By 9 pm last Monday, the Milky Way’s seven lanes were thoroughly stuffed, and a faction of earlybirds clogged Lane 3 (a/k/a the bar), clutching little black pagers, ready to lose their street shoes and seize a free lane at the first beep. Their patience was rewarded by a rousing spin of Run-DMC’s “You Be Illin’ ” — courtesy of Neptune’s Mark Pearson, who despite having DJ’d only 10 times in his life was eagerly waiting to try out a certain Yaz-to-Freestyle segue he’d thought up.
An hour later, bowlers were deep into their strings, resisting the focus-shooing temptations of Project Future’s “Ray-Gun-Omics” (the world’s first electro track, notes Pearson), dealing with an unexpected press presence, and feeling the mounting pressure of the final frames — or not.
“We’re not keeping score,” said the gentleman at Lane 6. “Why do that? It just creates problems.” He then slapped his girlfriend’s ass repeatedly as she tried to line up a spare. She nonetheless picked it up.
“This is my first time bowling!” she squeed.
Others were more seasoned, or seemed to be.
“You’ve got to use the wood,” said a guy on Lane 5, referring to fallen pins. “If you’re really skilled, you can play the ball against the wood.”
“Are you talking about your balls again?” hollered a girl from his bench.
Meanwhile on Lane 10, a non-profit developer was sussing out a Half Worcester (a nasty situation where the pins appear to be missing a tooth from a ball rolled clean through) while her friend in from Colorado munched fries and sized up New England’s unfamiliar (to him) hybrid of ten-pin bowling and skee ball: “I’m hoping the more beer you have, the easier it gets.”
In the other room, the end of “Situation” slid perfectly into the first notes of “Don’t Stop the Rock” (just as forecast) and the members of Chicago’s frenetic Cacaw (one of them rocking a dope hip pack) warmed up for their late live set by dancing in a wobbly circle. The night was growing late, and two impatient dudes at a table wondered aloud whether one could run to one’s car to smoke a joint and remain within beepable range.
The verdict: you can — but you should know better than that.