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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Bowling & Pizza!

As I promised Peter Pan, today was the big day for pizza and bowling. Sixteen kids showed up! We actually needed both the Su Casa van and Medicine Man's car to fit everybody. The van was running very slowly due to the cold, so I'm grateful I didn't stick with the original plan to go to Waveland Bowl.

We went to Lawn Bowling at 67th and Pulaski. They only take reservations for groups of 20 or more, and we were 18. We were lucky--they gave us four lanes right away, and threw in a couple of extra frames for everybody since we were only bowling one game. (With 17 bowlers, I figured one game would be plenty.) Our high scorer was Medicine Man, with something like 112. Peter Pan bowled two strikes back to back, and one of the Brady girls bowled a strike in her first-ever game. The two kids from Su Casa who came along were good bowlers--the older girls made the sister feel welcome, and she was the winner in their group.

The only thing I didn't count on was the pizza was really slow--they only had one working oven, so they could only heat up one pizza at a time. Once the aging blond behind the counter/bar realized I was trying to feed 16 hungry children, she threw in a couple of big bowls of popcorn for free. "You must have the patience of a saint," she said.

"I only brought the good kids from my block," I said. Not quite true, but I didn't bring anybody I was really worried couldn't handle it. Medicine Man, who has had his share of chaperoning hard-to-manage kids, was impressed with how well-behaved our crew was. They cleaned up after themselves, and once they understood they had to wait for the pins to be reset before taking their second turn, we were all good.

The wait for the pizza was tough, but Medicine Man tried to teach them some complicated game involving slapping your hands on the table in a pattern. It was quite funny to watch the youngest ones try to figure out when it was their turn to slap the table.I'm sure it was a college drinking game minus the beer. Later I got our two tables (yes, we basically had a boys table and a girls table) to play Telephone. "Nothing rude, right?" said one of the boys. Right. They managed to crack themselves up just fine without getting nasty.

Medicine Man took some pictures, so if you know me and you want to see them, email me and I'll put together a list to send out a Picasa album or something. (I don't want to put kids' photos up on the Internet without some level of protection.)

Next time we'll skip the pizza there and try the new Chinese buffet up at 62nd and California.

Oh, and just about everybody kicked in at least a few bucks. Those who didn't, I knew why and it was no problem. Peter Pan's mom tried to give me a fifty and I handed her a twenty back. I would have handed back more but I was planning to put it on a credit card so I didn't have that much cash with me.

The best part was, after I parked the van at Su Casa, I came through their house to go out the front and one of the two kids was practicing her bowling swing in the hallway!

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