Lumbar region

Now that my back has left my service and become a minion of the devil, I notice how often I bend down.  I bend down, like, all the time.  My daughter is around four feet tall and that’s part of it.  But I also have to bend for a million other things.  To reach the bathroom sink, for instance.  And straightening up is such an effort that I don’t always do it.  I’ll be hunched over to wash my hands, and then I’ll spin to the towel in the same hunch to dry my hands.  Let’s not even talk about the position I sit in all day at my desk.  I need to start sitting on a ball or something.  Chronic pain is new to me, and I don’t appreciate it.  Must we all stoop all the time, or is it a personal problem?

When I wonder aloud “who bowls?” I hear from two separate sources (so it must be true): “the working class.” The working class I knew during my five year stint of not-so-hard labour in factories did not bowl, they drank.  But I suppose there might be a drinking sector in the working class, and a bowling sector.  Anyway, we have a bowling alley one block away from our house, and I finally succumbed to Eila’s pleas to check it out.

The bowling alley was clean.  The score was kept automatically and appeared on a TV screen above our lane.  The shoes were ludicrously comfortable.  They put gutter-guards up (the four-year-old option) so that it was impossible to miss with one’s first bowl.  The fries were yummy.  The beer was cheap.  And the place was chock full of families with young children.  Sounds good?  But this is not all!  Saturday is “Cosmic Bowling” day.  That means black light, a mirror ball, coloured lights flicking around the walls, and dance music pumping.  I drank!  She ate!  We bowled!  We danced!  It was like going clubbing with my kid!  Yay bowling!


One thought on “Lumbar region

  1. I feel terrible that you have that kind of pain and regularly say a version of that prayer thanking god that I dont have that quality and pray that it doesn’t visit me. (Yes, go to the Y and score one of those balls; a friend with a bad back says it works.)

    Bowling. First, let us clarify the terms. For me, bowling is 5 pin bowling. Not 10; that’s foreign to me, that’s someone else’s idea of bowling. Ten pin is a kind of aggressive (overwhelmingly American) version of the game. But, know also that these comments are not some sort of veiled Canadian anti-American sport, for our mutual friend TM educated me in the game of duckpin bowling and therefore I appreciate the game beyond us vs US, 5 pin vs 10 pin.

    I was introduced to bowling as a matter of class. The working folk from which I came bowled and bowled with their coworkers (and sometimes curled and sometimes played bingo). My folk taught me to bowl and taught me to do it pretty well. (BTW, if you are left handed, rental shoes hinder your game for the very smooth sole is on the wrong foot).

    But the truth is that most of the bowling I did was as a part of belonging to social groups which were not ‘working class’. When I was in the DeMolay, bowling was an easy cheap social activity to put together and you could get girls (notably, Job’s Daughters’, each and every one who was, by definition, related to a Free Mason) to come out to play also. And since the DeMolay was my adolescent introduction to bougie folk, I find it hard to associate bowling (and curling for that matter – since the DeMolay put together a provincial bonspeil every year) with ‘the working class’.

    And, since black light bowling and gutter guards are also – I’ve discovered and you’ve confirmed – part and parcel of bowling today, I find it as hard to associate bowling with ‘the working class’ as it is to associate Las Vegas with the mob.

    (FYI, the ‘town hall’ in Little Mosque on the Prairie is the Masonic Temple in which my Demolay meetings used to occur.)

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