Week 4: Halfway Home: Purple Haze Wins Thrilling Map-Off; OC and DHD on Collision Course

 $3 Gutterballs 9  Saucy Posse 6

Desperate to reach the lanes after his car broke down, SauPo captain P Sauce tried thumbing it. Last anyone saw of him he was stepping into a minivan that pulled over to offer a lift. He never reached Portland. The rest of the family missed him at dinner (scallops and veggie dumplings) but assumed he was just running late. They started the game in a way that would make little brother proud, winning 5-0.  But by the end of the game with P still missing the team began to worry.

A different kind of worry was plaguing Two Hole Joel – his team was in last place and down 5-0. He vowed that this would be their nadir, then inserted himself in the lineup. “There’s no I in team” he exhorted. “But there is ME!  Now give me the damn ball”. His teammates followed his lead and roared back to win 5-0 and tie things up.

With the third game coming up, D Sauce’s phone rang. “Hey D, it’s P, how’s it going?” “Where the hell are you?  The whole family is worried sick, we were gonna call the cops.”. “What? No, I’m fine, just chilling, watching some Mork and Mindy, that shit is hi-lar-i-ous. Nanu nanu. Ha! Oh crap, its bowling night isn’t it, I totally forgot.”. “Well, maybe you should check bowlportland.com more than twice daily. We’re telling mom and dad”

The Gutterballs saw the family dischord and in it a chance to get out of last place. NicLovin took the lead back from co-cap Two Hole, and rolled a 167 to jump in front of the bullet of R Sauce’s 170. That let the rest of his teammates pick up point and a 4-1 win for an exciting 9-6 comeback. The win fired them up, and now they are wishing it was a 16 game season. When asked to explain his team’s turnaround, Joel attributed it to “blood, sweat and tears. And doritos.”  Delicious.

3 Livers 12 Derelicte My Balls 3

Tuesday morning Bernie visited Maude as she was making her daily visit to bowlportland.com. He looked over her shoulder as Maude tried to distract him from the screen. “Oh, um, hey, let’s go to the kitchen. I made some excellent toast”. “Cmon Maude, I want to see that. What does it say?”. He then saw last week’s writeup, and saw that he had been snubbed from bowler of the week honors. “What kind of horseshit is this?” he bellowed, as he reached into his bag, grabbed his bowling ball and hurtled it into the screen.

Balls’ captain Bubbles was getting a similar jolt at about the same time. She was making one of her hourly checks of the webpage and saw the predicitions of a big loss and the sportwriters calling her team a paper tiger. “Paper tigers my ass!  We’re so hot right now” she said under her breath, as her roomate and rival walked by. “What are you reading?”. “Oh nothing.”. Bubbles seethed, shut her laptop and purposefully went to execute her daily beauty regimen.

With such turbulent starts, there was an electricity in the air as the game started. 3 Livers did a better job channeling it. Of course, they do have three bowlers with legit shots at league MVP at the halfway mark. This night it was Hank’s turn. The only thing missing for Hank were the crowds lining the lanes, ringing cowbells and noshing on jarlsberg, like when he was a kid at the Swiss National Alpine Bowling Academy. Oh wait. That was just a dream I had. 

Derelicte had no answers. Actually, they had one answer each game, losing 4-1 each time for a 12-3 thrashing. They plan to ask Captain Steuben for more practice time at their next port of call. And since Bubbles is the cruise director, she can pretty much schedule whatever she wants.

(That writeup stopped making sense a long time ago).

Dirty Six  13   Bingas 2

Ladies and gentlemen, the Dirty Half Dozen 2008 Victory Tour!  On Harlyn’s birthday, the dirty ones cruised to another big win. Riggs, in Belichickian language, simply said “one game at a time. Room for improvement.”  Ok, sure, but we know they’re looking forward to a week 6 showdown (championship preview?) with Off Constantly. Asked to comment on his birthday, Harlan suggested he felt the first 29 years had been wasted but now he had discovered his true passion – bowling – and looked forward to the next 29. He did fall off in game 2, but Riggs explained that he is just working on bowling theory, and he had no worries. There’s really not much to say about this team right now other than ‘lookout’. They operate as a single entity, the very definition of a team. They support each other, the wear silly hats together, they bake each other cakes. The only questions each week are who leads the scoring, Jeltz or Riggs, and can Dutch move from 2nd to 1st place woman bowler.   This team is in playoff form, and they’ve been there all year.

Bingas was decidedly not in playoff form. In fact they weren’t even in uniform, as Wing Al lost their shirts. Al also suffered a wrist injury and is out indefinitely. In his stead were two new Wings, Eric and Big Red. Noticeably absent were any tenders, a fact stand-in captain Wing Mike acknowledged was crippling team chemistry, morale, and overall hotness.  “We suck” he said, showing he has been well trained at the foot of his captain Wing Al, who was quoted two weeks ago as saying “we suck”.

