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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney


My Nickel’s Worth                      by Randy Ooney

Twilight Zone


Do do do do, do do do do; Picture if you will, a bright summer day as you enter the local Brunswick Twilight Zone for a few games of practice.  The charge is $1.25 per game and you are prepared to pay for four games with one of those bills with Abe Lincoln’s picture, when the clerk asks for $7.00.  You are thinking the cost should only be $5.00, but the clerk explains that the extra two dollars is for “shop supplies”.   After all, the bowling center has machines that need lubrication and repair frequently, cleaning products to clean approaches and settee areas, rags to assist in those jobs, as well as bar rags and napkins and plastic cups.


On to the grocery store.  They need to add a per cent or two to your bill for… Yup – shop supplies.  Those shopping carts and plastic baskets are not free.  It costs money to plow the parking lot in the winter.  The computer system needs to be maintained.  Oh yeah, those nasty swipe fees for credit and debit cards.  We cannot keep our prices low if we have to pay for all this.


So, forget the grocery store and eat at a restaurant.  You have a nice meal and the waiter brings the check.  There at the bottom is $5.00 for shop supplies.  Dishwashing soap, napkins, silverware, tablecloths, maybe a couple of extra bucks if you parked in the restaurant lot.


You may think this only happens in the Twilight Zone, but next time take a close look at your bill when getting your vehicle serviced.  Not only do they charge for things like rags and tool maintenance, but they don’t even itemize it.  They just add a percentage of your bill to the invoice as shop supplies.  Even ex dealer service managers call it a rip off. 


When I was a kid, some of my friends were learning how to tear a car apart and put it back together while I was going bowling.  They went on to earn thousands of dollars in mechanic shops, while I went on to earn ten bucks a week in pot games.  I suppose I am at their mercy as to how much I have to pay for an oil change, but don’t send me a coupon for the oil change at $24.95, and then charge me $32.50 after adding for recycling oil, tax, and “shop supplies”.  It’s offensive and insults the intelligence of bowlers everywhere, even drock – (pronounced “D – rock”).  As in “I am d rock, I am d island.


Help stamp out shop supplies.  Ask before you authorize the service.  Complain after.  We can win this battle.


And if you will be enjoying a day at the Minnesota State Fair, have a good time and don’t worry about shop supplies.  At $5.00 for a tub of French fries, I doubt if there will be a service charge for the cardboard tub or the deep fryer oil.  You can save a little if you have free time.  Veterans and their spouses pay only $7.00 admission on Tuesday. Have fun.  




    That five ring circus that we all know as the Olympic Games has landed in London this year and 30 or 40 hours per day on NBC.  I look forward to watching the Olympics once every four years, but after a few days I also look forward to the end.  I have finally figured out why my favorite sports, bowling, golf, and baseball are not Olympic sports, (Although they did try baseball for a short time about 20 years ago.)  These three sports are not played with a net or in a pool.  I have hit more than a few golf balls into pools over the years but that’s not the same thing.

    I was thinking that maybe they could adapt bowling to become an Olympic sport by replacing the pins with a net about the size of a hockey rink net.  So it’s not too easy, a goaltender would be positioned in front of the net, about 60 feet down the lane.  But so it’s not too easy for the goalie, about 60 units of oil would be put down on the last 30 feet of the lane, sort of like they do in Reno.  Let the games begin!

    I watch many of the events that we only see on TV once every four years.  Since you can find an NBA or college hoops game on TV nearly every night for about nine months out of the year, I don’t normally watch much Olympic basketball.  But the talk show media stirred up a little controversy when Kobe Bryant was asked if this year’s team could beat the 1992 dream team, and he said “yes”.  I would expect him to say that, but of course Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley scoffed.  Larry Bird offered the best answer by saying that Kobe, LeBron, and company could probably defeat the 1992 Dream Team, because most of those players are now over 50.  This is the same thing I say when people pose the question about whether drock can beat me on the lanes.  Well it’s either that or sometimes I just use the “He’s left handed” excuse.

    But I cannot get over the incredible endurance that many of these athletes have.  I get tired just watching them.  The men had a 150 mile bike race and the difference between first and second place was about a second.  Then the women biked the race on Sunday in the rain, and the difference there was the length of a bike.  Some of the longer swimming races are exhausting I am sure, but playing water polo will never be on my things to try.  Running a marathon is popular among all ages, but running one in under 2 hours and 10 minutes is a different story.

    Women’s gymnastics used to be an event in the Olympics.  Then along came a girl named Olga, and another named Nadia, and now it’s the showcase event at the games.  The young ladies have tremendous talent!  It amazes me that they do hands free backflips on the 4 inch wide balance beam.  It seems that when they speak in an interview after a session, they sound like we did as kids after inhaling helium from a balloon.  If they ever give up gymnastics, they could probably be jockeys at Churchill Downs.  And Olga and Nadia still see their names in a crossword puzzle at least once a month.  Of course I remember watching Olga and Nadia amaze the world, but what is really great about the new technology of this century is that young guys like drock can revisit the 70’s performances on you tube.

    So, whether or not you won a medal, whether you are from the US, Canada, Britain, China, Russia, Japan, or a small country I cannot spell….Congratulations on becoming an Olympic competitor, and thank you for entertaining the world for this brief period in history.    



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