The sight of 10 bowling pins being spewed from the grinding bowels of the pin-setting machine and then slap-shotted back down the alley by the metal scraper gone mad was a sight never seen before. The fact that this feat happened on a ball Laura rolled down the alley was beyond funny. It was Pincredible!
Years from now, long after we have departed KU, the legend of Laura and the flying pins will grow. Her name will always be met with a special insider smile as new groups of students hear the tale of the flying pins.
This all was part of the annual Communications bowling tournament. Designated staff members draft six teams from our full-time staff and student workers. Everyone enjoys an evening of good food, a few beers and lots of laughter. For the two of us, it is the only time we bowl in a year. None of the staff will ever be confused with bowling great Earl Anthony. Laughing over gutter balls and impossible splits is our endless fun.
Yet, there are moments of pin shattering consciousness when ball and bowler become one. Last year, the competitive spirit in Laura rose up in the final two games of our three to take the overall individual title with the best bowling of her life. I managed to knock enough pins down for second place. That comically led to us being the first two selections in this year’s draft.
Of course, none of that mattered since the arrival of D.J. Haurin. A former collegiate baseball player, Ironman triathlete and all around good athlete, the young Haurin brings a full-on intensity to any sporting event. His totals for the three games helped him take the individual title last month. My personal best 173 in the final game helped me give him a run, and helped our team nip Haurin’s for second overall.
Unfortunately, Laura could not match the magic of last year. Her team finished last. She was not the first number one draft pick that fell short of expectations. Yet, no other will ever match that one magic moment. With everyone finished save for Laura’s team, all eyes turned to watch her final roll crash into the metal sweeper and chaos ensued.
This part will be lost in the legend. The alley operator told us later the sweepers often lowered unexpectedly. No real blame for the mess can be heaped on Laura. Instead, we will always credit her with the best laughter of the night. Somehow, Laura still managed to come out on top.