Category Archives: games people play


Week 29: ‘play’ 
I get knocked down but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down…I get knocked down…’ I saw a cartoon drawing not that long ago of a set of 10 pins lined up at the end of a bowling alley with that quote drawn as words coming out of one of the pins mouth. It brought a smile on my face as I read the punch line on the picture – another pin was looking at his mate that was singing the song saying ‘shut up Mick’ as the mechanical device had just picked up the pins and configuring them into their positions after a ball had delivered a ‘strike.’ Seeing the pair of bowling shoes on the stairs reminded me of the cartoon and again brought a smile to my face as I began to think of all the fun times I’ve had playing games of ten pin bowling over the years as a young child and an adult with children of my own. 

I used to have my birthday parties at our local bowling alley where I could invite several friends to attend and join in the fun of having 2 games on two lanes, then take a break to eat finger food, sing the celebratory happy birthday song and cut the birthday cake. I had to share my birthday with my older sister as her birthday was only 5 days after mine although 3 years spaced between us we both bared the zodiac sign of Gemini. We didn’t mind sharing our birthday celebrations as it was easier on our mum and dad for cost etc. Trish hogged one land for her friends and I hogged the other lane for my team. These games were played without bumpers, dark lanes and disco lights. The only things that have remained the same over all the years are the shoes and balls. When I put them on I felt like I was in an episode of ‘Happy Days’ just needing a poodle skirt and Bobby socks. 

I got videos (now converted to DVDs) of my children at their birthday parties at the bowling alley. I videoed their scores on the overhead tally board which also showed the speed of the ball on their turn. Jacob often used the bowling ramp to guide his ball down the lane and it nearly took about 5 minutes to travel the distance. He wouldn’t even try and end up with a strike yet his siblings would jump up and down in frustration that their bowl had caused a split between the pins. He looked so funny as he carried the ball with two hands just like a Scotsman about to have a turn at the caber toss.  

I’m sure my children loved the amusements they had at the bowling alley just as much as the game itself. If you played in a team with lots of players it sometimes took awhile till you got another turn. Once their turn was over and a score was recorded they race over to the arcade games of motor bike simulators, air hockey and pinball machines tugging at our pockets for loose change. I’m glad I have these memories on film. 

I haven’t been blessed with grandchildren yet but will look forward to playing a game of ten pin bowling as they are born into our family. I hope that over the years the old game of ten pin bowling will not change as some things do with the progression of technology and inventions. I hope that playing a game of 10 pin bowling will still be as popular as it has been over the years. Some of the simple pleasures in life don’t need to evolve with time. It would be nice if the fun of playing a game could get stuck in time – play the moments, pause the memories, stop the pain and rewind the happiness.