Thank goodness Monday was bowling night in Ishpeming, because it reminded me that I've wanted to trot out some of my favorite sayings on the lanes.
What got me thinking about this topic was when one of the guys on the opponent's team - I won't identify him because I don't want to be responsible for any undue ridicule - chopped the 6-10 spare.
The 6 and 10 pins are the ones farthest to the right on the lane, and chopping it means hitting the front pin, the 6, head on and not getting any deflection by either the ball or pin to take out the 10.
As he put it, "You'd think a round ball hitting a round pin couldn't do that" and he's right in that it takes a perfectly direct-center hit on the 6-pin to "achieve" this feat.
Or as I told him, as I sometimes tell others with seemingly near-impossible bad luck, "If they paid you $10 to do that, you never could."
Last season, I started jotting down some of my goofy phrases, some borrowed, some original works. I hope my teammates don't slap me silly when they read this, since some of them are trotted out fairly often to reactions that include rolling eyes and groans, I have to admit.
Like when someone converts a rather uncommon, unusual-looking spare: "You must practice that one a lot." Or alternately: "Nice cover-up. Have you ever considered government work?"
If they get lucky on a strike or spare: "It wasn't good, but it was good enough." And another alternate phrase, a long one: "It's better to be lucky than good, because if you're good you also have to be lucky, but if you're lucky you don't have to be good."
If they keep leaving the same pin and converting the spare, I say: "They wouldn't have left that pin up for you if they didn't think you could pick it up."
On the other hand, if someone's been getting tapped and finally gets a strike to fall: "You're like a library book - overdue."
I've got a couple that I always have to save for people my age - 50 - or older, since they go back to popular culture from the 1960s and '70s.
When someone throws the ball quite straight, especially for a successful spare: "Dial direct and save," a throwback to a phone company TV commercial of the '70s.
Now my biggest groaner is a 1960s reference, and I'll proudly (?) admit this is one of my originals.
It's for when the oil pattern starts drying up and forces everyone to move their target: "Bob Dylan wrote a song about this - 'The Lanes They Are A-Changin.'"
And I always add: "And did you know he wrote another song about the lanes? 'Bowlin' in the Wind.'"
But two of the best ones I've borrowed.
The first came from a professional bowling legend, the late Earl Anthony, when he moved to the broadcast booth. Always a classy, even-keeled kind of guy, he was talking about a bowler visibly upset with the result of a shot when he said, "Call the pins by their number, not their name."
When I first heard this, I didn't know what he meant until he explained that even the pros have some choice (read: off-color) words for certain pins when they remain standing after an excellent shot.
The second phrase I have no idea what the origin is, but it sums up the game for a lot of us righthanders: "When all your friends have left you, the 10-pin will still be there."
With that, let's check out the Mining Journal Bowlers of the Week.
The men in particular had some monumental performances, led by Terrence Ingalsbe in the Thursday Northern Michigan University bowling class at Superior Lanes. Coming in after four weeks with a 131 average, he zoomed way past that with 596 on games of 214, 181 and 201, which was 203 pins over average.
Out of the same class, Michael Ring shot 156 over his 195 average with a big 741 on 267-236-238. I think that score may make him eligible for advanced placement credit.
In regular leagues, Don Salo in the Monday Northern Electric Automotive Industrial League at Country Lanes was 151 over his 160 average with 631 on 178-217-236.
For the women, Lauren Nebel out of the aforementioned NMU class was 111 over her 70 mean with 321 on three 100-plus games.
Will you be surprised to hear that NMU bowling instructor Hope Virch was second in the women's BOW race at plus-104, beating her 173 average with 623 that included a 244 closing game?
Like I say, Hope is like a library book - she was overdue.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.