I am not a sporting person. By that, I don't mean that I don't possess a sense of decency or fair play. No, I'm just not cut out for sport. For some reason, it's just never tickled my interest. I tried as a young lad, gangly of frame and mop-topped of hair**, to like football as the entire family was very much football-oriented. I even got a sticker book and everything but just couldn't see the appeal of sitting down to watch it. There were no robots, no spaceships, no aliens, nothing. Just a load of blokes kicking a ball up and down. Yawn. Pass me the Lego.
At secondary school, due to being larger of frame (i.e. built like a brick shithouse), I was drafted into the rugby team***. Fortunately, my innate crapitude at sporting stuff in general shone through (mainly through my tendency to run away from the ball and try and lurk at the back hoping no one would notice) and this only lasted a few excruciating months. So, Sport and I said our farewells and agreed to leave one another to it as, in general, we'd both just be much happier that way.
With one exception.
There is one sport that I've always been fond of ever since I was a wee lad. It's a sport that requires no special training, no particular physique and can be done whilst drinking - all big ticks as far as your baldy narrator is concerned. No, it's not darts although I am partial to a bit of arrows. I can't quite do the maths quick enough, though, so it's a bit like hard work. No, it's not snooker or pool because I'm atrociously bad at both of those (well, unless you alter the objective to "keeping the balls on the table and knocking them about all night" ****. No, I refer to that sport of sports where real men are probably a bit overweight and the shoes are shared.
You probably guessed that if you worked out the title quote, though. Yes, bowling. In truth, I'm not particularly good at it either but I can have moments of brilliance (amongst the average to awful playing) which keep me hopeful. I get it, I understand the appeal and I can do it. Plus I get to have a pint while I'm playing so it's spot on. I don't go particularly regularly but I always remember how much I enjoy it when I'm there. So, having been last night and had a laugh, I think I'm going to resolve to go for a bit of a bowl more often. And maybe one day, I'll have myself one of those monogrammed shirts what people wear to bowl (along with the special wrist support-y thing that they wear too). The name on the shirt? Cueball, of course.
* Bonus points for quote identifying
** Mum was a massive fan of the Beatles and insisted that my brother and I sport a bowl-ish, Beatles-y moptop during the 80s. When absolutely no one had that hairstyle. I'm surprised we didn't get beaten up on a daily basis (unless we did and I've got some repressed memories waiting to surprise me). It all came to an end, fortunately, on the day of what I like to call The Great Experiment, when I introduced a pair of nail scissors to my fringe and ushered in the era of the Crew Cut.
*** Yes, actually drafted. The exact words were "You can be in the rugby team or you can come to detention every Saturday morning". In hindsight, I should have gone with detention - it would have been warm and I wouldn't have had people rummaging about between my legs in an unpleasant way.
**** Which is also a very expensive practice in some parts of Soho. Allegedly. Ahem.