May 1, 2005

Friday night, at the behest of my friend A., I went bowling for the first time since high school.

A. emailed me a week and a half ago saying she was getting a group of people together to go bowling, and wanting to know if I’d like to come. I felt a great deal of reluctance, but I couldn’t figure out why, so in the end I agreed to join them.

Now I know why I was so reluctant.

It was because bowling is the most heterosexual activity in the world.

I live in Manhattan, which is a gay island. I spend all my time either writing musicals by my gay self, talking to other gay people who write musicals, or having sex with my gay boyfriend. I am about to publish a book of gay haiku. I have successfully, if unintentionally, insulated myself completely from the heterosexual world.

But Friday night, throwing bowling balls at fluorescent-colored bowling pins and eating pretzels dipped in cheap fondue, I felt more alienated from the rest of America than I have since Jennifer Hudson got voted off American Idol last year.

In a case on the wall there was a bowling pin autographed by the Fab Five, but its salutary effect was counteracted by the bowling pin autographed by David Hasselhoff, so in the end I was left with nothing but the bad shoes, the sadness, and the pretzel fondue.

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18 Responses to Friday night, at the behest

  1. i. bendito says:

    Perhaps writing Bowling: The Musical could redeem the experience?

    The tourist trade would ensure your investors recoup in a matter of months.

    I might be persuaded to take the ingenue role.

  2. Jess says:

    You poor thing. I never was a very good bowler, but I hadn’t thought of it in terms of sexual identity. Perhaps this is why I never was good at it. If nothing else, you’ve now given me an excuse for my poor performance as a bowler. 🙂

  3. How could you even go near the shoes?! They clash with almost everything sensible AND you don’t know how much or what kind of bacteria the inside of the shoes has seen!

  4. Euro says:

    I’m so glad that I’m not like you.

  5. Brian says:

    How do you account for the fact that the second best song in Grease 2 is set in a bowling alley?

    I must confess, I love to bowl. Luckily you’re married and I’m in Cleveland, as now I know our unrequited love would never work.

  6. MzOuiser says:

    Being a woman who was once married to a bowler (God, I almost typed blower), I always felt that the bowling alley was not only for heteros only, but the most unfeminine place I’d ever seen. Throw your balls around, drink beer, eat cheap salty food. Bad clothes. Worse language. Nothing smelled good.

    Straight men only, please. Ew.

  7. Wait a minute! You had fluorescent-colored pins and think that’s ‘heterosexual’? When I was a heterosexual bowler we only had white pins. (And we had to bowl uphill — both ways — but that’s another story.)

  8. Len says:

    You’re just jealous because you haven’t mastered the “Taiwanese Helicopter” technique.

  9. Convivia says:

    It’s not that bowling is heterosexual so much as it is anti-fabulous. I, for example, am no stranger to heteroseXXX, but put me in a bowling alley and I’m like Superman at the annual Kryptonite Bake-Off.

  10. i. bendito: The role is yours, as long as you’re okay with my casting couch procedures.

    Jess: I’m honored to be of assistance.

    Emergency Sex: Given some of my past behavior, I am evidently not concerned about bacteria. You’re right about the clashing, though. It was awful.

    Euro: I’m not quite sure how to take that. But thank you all the same.

    Brian: I should have known there was a hitch somewhere. Alas. Now I’ll go eat a pint of ice cream and cry.

    MzOuiser: It’s too bad you weren’t married to a blower. Now that would have provided some damn good Friday evenings.

    Famous Author Rob Byrnes: Perhaps it was the influence of the Fab Five. But the pretzel fondue trumped everything else.

    Len: No, I have mastered it. But that ended up making the whole thing even more embarrassing.

    Convivia: We should form an anti-anti-fabulous league. We could wander the earth in pink spandex, searching for anti-fabulous people to conquer. Also, thank you for your other comment, which I have acted upon. You’ll understand that I had to remove the evidence.

  11. Jess says:

    Rob has a point about the pins. Our pins were always white, as well.

  12. Jere says:

    You should try bowling with the Broadway Show Bowling League. Not so hetero…trust me.

  13. I’m concerned by this sentence:

    “I spend all my time either writing musicals by my gay self, talking to other gay people who write musicals, or having sex with my gay boyfriend. I am about to publish a book of gay haiku.”

    Shouldn’t that be GAY sex with my GAY boyfriend….I’m concerned that your sex isn’t gay enough…

  14. anapestic says:

    Bowling? What were you thinking? First the black socks and now the ugly shoes. The quest to be the gayest man in America (or even on your block) is over. Sic transit gloria.

  15. Adam875 says:

    Come with me to the Broadway Bowling League sometime. Bowling CAN be gay!

  16. Jere says:

    Adam, for which team do you bowl? I’m a “Wizomaniac.” 🙂

  17. Not an M.D. says:

    In reference to what Euro wrote: I so wish that I was like you.

  18. Adam875 says:

    I don’t bowl regularly anymore, but next time I come I’ll be sure to look for you!


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