Living On a Prayer: Week 5 in BowlPortland

It’s the game we’ve been waiting for all year.  The anticipation was palpable.  So, with no further ado…

Great Lost Spares 9 Lesbowlians 6

Lanes 25 and 26 have been a graveyard for many a BowlPortland team’s dreams.  There are unfriendly neighbors to throw you off, you feel shunned from all your friends, and according to Spinella (confirmed by others) “The Speakers are BAD! Too much treble, no sub-woofer, our ears are bleeding.”  And this was from the winning team.  Well, facing adversity brings out character, or so they say.  While you’re going through it, however, it just sucks.

Noone came out strong in this game.  The Lesbowlians got the traditional 5-0 loss in game one on lane 26.  Given the start, they were somewhat pleased with the final score, particularly since their captain was missing.  “We just kept saying, WWTD (what would Trixy do)?”  When staring at the 5-0 deficit, they realized “Trixy wouldn’t say anything, she’d just ko our asses and say ‘for the love of Goddess, bowl!’”

As for the Spares, they were happy to come away with the win (though they wanted more 80’s music).  Most importantly, they decided to send a shot across the bow of the O.L.L. (Old Ladies’ League).  It was probably right after they had been criticized for lane etiquette or something, but when noone was expecting it, Alli Cat threw the ball into the crowd on her backstroke.  Let’s just say I don’t think we’ll have any problems with O.L.L. anymore.

Dirty Half Dozen 12  Three Livers 3

In another classic throwback game, last year’s runners up made a loud statement with a big win over a rattled Three Livers.  “Rectum?  Damn near killed ‘em!” yelled out Harlyn P on the heels of the triumph.  His smack was on, but his game was off.  Riggs didn’t rebound as predicted, either, but the strength of DHD is its depth and wit.  Jeltz and Pirate carried them over the finish line.  They did say they wish they could play Three Livers every week, a sentiment I’ve heard from many teams.  Toonces, fresh off the flu, gave a long summary argument.  “When Andy Varipapa was a young man growing up in Brooklyn, he would make his way from one end of the borough to the other rolling 4 or 5 games at each bowling alley.  He carried one ball in each hand with his shoes looped around his neck, saving his money for the next game. At the end of the day he would take the subway home, sipping hot tea and massaging his cramps hand.  He was the original bowling badass!”  It’s a roundabout way of saying look out next week, Off Constantly.

Three Livers is in the midst of an identity crisis.  They are still one of BowlPortland’s most popular squads, but they used to also be known for their bowling.  While that has faded, their dance moves have gotten increasingly impressive.  So, Wilma put it to them succinctly “Are we bowlers are dancers?”  Bernie’s big recommitment promise turned out to be empty.  “Just enjoy us” he said.  His façade was betrayed by some teammates only to happy to spill team secrets.  “Next week, Bernie and Pearl will be gone on their long delayed honeymoon” said Ruth.  “Hopefully they can resolve their ‘marital issue’ and when they get back return to strong rolling”.  With the honeymooners gone, 3 L brings in Fred for the first time – but the question on everyone’s lips is “will they bring back Hank from Vermont?  That, or “can I have this dance?”

Roll Another 11 Young and the Bowled 4

The Chupacabra is very real.  Hide your goats!  Chup’s squad picked up another 11 points and took firm control of the Joy Division.  Bones continued his hot play, but the big moment for the team was game one.  Eager to establish themselves, they all rolled over 140 and established a 5-0 lead they’d never surrender.  They were so happy with the performance, they even filled out their postgame survey, though it mostly reflected on the fact they don’t usually respond.  The Package did have one comment for the record:  Is this paper smokable?

As for the Y & B’s they got a little wrapped up in off-lane issues.  They are part of a small but vocal minority that is very upset with the DJ.  “Just get into the groove” they implored. One person that was in the groove was Senator ITZ (in the zone?).  His game continues to gain steam, throwing a nice 480 series.  They need their captain back to keep the team motivated, as without her Queequeg let on to his doubts “We are almost officially knocked out, but we had fun.”  It’s not good when you reference your season in the past tense at the halfway point.  They do get credit for their survey being completely beer encrusted.

Sauce Posse 8 Hyper-Bowl-E 7

SauPo has finally explained their ‘hitchikers…pick em up’ mantra.  It makes some sense, I suppose.  It’s not about locking the doors in the car and asking for ‘favors’ at least.  They’re not a bunch a Jesus freaks in a chartreuse microbus looking to convert.  They just want to roll spares.  Modest enough goals.  Lots of teams want strikes.  Well, Hot Sauce led his team to a ‘just enough’ 8-7 win, as SauPo floats along trying to decide if they are contenders or not.  In what was perhaps a mistake, they did let Special Sauce address the media.  “What is the nation today, for my forefathers?  We are in uncharted territory like yoko serf.  We shall represent and perservere for the generations, United States for BowlPortland.”  Yes?

