few of us from work decided to go bowling last night for shits and giggles. I haven’t been bowling for years, and have completely lost the co-ordination of footwork that I used to have as young man about town instead of the doddering old fool I apparently now am.
So instead of gazelle-like grace as I slide forward, fluidly sending the ball hurtling down the polished wood, my foot pointing out behind me in that “pro” looking way, turning away and slowly walking back to the seats with the certain knowledge that a strike or spare is occurring, I now tend to look like one of those people who always seem to bowl off the wrong foot, looking slightly awkward and hunched, and whose balls vary wildly from gutter to strike, from bad luck split to how-did-all-those-pins-fall-down-when-you-only-actually-hit-one-of-them?
And I actually got worse in the second game, as I pondered my lack of technique and tried to do something about it. Still, I may have just slightly exaggerated my inadequacy, as I ended the evening with the best combined score (121 and 104, if you feel like sniggering) and so, as we handed our pretty blue bowling shoes back to the shoe-collecting guy, he handed me a voucher which, as a superior bowler and winner, entitles me to 3 free games. Bonus!
Or so I thought.
There are conditions. I have to bring along at least a couple of fully paying rubes in order to get my free games; the freebies are only available to me (my name is written in big black Vivid marker across the front of it just to make sure I don’t commit a crime like giving it to somebody else); and it’s one player only, so I can’t bring a couple of chums along to each get one free game; but worst of all:
The thing is only valid for one week! How many people are going to take up this generous offer? Nobody goes bowling twice a week, probably not even those slightly weird looking folk with their wrist braces and custom balls.
The sheer stink of money-grubbing cluelessness that this entails is amazing. I can just imagine a fat-gutted mouth-breathing moron of a manager deciding that giving away these things is going to cost him money, and making them expire in such a short time is a smart move to ensure that not too many of the little buggers are floating about the place.
The much more likely scenario is that a person who receives a give-away that is actually worth going back for, at his own leisure, will almost certainly bring some friends (who bowls alone?), and may even keep coming up back and spending money if the establishment is any good at all. This “voucher” is useless. To you, Bowland, I say “Bah!”