SKITTLERS - Chappers blog
Chappers Blog 29/9/06

It only seems like two days ago that skittles was here. Hang on. That’s probably because it was. Big game tonight against our long term rivals the Jacket Spuds. We always want to win that one bad as 2 of their team are the old men of 2 of ours, namely Hyder senior and Rob senior. It’s at the Con club so Steve and I walk up as usual.

The Con club operates a com system to get in but to be fair they would be better using it to keep the punters in. Like the Tories it has seen better days and apart from the picture of Michael Howard on the wall it looks like every other shitty club we go to.

The care home ambulance must have made good time as the opposition are all here already looking like they are waiting for the bingo to start. Luckily for them Hyder & Col have already sat down with them doing their care in the community bit and reducing their average age. Ringwood bitter on guest ale does the trick and soon Neil arrives via Nippy so all we need is a sticker and Bod for a game. Captain Clarky wins the toss and offers to open but as we don’t have a full squad we sit tight with the oldies exchanging tales about ration books whilst sucking on Humbugs. Time passes and before any of them drop off, in flies Bod on his scooter. Bloody traffic on Preston Road was bad again. He has also managed to give the sticker a backie on the scooter. Chris was late as he was entertaining a lady friend at ASDA.

On the alley at last. It’s one of those weird ones where nobody is sure where to stand. Col obviously can’t fathom it as he opens with a 5. My indecisiveness over where to stand is multiplied by the large array of balls to choose from and I struggle to 7. Captain tries to raise our game with an 8 and Bod follows suit. Hyder (wearing those damned flip flops again) manages to step on the back of his flop and stuffs his last ball for 7. Dex seems to have left his skills on the bus as surprisingly he can only muster 4. Not a great start. Coll swears loudly and he is politely asked by the barman to watch his mouth. The one other punter in the bar might get offended.

Out to the bar for the switch over. The old guys seem to struggle to their feet apart from Rob’s old man. Must be something in the genes cause the Britton clan are definitely full of testosterone. Dave says he’s never had so much energy since he retired and conjures up a picture of him and Jean that says don’t go there all over it! As usual the codgers skittle with averageness apart from their youngest member Lee (53) who has already agreed a side bet with Hyder. Lee hits a 16 spare and we are down.

Coll’s trying harder 8, I’m still patchy 6, Captains looking dependable 8, Bod goes for a straight throw to compare and contrast with his first hand curly style throw for 6. Big H throws a bomb for 5 then proceeds to 80’s dance down the alley to the eye of the tiger. Dex shows signs of life for 7. 
Coll pitches solid for 8. My chicken kievs repeat on me and Neil confirms garlic content on multiple occasions. I hit 6 again and am keeping an eye on the scratchings position. Bod curls for 7 as does Big H and Dex limps in with 6 to seal his half way snack fate. Not enough. Even Chris the sticker can’t be bothered and has taken to playing pool rather than work.

Pork scratchings, Cheesy Moments & Bakon Fries later we are dealt up for chase the ace. Bod isn’t playing as he has brought work with him. We moan about this for a little while then realise that means we can actually play cards faster without the usual detours. Hyder goes out first and offers to be Bod’s lucky leprechaun whilst he works. Clarky stitches up Coll with the Ace and wets himself that much when he’s rumbled that he spits his roll up across the room with laughter. Dex cleans up so recoups the scratching money. Bod not playing makes that much of a difference that we have time for two games before its time to go back to the alley.

We pulled a bit back so plenty to play for. Col remains steady on 8, I can’t get past 7. Clarky is consistent for 8, then Bod finally joins the spare club this year with 13. Hyder blasts an 8 and Dex like me can’t get into the 8 club tonight. But we have hit our best hand of the night 51. Time to step up and take the game to them. Coll looking good in his Bulldog t-shirt preens on the alley knowing there is no Rob to out Hollyoak him tonight 7. I can’t hit a bloody barn door for 5 so start to give Clarky some positive vibes. He doesn’t respond to pressure and hits 6 with 2 balls. A confident Bod hits 7 doing a funny skip on release that nearly catches Dex in the undercarriage. Big H bounces 6, Dex ploughs new depths with 3. Good hand followed by bum hand and we’ve let them back in.

Out to the bar for Brag. Hyder brags that he is called Friar by his workmates which causes much mirth. Coll insists that it’s Blogworthy and at that Hyder goes white and realises he has just dropped himself in it. The race is then on to get the picture of his bald patch for the web without him knowing.

Last hand and we need a good one.6 & 7 from me and Coll is not good enough. The pressure piles on Captain Clarky’s shoulders only they ain’t broad enough tonight and he collapses for 2. Bod tries with 8 as does Hyder but sadly when we could normally rely on Neil for a spare his ability has already left the building and 7 is the best he can do. They need 20+ to win so that’s that then.

The wisened old sages with their experience have done over the young and youthful energy of Liquor & Poker. We eat their rolls and banter lightly with them until the Help the Aged bus comes to take them and the precious 2 points way. Looks like we’re a cup team this year!
Thursday, 28 September 2006
Chappers Mind - Blog 28-9-06