Velocity Raptor and the Kingpin Wormhole
In 1991, my junior year of high school, my friends and I spent every day after football practice shooting a movie called "Minimum Security Prison" with a VHS camcorder. It was about a guy named McCracken who is convicted for "pulling his schlong from his pants," promises revenge on his lawyer, goes to the MSP, breaks out, and gets shot just before he actually gets his revenge.
Four years later, in my junior year of college, my good friend Velocity Raptor and I decided that rather than to spend our weekend binge drinking, we would go bowling at one of the many deteriorating, smoke-filled Pennsylvania alleys. Until then, I had two perceptions of the game: 1) the thing my grandma did with her friends on Tuesday afternoons and 2) the thing old, bald or mulletted, mustached, fat men did on weeknights.
When you know nothing about bowling, the best part of isn't the game, it's coming up with your bowling name. That night I chose McCracken in honor of the fallen criminal character from my past. It was through McCracken's eyes that I realized having an alternate identity makes it easier to justify taunting and ridicule of your opponents. My bowling addiction was born.
One year later, "Kingpin," was released. All I knew about the film was that it was about bowling and it took place in Pennsylvania. VR and I went to see an afternoon screening at the local theater, where was a tear in the screen and we were the only two people in the room. It was unlikely it would actually be a good film. Then Bill Murray appeared with a wig made of genius and his name was Ernie McCracken. Suddenly, my life made sense. My name, my sport and my home state had collided at the nexus of the universe and I was complete. I'm pretty sure I traveled through a wormhole and returned safely in the same spot to finish watching the movie.
Since then I have acquired the bowling essentials; a red ball emblazoned with "McCracken", sweet white shoes, a crazed competitive drive and friends like The Condiment who love bowling either as much or more than I. And although I was never there to witness, I now understand why my grandma spent every Tuesday at the alley with her friends.
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