Sally Forth

Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

Kurt Cobain's Ghost with an Invitation to a Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks by Angela Genusa

"B.L.T.": A Review by Will Layman

Ten Tiny Poems by Brian Beatty

Angry Words from a Gnome Who to This Day Continues to Think the Human Genome Project Was Actually The Human Gnome Project by David Ng

Key Party, N.Y.C., Circa Always by William K. Burnette

A Day on the Phone with Mythological Norse Firewarrior, Bringer of Storms by Aaron Belz

Polish Fact

Population Growth Rate:
0% (2003 est.)

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Mein Milchshake holt alle Jungen zum Yard.
My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2003   |    Fiction


by Bobby Rufferto

Welcome to Introduction to Bowling, my friends. How exciting! I’m sure you’re all bowled over with anticipation, ha, ha, ha. That’s a little Bowling joke. Anyway, you’re about to embark on an exciting, spiritual journey into the sport of kings. Bowling requires precision aim and zero stamina; a Zen master’s grasp of his surroundings, yet absolutely no sweating, no huffing or puffing, no torn ACL. Most importantly, over the next 12 weeks, you’ll learn the subtle art of knocking down things from afar by rolling a ball — a skill you’ll find useful in all walks of life. No man can be successful in his marriage, in business or industry, or in his solitary communion with God without first mastering the ancient art of Bowling.

Now, before we touch our balls (ha, ha, a little Bowling joke), first a crash-course in the history of Bowling: Bowling was invented in the Twelfth Century by the Hopi Indians of New Mexico. For “pins” they used ears of corn, which they called “maize.” For a ball, they used the head of a buffalo, which they called “bison.” You see, Indians wasted no parts of a buffalo: its muscles made tasty food, its hide made warm clothes, and its bones and horns and tail were fashioned into tools and toys. Usually all that was left was the head, and the head would generally be missing its eyes, because they used those for marbles. So, by placing two fingers in the eye sockets and one in the mouth, you’ve got yourself a perfectly spherical bowling ball there.

O.K., enough history. Now, on to touching our balls. (Ha, ha, ha, sorry. Bowling joke). Now, everybody stick out the fingers on your right hand and wiggle them. If you’re left-handed (or, sinister), shove your left hand into your pants pocket and keep it there. You’ll learn to use your right hand for Bowling. Everybody still wiggling their fingers? Good, now close fist, open fist, close fist, open fist. Good. Now snap, snap, snap, snap. Now point. Point. Point at the ball. Point at the sky. At the floor. Good. Wiggle again. Aaaand done. Your hand is ready.

Stick your fingers in your ball holes. Good. The ball should feel snug, like a giant, heavy, round mitten. The ball is an extension of your arm. Your ball and your fist can no longer be separated. It’s your ballhand. Your, big, round, heavy ballhand. Extend your right arm as far as your puny biceps can lift it. Now slooooowly bring your ballhand close to your chest. If you need to, you may pull your left hand out of your pants pocket for support here.

Now, repeat after me: “Bowling, bowling, bowling, we’re gonna go a-bowling, rawhide!” Again. Louder! That’s our Bowling song. And that reminds me, your assignment for this weekend: watch Grease 2, and learn the words to “(We’re Gonna) Score Tonight.” That’s our new Bowling song for next week. Every week, we’ll have a new Bowling song. For extra credit, by the way, you may watch any of the following videos, and write a short essay comparing and contrasting: Kingpin, The Big Lebowski, Bowling for Columbine. O.K., where was I?

Yes, holding the ball at mid-chest level, approach the little triangles painted on the floor. Quietly! You must sneak up on the triangles. If they hear you, they’ll try and stop you! O.K., yes, tiptoe. Good. Now twirl around three times counter-clockwise. This keeps the evil spirits at bay. Good. Now slowly lower your ball to the floor, — bend with the knees, not the back! – then gradually follow with your body, touching first your legs, then belly, then chest to the floor until you are lying prone with the ball in front of your face. The ball should be positioned so as to completely obstruct your vision of the pins.

“Um. Sir?”


“I’m not sure we’re supposed to be lying down to bowl …”

Oh, I’m sorry, are you the Bowling 101 professor? No? Well, then you’ll just shut your freakin’ piehole if you know what’s good for you. O.K., now where were we? Ah, yes, on the floor, facing the ball. O.K., are we ready? Now push! Push! Use both hands, now, give a good shove. There you go! Look at it go. Wheee! Hee hee! Watch your ball go … O.K., well, that was a gutterball, but that’s good for your first time. Now that your turn is over, you must sit silently on the floor, Indian-style, and pray to the Bowling gods for forgiveness. O.K., who’s up next?

Bobby Rufferto once broke his jaw on a Jawbreaker. Although it hurt incredibly, he is one to appreciate irony. He has not sued the confectioners. Do you think he should? He's conflicted: on the one hand, it hurt like hell; on the other, he now has a flip-top head which allows him to save money by buying a cheap, generic toothbrush instead of the pricey Reach toothbrush. Also, as a result, he can now entertain party guests by fitting a whole Magic 8-Ball into his mouth and shaking his head for your fortune. While we're on the subject, he did not particularly enjoy the movie Jawbreaker, but he sure digs that Rose McGowen. Oooh, she's naughty. Mr. Rufferto lives in New York, works in New Jersey, and teaches tango lessons in Iowa.