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Take them bowling

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

"Why not take them bowling?"

"What? Grant, why would they want to go bowling? They can barely stand!"

"Everybody I know likes bowling."

"Everybody you know, except me, is in your bowling league. Of course they like bowling." She kissed him and ruffled his hair.


The Kush looked like stereotypical representations of aliens from before Contact. Big heads, big eyes, little bodies. They came from a low-gravity planet. With new alien visitors arriving every week or two, escorting them had gone from enthralling to boring, and then to a chore avoided whenever possible. As the lowest on the totem pole at the Missouri Tourism Board, it was Melinda's job.


"Museums. Have seen."

"But there are all kinds of museums. Art museums, natural history museums, museums of antique cars..."

"All kinds. Have seen. What else?"

It turned out that her visitors had seen or had no interest in plays, 3D theatrical recordings, natural wonders, rivers, the Arch, shopping malls, performance art, and NASCAR. Melinda rolled her eyes.

"What about bowling?"


Samson tottered forward and dropped the ball. It rumbled slowly down the lane, veered to the right, and dropped into the gutter. The rest of the Kush cheered wildly, clapping and whistling. She realized why when the next alien struggled up to the lane, clinging to a motorized walker. Samson put a ball in its hands and it rolled the ball off the top of the walker. The ball rolled past the end of the gutter and into the next lane. The clapping and cheering was a little less vigorous this time. 60 minutes later, Samson was up for the last time. The Kush had yet to knock over a pin, but they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. They ate hotdogs and nachos, cheered themselves hoarse, and got high on Mountain Dew. They quieted down when Samson reached the lane. He took aim, slung his arm back, then forward, and released the ball. It rolled down the lane, dead center. Closer to the pins. Closer. It started turning to the right. It kissed the last pin as it disappeared over the lip. One, no, two pins were down. The crowd went wild.


The Kush signed the trade deal. A few weeks later Melinda got a package in the mail. Inside, a miniature gold bowling pin, a photo of two small Kush, and a note. "We enjoy native mating ritual."

the end


Mr. Merkel -- now THIS is quality writing. All too often cabal is teetering under the weight of callow & self-conscious storifying, mainly by girls...thank God for you my friend. Please provide some sort of link so that interested persons can actually read more of your writing! Thank you.

Posted by: Mr. Fakename | April 25, 2008 6:32 PM

Thanks ... I hope. Here is a url. But you can also google me.

Posted by: David | August 2, 2008 7:37 PM

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