Bawling for Bowling

What the hell happened to bowling?

Last weekend, my wife boarded a plane to Boston for some quality time with her sisters. As you married men will attest, there's nothing like a good mancation.

Falling asleep on the couch, with a blaring TV, a half empty bottle of bourbon and the ugly remains of a Pregnant Burrito still on the coffee table. That's living.

I also took the opportunity to get some chow with a buddy of mine, grab my brother and head over to the Westchester Bowling Lanes across the street from LAX. I hadn't been to a bowling alley in years. And after this experience, may not for return for another decade.

For starters it was unrecognizable.

The long artificial fluorescent lights have been dimmed and replaced by swirling lasers and purplish neon.

The J-shaped booths have been replaced by cheap Euro-trash plasticine chairs that were bought from Ikea and bolted into the flooring.

And the scorer's table, once large enough to accommodate the unwieldy scoring sheets, a few pitchers of beer and a couple of overstuffed ash trays are now a tiny table no bigger than a TV tray, barely large enough to fit a Cinnabun.

And then there is the music.

If you want to call it that.

I hate to be cliche and step on the Old Man Griping Pedal here, but seriously, what is that crap coming through the speakers?

Glocks and cocks.

Hoes and bitches.

Motherfuckers and dicksuckers.

On what planet, or bowling alley, does the qualify as music? Moreover, on the lane next to us, there were five 12-year-old girls with loose hips and the dreaded selfie stick, "dancing" to the constant thumping, while their mother captured it all video.

"Can you girls keep the gyrations down? I'm trying to pick up a tricky 8-5-10 split."

Naturally, we all lamented the changes and yearned for the good old days of stubby pencils, big black beat-up 16 lbs. balls and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Not unexpectedly, we all bowled miserably, barely cracking into the three digits. The computerized screens wouldn't even let us enhance our score. Or take a Mulligan.

But it wasn't a total loss. I beat my brother at both games.

And the sweet taste of victory that one sibling lords over the other will never change and will always stand the test of time.