Tiny Bowling Shoes
They surprisingly had tiny bowling shoes for tiny bowlers. And an 8-pound ball, which of course was still too heavy for Muscles McGee, but the neon orange-ness of it made up for that.
Bumpers and Ramps
Nowadays, these new-fangled, fancy-pants bowling computers not only keep score (In your face, third-grade teacher Mrs. Krueger. I new I didn't need to learn that bullshit.), but you can program them such that when the tiny bowler is up, bumpers rise out of the floor, making gutter balls a nonissue.
They also have ramps. Noon and I heaved the big 8-pounder over to the ramp, and she gleefully pushed it with all her might.
|Norah and I|
The actual knocking over of pins was not the height of excitement. Pushing the ball, dancing in between turns, and being cheerleader was more entertaining for Norah. Which was just as well, because even with the ramp pointed directly at the center pin and bumpers preventing an open frame (yeah, I know a little bowling lingo), Norah had a pretty shitty score. I couldn't believe the ball actually made it down to the pins a couple times. From the time she pushed it down the ramp to the contact of a pin, we could do a little dance, have a sip of lemonade, go to the bathroom, play songs on the jukebox, steal other people's street shoes, play four games of pinball, spray disinfectant in every rental shoe in the place, wax two lanes, and finish a medium-sized pizza. Then watch to see if the ball would knock over the pin, or if it would bounce back.
Mom and Sarah are Bowling Machines
Now these two are actually pretty good. I can't remember who won, but they kicked our asses. Mom even got a turkey, which upon recounting the evening, Norah excitedly called a chicken.
Eventually, after we had retreated to the restaurant for pizza and cake, which Sarah had brought for her BFF who manages the bowling alley for her birthday, and cosmic bowling came on. At first, Norah peered out to the alley and declared she didn't like it. I thought she was just confused, so I took her by the hand to investigate.
We couldn't leave after that. It was dark. There was a disco ball. Colored lights danced across the floor. The black light made our shoelaces and t-shirts glow. Guns and Roses' Paradise City boomed out of the speakers. Norah found a spotlight and started dancing.
After a few more 80's metal tunes, we tore her away, a little teary, but not a complete meltdown.
We may have to think about bowling for her birthday. It was a good time.