Ken Almost Wins One

Ken is five years younger than me, and I never gave him any slack when we were growing up; he couldn’t beat me at anything. But as we got older—into young adulthood—and he started to catch up with me in size, he got real determined. It didn’t do him much good; I still whipped him at just about any sport or game that required any kind of athletic ability. Not that I was a great athlete or anything, but Ken was… awe, let’s not go there. <chuckle>

He almost beat me at bowling one time though. Almost.

I was a pretty good bowler back in the early seventies—actually thought about trying to do it professionally. I had a wife and two kids to support though, so that wasn’t gonna happen. But one night, me, Ken, and our grandpa, “Bunk”, went bowling at the local facility in Morton, Washington. It was one of those deals where if the colored pin was in front, you could win money if you got a strike. I don’t think we won any money to speak of, but we sure had a good time. Bunk was a pretty fair bowler himself, by the way.

So I’d finished my last game, with a paltry one-seventy-something; I don’t have a clue what Bunk scored; but Ken was bowling the game of his life. He happened to be the last one to bowl, and had one more ball to throw. He needed one pin to beat me for the game. He was giggling and braying like he’d just won the open championship, and he had old Bunk chuckling too.

I kept telling him he shouldn’t count his chickens before they were hatched, and he thought I’d lost my mind.

“I need one pin!” he said. “I can get one pin with my eyes closed, Chuck!”

“I don’t know, Ken,” I said, shaking my head in a doubtful way. “You never know what might happen.”

He guffawed and grabbed his ball; Bunk was grinning—I think he knew what was about to happen; I was just sitting calmly, watching Ken get ready to roll the ball.

He set up, took aim, carefully took the prescribed steps, cocked the ball back high over his head… and just as he started his downward motion, I yelled at the top of my lungs, “KEN! WAIT!”

It’s a wonder the boy didn’t get seriously injured. He jerked, stumbled, tried his best to stop his throwing motion, and WHAM! The ball went straight into the gutter and clumped slowly down the lane, obviously missing all the pins. It was a tie game.

I thought Bunk was gonna bust a gut, he was laughing so hard. Ken turned around—his eyes were about to come out of his head—and for probably the nine-hundred-ninety-ninth time in his life yelled at me, “I can’t believe you did that!”

Ah, those words are like music to my ears.

Wouldn’t you have loved to be my little brother?

1 Comment »

  1. Sherry said

    You’re just mean!

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