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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 2, Issue 13, The 65th Edition

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      My mother tells me that as a small child I was a morning person. Somewhere in college I discovered the real me, and reveled in staying out late and sleeping in. When you get to the real world, you find out that the world isn't designed for that kind of life, so night people merely get by during the week and live for the weekends (or in some cases sleep through them). So image what it takes to get me not only wake up before 8 AM, but actually out and about on a Sunday morning? Well, how about 75 cents a line for bowling?

      Yes, folks, I've found a way to harmonize my "cheap gene" with my bowling needs. I can now afford to practice without sacrificing my son's college fund. We've gone several times, racing out of the house, bowling for a couple hours, and then coming home before noon to recuperate and start our Sundays over with a more relaxed approach. After all, Sundays were meant to be spent sleeping in and reading the newspaper, but some things are more important.

      The weekly scenario plays out something like this: The alarm goes off entirely too early, and it's an unspoken game between my husband and I to see who can pretend they're in deeper sleep and ignore the alarm longer. Loser climbs into the shower first while the other one gets to drag our semi-comatose son out of bed. Michael has discovered his preference for nights much earlier than I did, but for a few games of bowling and a chance to play a few video games, he's willing. OK, he's not exactly willing, but he's too young to stay home by himself. And, well, to be honest, we're bigger than he is. And then we're out the door. We grab something to eat, or stop by a local bagel shop on the way. Travel coffee mugs make this trek a bit easier. The only other option would be an IV drip, but I'm not sure that would be conducive once I started my approach.

      The amazing thing is to see how crowded the center is. While I figured the first time we went there'd just be a few cheapskates like me bowling their way to financial nirvana, instead almost every pair is running--some with couples practicing together, and other lanes with a single bowler rolling line after line. If we get there early enough we can get a pair, but otherwise, we just get a single lane.

      It seems to be working for the center, as well. It's clear that they're not making much, if any, money from the bowling, but even without advertising this special, folks are waiting for a lane before 10 AM! Some of them buy breakfast before or during their practice, and the center recoups some of the money they could be making on their lineage. But one thing the center is really doing is creating good will among the bowlers who want to practice, and I've seen many of the same bowlers practicing at other times, when the center can make a little money.

      Oh, and before you faint, I should say, it's an AMF center. So before you automatically judge a center based on preconceived notions, go ahead and check out the management of the center. You might just be pleasantly surprised. Some of the general managers have plenty of leeway, and do appreciate bowlers and their business.

      I can't say we'll be there every Sunday morning, but paying that little to do something I should do anyway is a pretty big incentive. And if I get it out of the way on Sunday, I did my good deal for my bowling for the week. Maybe I should scrounge around and invite some friends along. If they get up that early, I'll buy the bagels. It's the least I can do.

Gotta Split,


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