Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Incredible Bowling Story

As a kid in Chicago, in my neighborhood anyway, you bowled. Saturday afternoons - 3 or 4 hours. Only now do I know it was an inexpensive way for parents to lose their surly pre-teenagers cheaply for an afternoon.

My Dad - big bowler - 200+ average. Me - learned the game, got decent, grew up and realized that bowling is great if you’re a member in good standing in Local 494.

Jump to 2005. I fly from Texas to Chi to celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday. I am the one to suggest that the three brothers bowling with the old man would bring a tear to his eye. Off to Lisle Lanes.

It’s bowling for blood right off the bat. First game not bad, and get into a groove by the end. Second game. Strike, Strike, Strike. Owww. Oh my god. Something snapped in my arm. Arm goes limp, ball drops in a tremendous thud. Can’t move my arm from the elbow down.

At lightning speed I recall prior orthopedic problems and correctly determine - I just tore my bicep off the bone in my forearm (if arm can’t move this way, what makes it move? Not too hard to figure). Shock sets it. Not figuratively, literally. That and a couple quick beers and there’s little pain involved (that’s the cool thing about shock - it happens for a reason).

Based on years of (correctly) choosing not to bowl, I end up torquing my muscle in such a way that I tore the tendon off my arm - BOWLING.

I end up in a cast for 8 weeks and now have a huge scar on my arm. For the rest of my life I have to admit that I had a serious injury….while BOWLING.

I hang my head in shame and return to my gin and tonic.


  • Number of people who live within 1 mile of my house who have torn their bicep tendon off while bowling: 2. Me and Delton Hayes.
  • Number of people who live within 1 mile of my house who have torn their bicep tendon off doing something semi athletic: 3. Add Jeff Martin, fellow WM'er. Softball.
  • Number of people I know who have torn off their bicep tendon: 4. There was some sales rep from a software company. Can't remember exactly who, though.


Michael5000 said...

That really is a good bowling story.

And it compares well to MyDog's story, in that you made more than 13 points.

But, a truly great bowling story would tell how you went on to win the match bowling with your left arm. At some point your father would squeeze your limp, lifeless right forearm and say "You made me real proud tonight, son." Classic male tearjerker.

Just a thought.

Laura said...

That's a pretty good bowling story! If it makes you feel any better, a friend of mine in my league slipped and fell while making her "approach" (or whatever its called when you go to throw the ball) and sprained her arm as she went gliding down the lane.

Phineas said...

M: Nice thought.

If I ever do take the story to screenplay, I envision a "Tin Cup" tone surrounding the central bowling plot. Ex-strippers, a dashing professional bowler antagonist, lively banter in a Waffle House....that sort of thing.

But I think that the genre of first person accounts of bowling injuries is already crowded enough.

I do have another tendon injury story that I'll post someday. Much more serious than this one, and the reason I no longer play volleyball.

Rebel said...

OMG! I nearly chopped my finger off - quilting. So at least you were doing something mildly athletic.