Friday, September 14, 2007

Now if they could just replace those cheap plastic seats with recliners.

I never cease to be amazed by new technological advances. It’s probably because I grew up in an era when the phrase “high-tech” hadn’t even been coined yet. On top of that, the closest one came to being “high-tech” was if you owned a cassette recorder onto which you could record ghostly “wooooo” sounds. Then you could hide the recorder under your bed, switch it on to play late at night, and tell your little sister, who was nearly scared out of her Chatty Cathy nightgown, that Casper was in the room. Not that I would know anything about that.

So nowadays, I’m awed by everything from Goose-Me-Elmo to those new iPhone$, and everything in between. The most recent object of wonder for me has been slightly less techie, but no less impressive – scented bowling balls.

Now, I’m thinking this is an idea which is way overdue. I mean, when I think of the scent of a bowling alley, all that comes to mind is Eau de Ball Return: “A heady concoction with base notes of stale cigarettes, accentuated lightly with shoe deodorizer and top notes of cheap cologne and AquaNet.”

As it turns out, Storm Bowling is one of the leading manufacturers of scented bowling balls, so I headed over to their web site to see what they have to offer. I don’t know which is more impressive – the vast array of available scents, including lime, blueberry,  and plum, or the names of the various models.  With monikers like, “El Nino Wrath,” “Fire Storm,” and “Flash Flood,” you have to wonder if the people in the naming department spent most of their lives on the west coast. Then you realize they must be from Los Angeles, possibly even from a penitentiary in LA, when you see more names like, “Shock Trauma” and “Razor Wire.” Either that, or they’re just the kind of guys you don’t want bowling in the lane next to you and your kids. Or in the county next to you, for that matter.

Anyway. Storm’s web site has this cool feature called The Match Maker, which is designed to assess your personal bowling skills and then determine the best Storm ball for your particular style. I decided to try it out, even though my particular style could best be described as “chuck the ball down the lane and hope it hits something.”

The first question on the assessment is
What is your average score?
o Less than 150
o 150-200
o 200 or over

This was when I realized that The Match Maker is for serious bowlers. You know, the people with their own bowling shoes that are NOT red and black, and do not have the size announced to God and his dog on the heel. I thought the question should at least have a qualifier, “Is that with or without bumpers?”

I didn’t even know how to answer some of the other questions, which dealt with things like axis rotation (“My orthopedic surgeon says to avoid it”) and lane conditions (“too long”). And completely missing were questions like, “Have you ever bounced the ball over into a neighboring lane?” or “Have you ever released the ball on your backswing, thereby endangering the lives of the spectators behind you?” Not that I would know anything about that.

Eventually, The Match Maker was able to tell me that the perfect ball for me was the Sure-Fire, which comes in the delectable scent of pina-colada.

I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t recommended the Screamin’ Banshee, because that seems to fit my personality better, but, hey, you gotta trust the professionals.

Then, if I really wanted to order a Sure-Fire, I had to identify myself as a Stroker, Tweener, or Cranker. I have no idea what those terms mean, but they don’t sound like something a nice Christian woman should be. I’d hate to know that my future descendents would read on my headstone, “Here lies TC. She was a real cranker.”

If you decide to go over to Storm Bowling’s website, don’t bother to look for a chocolate-scented model. There isn’t one. I guess those Storm guys are smarter than their XXL bowling shirts make them look. They know that if any of us women bowlers get our hands on a chocolate-scented bowling ball, we’ll just sit there licking it and forgo the game altogether.

Not that I would know anything about that.

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