‘Here comes the hat trick’


I don’t think I can ever remember a time in my life where I’ve gone several weeks, let alone months, without being able to go into my backyard.

We’re thankful that we have a big backyard for Ellie and Sarah to play in, but the only problem is that there hasn’t been enough break in the rain since December for it to dry up.

Callie did go and buy a new plastic pool for the girls to play in, but those opportunities have been few and far between, due to the constant downpours.

So after almost an entire week of being cooped up in the house, we needed to get the girls out on Saturday, rain or shine.

We decided we’d look around the area for something indoors for the family to do.

That’s when it came to me. Bowling.

We’d drive to Cleveland and bowl a couple of games, and then we’d let the girls play some games for a little while and maybe eat some nachos.

Now this was 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. I checked and saw that the alley was opening at noon, so I was really excited. I wanted to get out too.

Thankfully, my good friend Andy Collier clued me in that there was a state bowling competition going on until 5 o’clock that evening.

That killed the dream of reliving my college bowling class days.

I took bowling at Delta State as one of my physical education requirements. I was on a team with my brother and a couple of friends.

My bowling skills were hit and miss. Sometimes I had really good days - even bowled a 285 one time - and then there were just miserable games.

I had quite a temper on me back in the day, especially when it came to competition.

I soon became known, not for my bowling skills, but for my signature hat throwing after the ball diverted from the direction I intended.

My teammates called it the hat trick.

I’d step up, bowl the ball, and my teammates would watch to see what happened.

If it missed the pins, they’d yell, “Here comes the hat trick!”

I may not have been accurate with the bowling ball, but that semester, I mastered the art of throwing my hat accurately. I’d sidearm that thing into objects, down the bowling lane, and if I was really mad, I’d just slam it into the floor.

At the end of the semester, I got my grades, and I saw to my horror that I had gotten a B in the class.

I wasn’t that bad was I?

To me, getting a B in bowling was the same as getting an F. It was supposed to be “an easy A.”

I figure my antics throwing my Cubs hat halfway down the lane on numerous occasions – many times just for the reaction of my teammates – probably cost me those precious quality points.

Later on, I realized I was either going to have to give up competitive sports or the temper.

Since there was never any chance of me making it onto ABC’s Wild World of Sports, I figured I’d give up the rage.

Perhaps one day, when the lanes are open and the stars align, I’ll make my way back to Cleveland and roll a 16-pounder down the hardwood for old time’s sake.

And maybe I’ll even follow it up with a hat trick.


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