SKITTLERS - Chappers blog
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Works been bitchin this week. Haven’t had time to scratch me ass but at least Thursday has come around quickly. I’ve made an early call to Steve to tell him I will drive as sadly work will be just as heavy tomorrow and I will need a non Henry’s head if I’m to get through it. Hey at least Steve & co get a lift and I can stay thoroughly focused on the big match against THE OUTCASTS. 

The Outcasts are a freak of nature within the Stoke league a bit like Arsenal in the Premiership very good but largely disliked. They are always big hitters and a first win against them in the league will get us off to a flier.

I leave work late, grab a quick Kebab with Chilli Sauce on the way home, then shit shave and shower and the Chapmobile gets us to the pub first. I hesitate over my order…hmmmm. Henrys, Butcombe, 6x for just the one……. No half a diet coke so I don’t get the taste. Rus has come along again for a guest appearance he must either be a glutton for punishment or there really is bugger all on telly. 

Hyder turns up and from the look of him he is gonna be trouble tonight. Resplendent in a pair of dodgy flip flops and dodgy shorts which display his equally dodgy legs and Bilbo Baggins feet to full effect. How the hell will he skittle in those? I suppose if he’s rubbish he can blame the footwear and if he’s good well we will just have to watch and learn.

Colls made it back from France at last. Lightly tanned and Hollyoaked right up he has certainly caught Hyder’s eye. The offer of seeing his white bit is not taken up by anyone at this stage but I can tell Hyder is tempted.

Neil nippies in and the teams ready for the first league match of 2006 season. I missed the toss but we are on anyway and head to the alley. The summer has seen our home alley converted into Albert Steptoe’s storeroom. Tables are stacked up to the ceiling we have gained a set of goals including nets and a rather fetching Queen Anne side board rests near the scoreboard ideally situated to take a skittler’s beer whilst he is at the line.

With Coll back he slots into his preferred position as opening man. No sign of rustiness from him as he coolly strikes out his first 9. I’m up second and despite indigestion I am feeling calm and follow suit with my own 9. Rob follows and makes it a clean sweep of 9’s for the top half. Yes we can take this bunch of misfits.

Steve has 3 strikes for 5, and then Hyder is up. Will the flip flopped fool fail…….Hmm not convinced. He’s trying hard but its all a bit erratic and his score’s lacking a few pins. Thank God for Neil in sensible shoes. Straight in with a spare and we finish on a pleasing 52. Rus decides to showboat on the bottom of the board with a practice session. He tries hard to impress us with his Dorset style athletics but to be honest he makes me tired just watching so I head out to the bar for more diet coke.

The normally quiet Outcasts are cheering a bit and I am therefore a little apprehensive going back to the alley to see their score. Surely 52 was a good enough target to set. It was except that their hairy anchorman decided to get a big spare and they have hit 54 and are two up. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger. There is a game on here. 

Coll goes to the alley and this time has a spare. I have to leave a fascinating story from Hyder about his favourite Chicken and Mushroom pie from Morrisions and I don’t think I am quite focused enough. Only 7. Rob does ok, as does Steve, then Hyder flip flops over to the alley. I’m sure he slipped as he released and its not looking promising. Neil rounds of the hand for another good 52. Bring it on.

We’re making harder work of the next hand. Again I have to break off from a Hyder tale. This time he was at Macdonalds and managed to throw away his car keys with the Happy Meal rubbish. Mediocre scores from me & Rob, a single pin’s missed for a spare chance from Steve. Hyder continues his food theme by not doing enough to avoid buying the scratchings. Neil cleans up for a 42 hand. The bubble has burst and Bod has turned up on his scooter. That traffic on Preston Road must be bad tonight.

Out to the bar for chase the ace. I’m dealt 4 after 4 and by various means of swapping manage to lose my two lives early doors. I play waiter service to the rest delivering frothy inviting pints of Henry’s to the guys and sipping more diet coke myself. Bod does his usual of starting a conversation mid deal and by the time he has finished talking about Dysons, X factor and old school rave he has forgotten whose turn it is. Captains getting worried as the Outcast’s are back out of the alley and we still haven’t finished our game. As ever when Hoppy is about we reminisce about the historic night when Rob faced him out at the Stoke club because we took too long playing cards. Hoppy the milkman had an early start and so sent his mate to have a word. Cutting a long story short Rob told him politely to go away in Anglo Saxon. Hoppy may look like he’s been picked upon all his life but he is still the League treasurer so should command some respek

Out to the alley and we can’t believe it. For every gear we have stepped up they have gone one better and we’re 17 down. Bastards. They need a drugs test for steroids. Hyder could probably use one too as he has decided to pull his shorts down and is wandering around the alley singing all the words to Cherish by Kool & The Gang. I’m not sure what is scarier, the shorts, the flip flops or knowing the words to Cherish! Neil gets his new Camera out to snap the flip flops for the web site. It takes ages for him to figure out the flash but eventually we are underway again. 

Coll is on fire spare after spare. I am feeling bloated and can’t stop belching and I can’t figure out why. I manage to control my wind long enough for an 8 & 6. Everyone’s doing his bit. Hyder seems to have worked out how to skittle in the Flip Flops and gets a jammie spare. Rob is skittling through adversity as he’s taking flack over his cloths from Hyder!!!!!. The big question is did Karen pick his outfit, as even I have to say he is looking vaguely coordinated. The work shirts and shoes that his mum would be proud of have been replaced by a more street look without the bling. More decent scores follow and we hit a stomping 57 & 60. Have some of that Outcasts. I go back to the bar for more diet coke.

No way Wolfman, Wheeble, Hoppy and co have out done us again. We pulled back a few but so did they. They are an unstoppable force. They play every night and sleep with their balls. Their poor sticker up is on minimum wage and ours is over paid and cheeky. Last hand and we continue to smash down those pins holding onto the game with determination, skill and power. 295 team score. Enough to win here on any other night but probably, unless the Outcasts all decide to go and pull chicks down at the Beach and give us the game, unlikely. Coll hits a massive 60. I round off at 44, Rob 42, Dex 52, Steve bottom on 41 and Hyder turned it around from Scratchings to 56.

Out in the bar a miracle has happened. No not the Outcasts heading off to the Beach but Martin our illustrious landlord has given us cutlery. It’s that much of a novelty that Dex has to take a picture of it. Proper plates rather than paper ones follow and we are buzzing with anticipation of what culinary delights have been conjured up in the Kitchen. I’m at the bar ordering more diet coke when Pasties start arriving with a big bucket of beans. I try and play it cool and pass up on the pasty. Well I am feeling a bit bloated and I do have a bit of indigestion. After 8 seconds I can’t see a good pie go to waste so tuck in. By the time our sticker arrives and the game is over Bod has just finished licking out the Bean bowl.  

Chris advises us we lost by a good 30 pins even with our valiant effort. I can’t help feeling like we were still winners tonight. Hell we might not have won the game but we did a good enough job. Steve does us proud with the three cheers and we remind the opposition that they are THE OUTCASTS.
Thursday, 7 September 2006
Chappers Mind - Blog 07-9-06