The Wingas did have their moments. In game two they were one pin away from a tie, and the 2 points they got were so far the most allowed by the Dirty Half Dozen. Afterwards, they pounded jager, an apt dessert after a dinner of beer and wings.

Happy Hands Productions 9 B.E.E.R. 6

Happy Hands met Tuesday for a team dinner and discussion of how they have had “the hardest schedule eva”.  It is true they have faced the giants of the league, so their matchup with BEER seemed like a relative breather.  They would play without their scribe, Jasper L Pond, but they had a secret weapon: a fired up Sasha Northfield.  Sasha was rollin, leading the Hands to a relatively easy 4-1 win in the opening match.  Also on fire, Poppy Wildwood, who earned team MVP honors with a 440 string.  With the early lead, the Happy ones got happy, and when these guys get happy, clothes get shed.  With shirts and pants dropping like flies, the Hands let BEER back in the match with a 3-2 win in game 2, but finally the temptations of the Hands overcame the steely resolve of the BEER-men and BEER-women, and game 3 went to HHP for a final of 9-6.

Over on the BEER side, Hungus wore a shirt to warm-ups with a simple message: “Give a Damn Again”.  While the BEERS lost, they regained a bit of their form after last week’s debacle.  Tom Richards switched from the Pants of Many Colors, to a new look – the man in black.  It definitely served the team well.  The Bishop also picked up her game by applying some lessons she learned watching Roseanne reruns.  Unfortunately, the Pin Whisperer is still lost in a fog.  He forgot his shirt for the second straight week, and with it, his mojo.  It was determined by Filthy that the Whisperer was ‘overthinking’ things, and the Pin Whisperer pledged to remember his shirt, eat some garlic butter fried partridge, and stop thinking next week.  “Bowling is a road best started nowhere” he added.

Purple Haze 8 Spare Us 7

In one of the most thrilling games of the season, Purple Haze put the kibosh to Spare Us’ nascent rise in a hotly contested map-off.  Spare us came in on a roll and feeling good about their chances.  Chupacabra had been going over the postgame handshake in his head all week, just waiting to bust out the line “the student has become the master” to boss The Dude.  Due to some late game heroics, he had to shelf it in favor of “good game boss”.  While he left the lanes with a semi-smile, after the game he was seen face first in a snowbank with an empty bottle of coffee brandy by his side.  Bones, winner of the 50/50, stepped up in his dejected captain’s place to note “we’re still picking up steam.  We bought some speed and cheap Italian wine, and it suits us.”

Purple Haze was down right giddy about the victory.  When it looked desperate, captain The Dude could barely keep down the smelt he had feasted on at the thought of losing to his employee, and having to come through on the boastful “you beat me I’ll double your salary” line he’d been tossing around all week.  It was an edge of your seat thriller.  After trailing 4-1, the Haze was down to the wire in game 2, before Imoan’s final frame turned what would have been a 4-1 loss into a 3-2 win and kept them alive heading into game 3.  Then the true heroics.  The Dude rolled a strike-strike-8 in the final frame of game three to win a point by one pin (134-133) and Imoan finished with a  strike-strike-spare to edge into third and gain the overall.  I believe Chupacabra would have described this loss as feeling like being punched in the gut were he not passed out in the parking lot.

Off Constantly 13.5  The Pinups 1.5

Off Constantly continued their climb up the standings with another convincing win on Tuesday.  The consensus pre-season favorites have now moved into 2nd place with a week 6 matchup with the Dirty Half Dozen looming.  The continued to respond well to the loss of their co-captain to a broken leg, setting a league record with a total of 1672 pins.  Oz rolled a 210 to finally take home bowler of the week trophy after three weeks of being the bridesmaid.  Tron and Number One also had season high games to help make up for the missing Steve McQueen.  His replacement, Benny, looked strong too with a 155.  It seems that these guys have overcome the early season jitters and are out for blood.  After the game the gathered for bud light and cranked out the Ez-E tunes to celebrate.  Badass.

The Pinups swoon continues, and now their one win looks more and more like the anomaly.  Not helping matters is the continued absence of adventure sports expert Chunk.  They are now 8.5-36.5 without him in the lineup. “Give us some love” pleaded Big Ern.  This after trashing the rest of the league all year.  The Pinups actually rolled well enough to beat many teams, but ran into the hottest squad rolling.  “Hey, need I remind everyone of a little story called Bad News Bears?  Rags to riches, baby!” said Big Ern on the way out to buy beer for 13 year olds.

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