Where’s the keys?

December 11, 2008

We’re never too old to try new things.

Last Saturday Kelly and I went to a xmas party for a business that I did some volunteer work for over the Halloween season.  It was a lot of fun, and tons of awesome food that was catered in by one of my favourite places.  There was a gift exchange and I sported some smas hand towels for the bathroom.  (Such a lovely gift for a scrooge to get, eh?)  Kelly got a Dr. Sholl’s foot massager thingie that she has yet to really enjoy as it tickles her feet too much and makes her calves tingle.

Then it was on to bowling.  I love to bowl.  I consider myself pretty good, but inconsistant which ultimately doesn’t make me a good bowler.  Needless to say I was excited to try my luck as it was a blizzard outside and what better thing to do than bowl!

Then, I stumbled on this as I walked into the alley:

Ok, I didn't see Liz...don't know who she is.  Pic is off the web!

Pic is off the web. I have no idea who this woman is but her name is Liz.

Look up again at the picture.  Notice there are only FIVE pins?  And although you can’t tell, they are skinnier than normal.  Notice the balls?  They are tiny, like the balls you use in lawn bowling.  There are no holes for your thumb and two fingers.  You don’t get to pick a ball and have one all night but instead share your choice of about twenty on your lane with your challengers.

Here’s a picture of the differences in bowling here in Canada.  There isn’t a regulation bowling ball in the picture but on the far left you’ll notice a standard Ten Pin to get an idea of what I was walking into.


Ok, now did I smoke something without knowing or did someone slip something in my food?  What the HELL is this???  I’d never seen anything like this in my life.  And the SPEED that people hurl these balls down the lane is scary.   The alley we were at even had a plastic shiel above the lane so that people would vault them too high.

I am taking an excerpt from a website about Canadian 5 Pin Bowling, because I just could NOT write or explain this any funnier than this guy did:

(From http://www.225.ca/fivepin.htm)

“Leave it to the Canadians to wussify bowling.  I mean really, what is more manly than hurling a 16 pound ball down a wooden lane towards 10 unsuspecting pins.   Tensing as the ball throttles the head pin and sends it careening into several other pins?   The sound of crashing as the pins bounce around like a bunch of metalheads hopped up on meth at a Pantera concert.

The wussification began when some guy (look it up on the net if you really are craving to know the details) decided that 10 pin bowling was just a bit too strenuous for the mortal Canadian. Why not only have 5 pins.   A 16 pound ball?    That is too heavy, how bout a nice softball sized 3.5 pound ball.   What?   You say we only get 2 chances to knock all the pins down?   Isn’t 3 chances a bit more sporting for the me and my chums?   Finally, lets throw some big fat rubber bands around the center of the pins for good measure.   Thus Canadian 5 pin bowling was born, or something like that.”

On top of all that, there is of course a completely different way of scoring.  Each pin has a point value.  Ugh.  And just so you know, this is NOT an easy, or wussy game!  I was getting so frustrated when not throwing strikes or spares.  Sometimes I was lucky if I got just one pin down!  It was hysterical really.  Everyone knew I was an American and had never seen a bowling alley like this, and I think they took pleasure in my goofiness.  Oh well.  It was fun.  In fact, it got rather addicting.  And I swear I got a better workout than had I played Ten Pin.

In fact, the dude that wrote the above article later stated this in the same article:

“We managed to improve each game as we discovered the subtleties of this odd little game. We also grew to like it.

5 pin bowling, sounds like it is for pussies, but it is for everyone and turned out to be quite a bit of fun. Go to Canada and try it yourself.”

So there ya be.  I learned something new yet again.

I of course had to make it more interesting.  Kel and I went to the fabric store earlier as there was a big sale on curtain rods.  We found the 8 footer we needed and it was 60% off so we snatched it up.  I proceeded to wade through the fresh snow of the snowstorm that hit over night and make my way to the car.

8 Foot pole + 2 door Honda Civic = A challenge to fit.

I’m freezing.  I want to get back to the bowling alley to start playing this weird game.  I’m standing in a foot of snow.  I have this long freaking pole and am doing my best to make it fit in our car.  Only thing I could do was crawl into the back seat and drop one of the backrests so I could feed the thing into the trunk.  Dang things were locked so I had to take the keys out and unlock them.   The pole from hell fit nicely and I uncramped myself from the back seat and made my way back to the alley.

Ahem.  Yeah.  After I realized I had left the freaking keys in that lock thingie for the seats and locked up the car nice and tight!

I didn’t have my other set of keys, and neither did Kelly.  True, we had the other set at home, but a lot of good that does when the house is locked up tight too.  Not to mention we’d have to pain someone else to drive us clear across town in a blizzard.  (Oh, the don’t call them blizzards here.  They are Snow Squall’s)

Luckily someone offered their CAA card services and someone came in 45 minutes.   I had to take off my bowling shoes, put on my boots and coat,  and stand out there with him as he screwed with wedges, bladders and rods for a half hour before giving up.  He decided he needed to call the “Honda Lock Expert” to get me into the car.  Ok.

Back in the alley.  Take off coat.  Take off boots.  Put bowling shoes back on.  Look like a fool for another half hour, then the call came from CAA Honda Lock Expert dude that he was outside.  Take off bowling shoes.  Put on boots.  Put on coat.  Go back in the blustery cold.

HLE dude was funny and at least talked while he petered with the car.  At one point he had five different rods sticking out of the windows.  He told me he can’t get those rods out until he got the car open, so he wasn’t leaving until he was in.  Thank god he only took about 2o minutes.  And all it cost me was one cigarette to the HLE dude.

Back inside.  Take off boots.  Take off coat.  Put bowling shoes back on.  Bowl for another 45 minutes or so.  While I was out playing with the CAA guys, someone’s 6 year old girl bowled for me in my spot.  Shamelessly, she did much better than me.  I should have let her continue bowling for me.



  1. One of my windows actually has some missing glass, so that is part of needing the film that I plan on putting on. And with the film, I might not need the heat….

  2. WOW! thanks for the lesson… Bowling 101. Sounds like you got an “A”! I had no idea that there were that many variations. I’m just glad you had a really fun time. Even moreso, I’m relieved to see that the girl in the photo wasn’t you…. you don’t seem to be the time to put your hair into mini pig-tails ontop of your head!!!

  3. If nothing else, you got a great subject for this blog. And now my feet are cold just thinking about you changing the bowling shoes to boots, standing outside and so on.
    Glad you found a new sport….

  4. Wow – definitely sounds different. Glad you survived bowling in Canada, snow and all. And glad you got your car unlocked safely and your curtain rod home. (You DID ultimately get it home, didn’t you?)

  5. Eeeee! The BIG thing into the tiny car problem! I get that all the time now that I don’t have my ginormo Jeep anymore. Either I never needed to buy huge stuff back then or because it all fit I never noticed, but I sure notice now. Try bringing lumber home in a VW Beetle.

    Thanks for the lesson on Canadian bowling. Sounds like a hoot! ~LA

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