1. Very durable floors that don’t easily scuff or get dented. Even when you loft bowling balls off them.

  2. Possibility 1: You accidentally drop your laptop on your floor and it leaves huge gouge. And we don’t even want to think about the scratch marks your dining chairs leave. But cant toss a twenthy-pound balling ball with a huge momentum and it just bounces without a mark.

    Why *can’t* we get floors like that for our homes.

    Possibility 2: This time it *is* a metaphor for sex.

  3. Interestingly, via a discussion on Reddit, it appears that at least one bowling supplier offers flooring of sturdy synthetic materials.


    I myself have bowled “ten pin” style perhaps only once in my life. My preferred mode of bowling was “candlepin” (which uses a smaller ball with no finger holes among other major differences), and I haven’t even done that in a decade or more.

  4. I’ve only bowled about six games in my life, but I once defeated a former Connecticut state champion.

    Of course, he’d been champion in the 8-10 bracket (or something like that) years before, and we were in our twenties at the time, and he hadn’t played in years. And we were both tired from having driven a few hundred miles that day before. But s a huge non-jock, I’ll take my glory where I can find it. (I think we each scored around 75.)

    Meanwhile, maybe the floor in the A&J bowling alley is normal, but Janis absent-mindedly used a Nerf ball. . . ?

  5. My funny bowling story is the time I went bowling with a friend who was REALLY INTO bowling and another friend who didn’t care. The first friend was obsessed with trying to get the spin right and was paying close attention to the scores. The second friend was texting others during the game and had to be reminded to take her turn. She literally walked up to the line with one hand on her phone and dropped the bowling ball without even looking at the pins…and got a strike. The other friend was so upset by this, and the rest of us in the group found it hilarious.

    I always assumed that bowling lanes were actual wood, but were layered up with so many layers of wax or polyurethane or whatever in order to make them shiny and durable. The Shake Shack near here has wooden tables which are supposedly made from the wood of a Brooklyn bowling alley.

  6. If Janis uses an 8 pound ball, it may well bounce like that. Something doesn’t need to be rubber to bounce, it just needs to snap back well when deformed (try bouncing a ball bearing on a steel surface some time, it bounces pretty well).

    As a totally unrelated note, bowling alleys do not like it when you grab the 4 pounder kiddie balls and bowl overhand.

  7. Tree – It’s not wax or urethane, it’s oil. The lanes are heavily oiled. Look up “bowling oil patterns”. it’s kind of interesting.

  8. Modern lanes may be synthetic, but the traditional material is (or was) a (very) durable hardwood, and there has to be some sort of an underlayment beneath it, or the noise level would be even more deafening than it is already. The result is impressive, in a negative sense: I’ve seen incidents like the one in this strip practically every time I’ve gone bowling, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lane with a significant dent in it.
    P.S. I think the “candlepin” bowling that Grawlix mentioned @5 is probably the same as the “duckpin” bowling that is popular around the DC area.
    P.P.S. @ dvandom – Where in the world can you get a 4 pound tenpin ball? At our local lanes, the lightest balls they have are 7 pounds, which are still too heavy for my younger kid.

  9. I’m pretty sure there are some minor differences, but candlepin and duckpin are essentially the same.

    When I was in school in Massachusetts we played exclusively candlepin. My first time bowling back in New York, the ball seemed enormous to me, and it was the first time I ever opened a game with three strikes. It just seemed like I was tossing a steamroller down the lane.

  10. I should have looked it up first. The two versions have some similarities (smaller balls, and three balls per frame), but the pins are quite different. Candlepins are tall and thin, duckpins are half the height, but otherwise have the same “curvature” as tenpins. Nobody has ever scored a 300 in either game. The candlepin record is 245. The duckpin record is 279, but the record for a three-game set averages to 218 per game.

  11. In my early teens there would be bowling birthday parties. I am REALLY bad at sports. If I got a 40 it was a big deal. If I did so without throwing the ball backwards at the other kids it was even better. It would drop off my hand my when I swung my hand back.

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