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There are lots of sports out there that I really don't get. Bowling is one. I get bowling, it's really pretty simple stuff, what I don't get is why anyone wants to do it. I'm just no good with anything that requires me to sit around waiting for my turn. I have been bowling exactly twice and both times I about died of boredom waiting to take my .02 seconds to heave the ball down the lane, usually with less than fabulous results. Depending on how many people are playing, it can be quite a wait. I could have written a 500 page novel in the time I had to spend waiting for my turn. Worse yet, I had to wait around endlessly just to do badly. That is crazy.
While I like going to the driving range, I consider golf to be a game designed for the truly insane. The first time I played a full round of golf I was ready to throw myself in the course pond and drown myself by the 6th hole. During one point in the game of interminable waiting I got to talking with a guy who had been playing for 30 years. I asked him how much better he was 30 years after learning to play and he just shrugged with resignation. Since then I have spoken with many avid golfers who's scores are only marginally better after many years of playing the game than when they started. This amazes me. Why would anyone happily subject themselves to that kind of frustration? That's like a 20 or 30 year sentence in some rock quarry pounding on stones with no result, but they actually love it. I can't help feeling that golf must be the most masochistic game on earth.
I used to love playing baseball with my brothers and our friends when we were kids, but it was always just pick-up games, I never played on a team. There were never enough of us so that waiting for our turn became a problem. When you have a limited number of people on your team you don't wait around a lot. Not only that, but no one team stayed at bat all that long. It was faster moving than organized baseball. When I ended up going to numerous baseball games when my kids were in Little League, it tended to drag quite a bit more. I can recall looking at the kids in the outfield getting a little glassy-eyed after awhile. I usually took a book.
My brothers and I played a lot of back yard football, which we loved. Football was never boring, which is more than I can say for watching some NFL games on TV now. I have actually fallen asleep sitting up watching games on television. The countless commercials may have something to do with it.
There are board games I find tedious in the extreme. Even when I was a kid playing Monopoly with my brothers I can't remember us ever coming close to finishing a game. Is Monopoly even a game you can actually finish? I have no idea because we generally lost interest long before anyone had a fleet of hotels or got to mogul status. I can remember getting so bored that I ended up selling everything I owned and deliberately trying to go to jail so I didn't have to be bothered actually playing it.
Risk was less boring, but I was not a competitive person so my desire to conquer the world was pretty limited. Parcheesi was fun, but it moved pretty fast. I found chess fascinating in theory, but playing it was kind of like having a root canal for me. I would find my mind wandering while waiting for my opponent to make a move.
As an adult I tended to prefer one on one kinds of games, like tennis. I loved tennis. I enjoyed playing tennis whether I won or lost. I even enjoyed just hitting the ball back to a machine that was throwing them at me. Could be it was the hitting something I liked most. I liked squash and racquetball, too, although racquetball is the only game in which I was ever seriously injured. I went one way and my knee went the other. Fortunately, I didn't require surgery, but it was so painful that I saw stars like a character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I've played again since, which just goes to show you how truly stupid a person can actually be and continue to live.
I was very good and ping pong and pool, both of which I really like playing. You end up waiting a bit in pool, but unless you are playing some pool shark with crazy skills, it isn't too bad. I never played anyone who could actually run a table, thank goodness. Waiting around to be thoroughly thrashed is never fun.
I will be perfectly happy to die never having played another game of golf or going bowling, but I miss the games I used to play where I got to hit things. I wonder if I'm too old to take them up again? I wonder if my knees are.
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