Hyper-Bowl-E showed signs of life, with the sonorous Michael BowlTon rolling a 148 and Miss Moxie leading by example with a 141, but they seem wrapped up in a negative blanket.  Two weeks ago they just complained about the dancing.  Now, on the heels of a pretty encouraging close game, their team statement was “please stop the dj.   We can’t jam on anything.  Just seriously, stop the dj.”  That was followed up by Old Man Winter shaking his fist grumpily and muttering “yes, stop all that racket!” K-Ron, who is leaving the team for the AT next week, is already contemplative and left the squad with a haiku.

Go Hyper Bowl E
We may be mediocre
But we try real hard

I hope her trail name is bowling related.

Pud’s Taxi 10 Gutterballs 5

Pud’s continues their slow climb up the standings and into your hearts.  Dink piloted his crew to a big win over one of the teams they’re trying to leapfrog.  But then they left – they didn’t deal with the media.  Honey continues to rock the Mullet, but he appears to have made a deal with the devil.  He could have the hair of the gods, but he would never bowl over 60 again.  I doubt he regrets his bargain.

Gutterballs got some strong games from JP and The Nihilist, but seemed to have their minds elsewhere.  “Ithaca: Nice to visit, wouldn’t want to stay there” said a glazed-eyed Lolo.  I’ve never been.  “Freeform rolling – balance, patience and dumb luck are all you need, ergo we have what it takes to succeed.”  See what I mean?  We’ll just chalk this week up to someone replacing their performing enhancing drugs with a different kind.

Happy Hand Productions  10  I.C.B.I.N.G.  5

Ok, guys, I get it.  The speaker system is broken.  Lanes 1-6 is like sitting in a jet engine, lanes 20-26 is like listening to a mountain breeze.  I don’t think I can fix it.  “Turn it down!” screamed Jules.  Again, I can’t.  HHP overcame the noise to grab a 10-0 lead in their match with a captainless ICBING.  Jasper L. Pond (the L is for Ladies Love).  “Just slap it” he cried.

“This is the worst remix ever!” bellowed an angry Gutter Finger.  That makes three teams.  I’ll have to keep them separate before they organize.  Without Peanut Gutter, they were left flailing.  “Are there any drugs we can take for the humiliation we are feeling?” asked Gutter Cup.  Gutter Finger did grab the reins and lead the team back to a sweep in game three to salvage 5 points.  He also diagnosed the problem: “we can’t hit 9 pins.  If we could hit the 9 pins we’d knockout the competition.”  Good luck with that.

Pinups 13 Sweet Rolls 2

Ok, Pinups, we’re paying attention.  After another big one, they are locked in a two team race at the top of the Pacific.  The Oft-Injured Chunk is holding up, and rolled a 192.  The rest of the team is rolling strong too.  “Just shut up and play” is their new motto.  That’s a good motto.  Big Ern knows anything they say is filtered through a negative media.  So, we’ll see how this new thing works out for them – quiet, strong bowling.

Sugar Daddy still believes.  He believes they can “change the world one sweet roll at a time”.  They were shaken by the Pinups skills.  “Are they in the Joy Division? “ they wondered.  Also taken aback by the Pinups new congeniality, Honey said woth amazement “Oh my god, they make us look grumpy.”  Sugar, always one to find the positives, noted that “Sugar daddy got a turkey, and we are still in the running for the congeniality award, right?”  It is right – but who would have ever guessed the Pinups would make a move for that title too?

Binga’s Ringas 12  Off Constantly 3

Well, we have a new regular season leader.  Paced by Wing Alex, Binga’s put up a convincing 12-3 win over the champs to stake their claim on the number one seed.  With Jamaican Jerk distracted by his entourage “the press guy and the guy who just keeps calling you a-hole”, and Hot Mango Mike busy singing “pick it up, put it down, curve it in, curve it out, disco lady” to noone in particular, Wing Alex opened up with four straight strikes.  Oz played like a champion to take the top point, but Wing Alex took the bullet for the team allowing his teammates to pick up the remaining four.

In an early hole, Tron urged his teammates “relax! It’s only week 5!”  Unfortunately, Oz took it to heart, and relaxed his way down to a 145, leaving the door open to a potentially season turning frame 10 for Wing Alex.  His final frame 28 gave him the personal point and the team won the overall by 2.  Instead of 6-4, Binga’s led 8-2.  OC couldn’t recover.

By game three the Jerk had regained his concentration, and his 216 paced BR to another four points and a lead in the division.  The interesting side note is that while Binga’s appears poised to hold the number one slot, OC is on pace for the top wildcard, and thus the 5 seed.  If that happens, they would face off in the semis instead of the finals.  Interesting.  Off Constantly does need to be careful next week, as they face a DHD squad primed for revenge after last week’s final.

