Bowling for Calamine

So last night I added another to the long list of physical activities at which I am hopelessly incompetent.

It seems I really, really suck at bowling.

Awhile back, our friends decided that each month we would choose some wacky new activity to enjoy together. We’re a bunch of middle-aged people with failing backs and poor eyesight, so we expect a certain amount of hapless flailing to be part of the entertainment value of these experiences. Last month we went to a roller skating rink, where I actually distinguished myself by remaining upright all evening – but then, roller skating was one of the few physical activities I enjoyed as a kid. The 44-year-old flesh was weak, but the muscle memory was willing, and it all more or less came back to me. Good fun.

But man, I cannot bowl. I was sort of getting the hang of it, and even managed a strike at the top of the second game, but it all went horribly awry from there. To make matters worse, several of my friends – even my own husband! – demonstrated their natural athletic abilities by picking up on the rudiments of the game fairly quickly, steadily improving as the night progressed. Whereas I… didn’t. At all.

I blame the rented shoes, which looked like a carnival geek threw up on them – sort of neon orange and green. Really awful. I was psychologically diminished by these shoes. And I developed a small rash on my thumb. Yeah, that’s it – the shoes and rash. That’s why I sucked.

Oh, wait – I just thought of something else to blame: astrology! Today, still demoralized by my poor showing at the alleys (a mood not improved by Jonny’s tactful reassurance that “you have…an interesting style”), I thumbed through my well-worn copy of Rex Bills’ Rulership Book, which identifies physical coordination as a function of Mercury and … Taurus. Aha! Unlike my husband, with his Taurus Moon, and my friends with their sundry Venuses and Marses and Mercuries in Taurus, I was born with Mercury in a fire sign and nothing at all in Taurus.

I suppose this explains why, although I’ve always been a fairly good mimic when it comes to anything mental, I simply can’t watch someone do something physical and then replicate it. I have always been hopeless at dance, aerobics, volleyball, baseball, and basically any and all pursuits requiring motor skill and coordination. I can ride a bike and drive a car, and that’s about it. Little did I know of my profound astrological disadvantage, the sad disconnect between my Mercury and the physical world.

But that’s okay. At least I’ve got decent taste in shoes.