It was a smell that I secretly loved. A wicked mélange of lane oil, lemon-scented wood polish and sweaty feet.
Walking into the lanes, a beautiful cacophony of bells and buzzers assaulted my senses. The league players filled the middle lanes, leaving only the fringe alleys for us amateurs.
The reverberations from the resin balls rumbling down the parquet floors made my ears ring. It reminded me of how I felt when I first fell in love. That deep-down, heart-thumping sensation where you feel it all the way to your toes.
We picked out the most obnoxious balls we could find. I got a neon orange 12-pounder and he found a blood-red 15-pound rocket. Our laughter and silly antics drew attention from the more serious players. Attempts to perfect our goofy releases, and gymnastic dismount flourishes after strikes, prompted agitated whispers.
My realistic warble after I made my first turkey, brought the league president over to our station to reprimand our behavior. Our oinking later when we made ham bones, had us both crying laughing.
As it became obvious we were both going to bowl 300, the other lanes emptied out and the keglers filled in behind our benches.
The only draw back to our plan was that we couldn’t perform this exhibition in the same place twice. People tend to remember two jokers bowling perfect games, but it was worth it. No matter how ridiculous we were, we couldn’t throw gutter balls even when we tried.
We could have wished for material riches, for long life or magical powers. Instead, we asked to be unbeatable crankers. The Genies are still shaking their heads.