In my lifetime, I have been to dozens of bowling alleys. I have seen very nice bowling alleys (“Ooooo! Black lights!”). I have seen terrible bowling alleys (“Eww! Clogged toilets!”). I’ve seen bowling alleys that fall somewhere in between (“Black lights and clogged toilets! Huzzah!”).
No matter the status of the toilet situation, a bowling trip is nearly always the same. You go and rent your shoes, all the while thinking about how strange it is to rent footwear, before you head to your assigned lane. This lane is inevitably next to the group that has brought their own balls and shoes, meaning they are clearly more invested in the game than most of the people at $1 game night. While they average 278 per game, you get excited that you scored a 92.
I am not ashamed to admit I am not a good bowler. It would be very silly to be ashamed of that fact. I am the worst bowler in my group of friends. I am usually the worst bowler in the building. Not to overstate it, but I am the worst bowler in the world to attempt the idiotic feat of knocking over ten pins with a ridiculously heavy ball.
The worst. Ever.
Despite my lack of anything resembling bowling abilities, I do enjoy a good bowling night. There are very few things more fun than grabbing all of your buddies and heading to the lanes. Actually, there are a lot of things more fun and several dozen things that are equally as fun, but you see what I was getting at.
For the first time in many months, my friends and I were able to gather and partake in the sport of gentlemen. We placed our gently used and possibly athlete’s foot-infested shoes on and off we were on a magical bowling adventure.
Very quickly, I lost interest in the game. This is prone to happen when you are a terrible bowler. When you know that your next frame will be full of splits and gutter balls, you have very little to hold your attention. That’s when I glanced at the concession area.
There, on a sign, was the daily special. The special was that classic bowling alley food we can all remember devouring at children’s bowling birthday parties.
It was Broccoli and Cheese soup.
I have enough issues buying soup at a restaurant. It seems like a waste of money when I’m eating some chicken broth and vegetables. At a bowling alley, though, you seem to have stepped into a whole new world of bowling dining. Gone are the typical burgers and fries for a food you slurp with a spoon.
I had images of a burly, overweight man bowling a strike. That man turns to face his friends, all of them hollering that manly howl that men who look like lumberjacks seem to always let out. After a series of high fives and a gulp of cheap beer, he sits down and daintily blows on his soup to cool it off. After all, you wouldn’t want to bowl with a burnt tongue.
The next few minutes were spent watching the cashier. Fries were ordered. Burgers were ordered. Chicken tenders, sodas, nachos, all ordered. No one walked away with bowl in hand. It was like this soup was the Loch Ness Monster of foods.
Was this soup for the more dignified people who were reluctantly dragged to Olathe Lanes? It seemed that those people seemed to be very happy with their burgers, leaving drips of grease all over the table. No one was crumbling crackers into a bowl of Broccoli and Cheese.
I honestly don’t know what I bowled. I’m assuming it was bad, but I was a bit distracted by the sea of soup related thoughts flooding my mind. How can a bowling alley expect anyone to operate adequately when they provide such a distraction?
Next time, I might try the soup. Heck, I might look at the whole menu. Maybe they have crab cakes or Eggs Benedict. It seems like nothing is ruled out of this bowling menu.
Of course, in the end I will most likely avoid ordering anything. I don’t order food from a place that makes you wear other people’s shoes while you’re there. It may taste good, but there’s no way it’s good for you.
I should know. I’ve seen what it does to the toilets.
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