Dear Dean Loge and Master “T”:
We all hope you are holding down the TD fort in New Haven. Sarah, Laura, Bryan, Jeohn and I are enjoying the hot weather in Florida.
I think Sarah is a little surprised about coming to my hometown. I don’t think she was ready for the pickup trucks and the rural golf course crowded by random dogs. Longwood, Fla., isn’t exactly Boston. I mean, the people are much better drivers in the South.
We are keeping busy with swimming, sports, tourist attractions, and my family’s penchant for storytelling. Bryan got to go to Disney World for the first time, and Olive Oil flirted with Jeohn at Universal Studios. Sarah and Laura have enjoyed making fresh lemonade and catching up on their trashy celebrity magazines.
Last night we all went bowling, the South’s favorite sport next to fishing and NASCAR. Again, I don’t think my friends were prepared for the journey into the backwoods of Florida.
Everyone was sporting a mullet and tacky clothing at the alley. Luckily for us, Jeohn was wearing a cowboy hat and a blue Hawaiian shirt with pineapples, Sarah and Laura featured their Toad’s gear, and Bryan and I broke out our summer polo shirts. We were a motley crew as we entered Alohma, my favorite bowling alley.
Like your typical bowling alley, our destination featured a sketchy snack bar, disco music blaring from the makeshift speaker system, and a female shoe attendant whose brash attitude and intimidating personality made you think she had recently broke out of a maximum security prison.
The bowling alley also showcased dead animal heads attached to the walls in the bar and scenic images of Florida beaches painted on the bathroom walls. I am surprised we even ventured into those uncharted parts of the sporting ground.
I was pumped for the night. Not only did I take bowling in high school as a class during sophomore year, but in the intramural bowling season I did comparatively well, even if I was the only sober one during those intramural games.
I somehow lost whatever skill I had in bowling when I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line to come home to Florida. I didn’t break 70 the entire night. I think I was too distracted by the woman bowling next to us whose oversized mullet probably had a name of its own.
I won $10 for having the lowest male bowling score in the entire alley. Who says a 61 is not a respectable score? It’s not like this bowling alley needed to compensate the Hanson family; a certain family member has stolen enough beer signs from the place to open her own Irish pub.
But bowling in the south is not too different from bowling at Yale. Most of the people were intoxicated, tempers were flaring, and everyone had an accent (granted, it is a mostly New York accent at Yale).
The five of us formed our own competitive bowling team that night; we called ourselves “Huck Farvard.” We bravely competed against my sister; her boyfriend; her best friend, a 34-year-old Californian woman who formerly wanted to work in the Foreign Service; and her best friend’s date, a 33-year-old who kept hitting on my friends. I told the girls not to wear their Toad’s clothing.
Many claim that bowling is not a sport. But you wouldn’t want to argue about the merits of bowling with Big Lou, the 250-pound winner for highest bowling score that night at Alohma. Big Lou is a winner in my book. Bowling combines finesse, muscle strength, hand-eye coordination, and mental fortitude. Heck, by the end of the night if you still have two of those four characteristics nailed, you can easily break 100.
We were the last ones still bowling when Alohma closed down at 2:30 am, and my fellow TDers were on their planes heading back from vacation by 6 a.m. this morning. Nothing like a good night of bowling to bid farewell to the Dirty South.
We will see you soon, Dean Loge and Master T. Take it easy, and get ready for Team Huck Farvard when we come back to school. We have been to the Florida backwoods and back again.