B.E.E.R. 11  Derelicte My Balls  4

Tom Richards can build a cesspool in your yard, charge you rent for it, and make you think you got a sweet deal.  He can also step up when needed, as he was Tuesday night.  As predicted, TR broke out and paced his team to a 5-0 start that led to an eventual big victory.  The Balls said they let BEER win to score points with the commissioner.  All are welcome to follow this pattern.

The commissioner needed all the pity he could get, putting up the worst score of his career in Game 2.  Luckily, his team picked up the slack.  With top ten bowler Roy G Biv on vacation the door was open for an upset, but The Balls were too distracted by off field issues.  “We’re halfway to the Bowling Ball” screamed Bubbles, referencing the legendary end of year awards ceremony.  “Come to Bubbles bonfire” added Muskrat.  That is not some strange allusion – there will be a BowlPorltand bonfire at Bubbles’ farm sometime in the near future.  There may even be skijorning.  Only EZ-E seemed focused on the loss, angrily barking “Does anyone here have a towel for my ball!  Seriously, its all oily!  What’s so funny?”

Alley Gash Rollers 9 Purple Haze 6

It’s official, the AG rollers are not going away.  Even with the Ball of Fury, Tekkawitha, having an off week, Coco and Natro had enough to power these guys to another win, staying right on the heels of BEER.  Bunny summed up the plan: “I will never let BEER get out of my sight.”  They are starting to believe now…in bowling.  “Who would have thought a bowling league could be fun?” The Alley asked.  Well, if they thought it would suck, and invested all the money they did, then these guys are real gamblers.  Or they don’t like money, which may be the case given their new Zen philosophy: live – drink – bowl.  That is a recipe for a solid winter.

When team leader Lefty opens with a 99, it’s typically going to be a rough night for the Haze. Given their slow start (5-0 shutout in game one) their game 2 comeback (5-0) was an impressive achievement.  Unfortunately for PH, their strong game three wasn’t enough on this night.  The Haze don’t fill out surveys, so you have to imagine what they might be thinking.  I assume it has to do with cheeseburgers.

Die Gassenjungen 9 Strikes of Hazzard 6

“Ich bin ein Duke Boy” shouted a fired up Dieter.  Maybe, but the Germans certainly did give Boss Hogg and Roscoe P Coltrane heartburn like the Duke boys.  They cruised out to a five nothing lead and held on for the win. With the win still fresh, Die Gas was already looking ahead to Derelicte. “They’re gonna need some goldbond for das chafe!”  Never a dull moment with these guys.

As for the Strikes, theay aren’t getting the wins, but are starting to accumulate some points.  “We are her to bowl the s&*% out of Portland” they insisted.  Roscoe stayed home for this one (and his team took the opportunity to discuss how much he has sucked), but Jason Vance made his presence known.  Apparently, Uncle Jesse wore some great jeans as well.

Maine Yacht Club 9.5 Three Fingered Willies 5.5

They did it!  MYC put together their first win of the year against the tough-luck 3FWs.  They were so excited that they didn’t even remember to talk to the press.  They won by doing what so few teams have done this year, getting better from games 1-3.  Usually there’s a downturn, but MYC turned that on its head and pickup up the big W.

As for the Willies, oh my.  After playing a murderous schedule, they thought it was over.  Then this.  And now on the horizon, the suddenly intimidating Urban Achievers.  Just hold it together, Dirk McLucky – keep on truckin’.  “Don’t think, just bowl” Schizo said.  That’s a god motto for these guys, except for the fact that Slick Nick’s not thinking caused him to jam his thumb.  No word on his return.

Urban Achievers 14 Incredibowls 1

I believe the Urban Achievers like the push from the Pinups.  They continue to roll strong and put up points at a dizzying rate.  And, to their credit, the shutouts are gone.  They are loving their inaugural season.  “Halfway done? NOOOOOOOOO!”  In an interesting conflict, they too claim “Shut up and roll” as a team motto, just like their new rival.  They did add a twist to theirs, however, finishing with “put your dink into it”.  I’m sure that’s not dirty, but a reference to the team captain of Pud’s.

The Incredibowls worry that BowlPortland is getting to corporate.  “We just roll for the love of the game,” they said.  On the heels of their loss, and in the midst of their tailspin, they have moved into imaginary realms of the mind.  “Sometimes at work when I’m supposed to be working, I don’t really work at alland instead I imagine I’m a bowling ball – and I imagine I’m hitting pins and striking the hell out of everything.  And then the boss tells me that rolling on the floor is inappropriate and I have to stop.”

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