My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Viva Las Vegas
The USBC National tournament returned to Las Vegas this year, which along with Reno, is a magic city with buffets, attractions, and gaming galore. There’s no doubt in my mind as to why these venues are selected frequently as participation increases when the tournament is in Nevada. We have not had a tournament in Minnesota since 1965, and chances of having one again in the near future are slim and none, and Slim just left for Vegas. In days gone by, the ABC used to select cities like St. Paul, Detroit, and St. Louis for the national event, but now they seem to shy away from larger cities with major league sports, and lean more toward places like Knoxville, Corpus Christi, Huntsville, and that city in New Mexico that I can’t spell. But as the great bowling philosopher, drock, once said, “It is what it is”.
A few bowlers, either by choice or by default, ended up bowling in Las Vegas in late May or June this year. I remember attending season ending NABI tournaments in Las Vegas in June. The guy who coined the phrase, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, never bowled in Las Vegas in June. Most years I was there, the mercury reached 120 during the day. If you spent more than 10 minutes outdoors, your skin felt as tight as Kevin and Pat Williams’ pants. One year I purchased a bowling ball carrier called a rolling donkey. It was made of plastic, held two balls, and had wheels and a handle so you could drag it or push it. I had it in the trunk of my rental car and arrived at the Showboat for a tournament. I reached in the trunk and lifted it out. It had become the consistency of bread dough, the plastic clasp gave way and my two bowling balls hit the asphalt. I went to pick them up, like an idiot, but lane oil had morphed to the surface of the ball, and the surface temp was about 150 degrees. After burning my hands, I got a couple of towels. It was a little bush league to carry my equipment into the center wrapped in towels, and a bit cumbersome to carry from lane 2 to lane 68 without my rolling donkey. But you could stop and rest halfway there and dump five bucks worth of quarters into a slot machine.
So for those who had late dates in Las Vegas this year, I hope you did well. One thing is certain, if you stored your equipment in a car trunk, you will not need to visit your pro shop to have the oil extracted from it any time soon. Maybe you could shop for a new wrist brace.