Bowling (And Not Bowling)
Posted on Monday, December 31st, 2012 by Austin Gerth
Sometimes we go bowling, my friends and I. It’s a good thing. The bowling thing began for us last spring at the urging of My Main Man Eric J. after he’d been mystified by a bowling alley in Decorah, IA during a choir festival, and came back all jazzed up on the tenpin. The gang’s never been the same since.
Almost immediately after we started our semi-regular bowling excursions, we stumbled onto a quandary: there were two viable bowling options nearby: Princeton Lanes, which possesses an aura of utilitarianism and offers a decidedly no-frills bowling experience; and Zimmerman Bowl, the snazzier, more bourgeois alley a few miles south in neighboring Zimmerman. Some of us (myself included) preferred Princeton’s alley because we felt it was more true to the spirit of bowling: it’s a sport that was clearly conceived of by strange, desperate underdog-type temperaments, and Princeton Lanes reflects this in the way it seems as though it’s always just existed and will continue to exist long after we’ve all faded into dust–it makes literally no attempt at proper “customer service,” its website is unintentionally hilarious, and it closes for long periods of time with little explanation: Princeton Lanes is Hardcore. Others preferred Zimmerman Bowl, presumably because they just really dig that thing where you bowl in the dark and everything glows (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Unfortunately, I have to continually refer to Zimmerman Bowl in the past tense because it no longer exists. Z-Town’s bowling option has inexplicably shut down and boarded up its doors and windows sometime very recently–it’s been suggested that perhaps the owners fled in fear of that apocalypse that was supposed to happen. Zimmerman’s closing became inconvenient when a few of us naturally thought we should get together and toss some some big, black balls down waxed wood floors while we were home over break; we couldn’t go to Zimmerman (which was the first choice that evening), and it ended up being league night at Princeton Lanes (which is basically the only time there’s ever anyone else at Princeton Lanes), so we all just went back to Eric’s house, where I took photos of his ill-tempered cat.