I stole this story from a friend, I hope he does not mind.
I am bowling again. The new owners of our lanes who I thought had eliminated league bowling, did in fact reserve some lanes for leagues. I now bowl with a team every other week sharing a position with another bowling buddy.
This week I was talking to our captain before we started warm-ups. He told me that the week before he bowled a 269 game. That is a very good score, the best score you can roll is 300. Obviously, he is a dang good bowler. I asked him if he had ever bowled a perfect, 12 strikes in a row, 300 game. His answer confused me.
“A few years ago, in a summer league, I bowled a 300 game, but I had some help.”
He went on to explain that several years before, he had lost his son. On the way to bowl on this night, a bottle on a shelf simple fell over from no apparent cause. It spooked him, but he forgot about it.
His first game, he had a high 200 score. In the second game, he threw nine perfect strikes to start the game…three strikes away from a perfect game. In the tenth frame, he rolled an almost perfect ball into the pocket, but as often happens in the frustrating game of bowling, the ten pin did not budge…and then it did. The ten pin simply fell over seemingly without ever being touched. Sometimes on a similar hit, a pin bounces off the wall and slides into the ten pin. Bowlers call this a messenger. That is not what knocked down this ten pin, this pin was knocked over by a different messenger.
My friend went on to say that he looked up and thanked his son. The next two balls were easy strikes and he had his perfect 300 game.
“I know it was my son who knocked that pin over,” he told me, “and in retrospect the bottle that fell off the counter was my son practicing.”
A perfect game in bowling is a twelve strike in a row 300 score.
I think this perfect game was even more perfect than that.