SKITTLERS - Chappers blog
Chappers Blog 12/10/06

Thursday night’s arrived. I have agreed to drive partly due to work but primarily due to the venue. Tintinhull Working Men’s Club (TWMC). We go to some shitty venues but for me it’s one of the worst, if not the worst. Tintinhull has some nice parts like The Crown & Vic, The Lamb and Tintinhull House and Gardens. Then there is the Gypo camp and TWMC and I’m not sure which one has the nicer ambience. I suspect you could get a decent drink at the Gypo camp but not at the club. My poor little car is dragging the ground as the Lardy Lads – Bod, Dex, Capn, Chris & Me disembark in TWMC car park. Coll & Brit are already reclining on the corner seats where the slashes and rips in the cushions have recently been patched. Nobody dares touch the one choice bitter so the boyz are on the black stuff. Ironically there is the biggest array of soft drinks ever. Two types of Lucazade, Vimto, Rio, Lilt, Coke, Squashes, J20 and Calypo in cartons. Thankfully the Tintinhull Old Boys are ready to start and after winning a quick toss Capn puts us on first.

Out to the alley. There is a choice of two in the same room and both are awful. Both have tiny pins and small balls. We are on the nearest so at least we don’t have to walk too far. Coll is up first back in his Hollyoak clothing. Rob has returned from his holidays so he is obviously feeling the competition again. It’s hard work for 7. I’m up and for the first time in ages I’m dreading it. Normally when you skittle you know when you release the ball if you’ve dropped a bomb or not. Here though it doesn’t work like that. You hit the front and get one or the second and get a handful. Coll advises me to aim at the second and whilst it goes against the grain I honestly do. Bang into the second and take three. Two more strikes for 7. Capn hits a quiet 5. Brit is back from his hols and looking relaxed and brown. Worryingly he advises he has no white bits to show and more worryingly nobody doubts him. Before he throws there is debate about his swimwear (speedos or thong} and we settle on the thong with pubic plaits hanging out the side. Nice visual as the Tanned Adonis hits a comfortable 9 like he has never been away. Bod’s up next and he’s buggering around as usual. He doesn’t control his flamboyant throw and smashes his hand into the ball return shoot. Ooouuucchhh! He sucks the blood off, picks the skin to make it worse, and then skittles on through the pain for 8. Dex finishes off with an uninspiring score, as there is no roll over tote. 43 hit and we go back to the shabby bar. 

Sensible conversations about Steve having Tourettes, Fantasy football, Rob not tying the knot (yet) and a large conspiracy theory about how Hyder always works when we are on hard alleys to protect his average. We reminisce about the dodgy food we have eaten here before, from lumps of pate, to stinky cheese that sweats more than Bod on a run. The opposition return having squared the board and its all to play for.

Everyone is making hard work of it with Coll thinking he’s got the Scratchings again due to Capn’s poor handwriting and coincidentally Capn has to pay. Rob looking like Linford Christie gets the umbrella spare then proceeds to bolt it.  
Not enough but should be ok for this alley to keep the game going.

Cheesy Moments and Dry roasted washed down with lucazade in the bar as we start Bastard Brag. I’ve got no change so my last two cheesy moments sub for coinage. Rob goes out with both lives and starts to sulk. He refuses to play waiter for Bod’s round and puts his money in the Quiz machine. Drivel FM crackles music out of the speaker system to add to the tired atmos and Steve goes out both lives next. Cards are slow cause Bod is still in and we have only managed 4 hands by the time the opposition return. They have gone and had a miracle 58 hand with two spares and we is in deep do do. 

We heavily fly post the alley with L & P cards cause we need to find something to do other than play skittles. It is just not happening tonight. Bod stops play to take a photo of a fire extinguisher he finds hilarious because his reflection in it is a bit like one of those fairground mirrors. If he didn’t need to skittle or play cards I am sure he would have stayed there all night amusing himself. We try hard to encourage each other and heckle each other but no matter what, we can’t pull back the deficit and can only manage two less than average hands.

Back out in the bar I am next to lose my two lives back to back. I go to the quiz machine and take Rob’s money back out whilst the game continues at a snails pace. Bod is a finalist hence the speed but he is out played by Dex in the end. Again it has taken that long the opposition are back and watch as the game finishes its anticlimax.

They have hit average hands so its just that bloody flukie hand that done us in. We need our own flukie hand to stand a chance. Rob gives Coll & Bod a side bet of £5 each if they manage to hit 25 between them. Coll is anxious to get the show on the road so against normal etiquette, skittles without the full team present. Due to the prolonged cards they are still getting Guinness from the bar. He hits a frustrating 6 leaving the impossible for Bod on the bet. To be fair I haven’t had a bad night, nothing glamorous but nothing disastrous via the method of aiming at the second. Not glamorous isn’t going to win the game so stuff my average lets go team. I key up for the front and release a blaster that goes straight through the lot. I Hit the front for 2 and then take a single pin to screw up my evening on 3. No blaze of glory for me. No blaze of glory for anyone for that matter. Whilst hopeful Bod did try for the 19 needed for the side bet and he even asked the sticker to re-site a pin for a hopeful spare opportunity that he didn’t get.

Down and despondent we go back to the bar to play chase the ace and wait for the soggy cheese. Coll wins the game and we lose the skittles. A surprising twist to the evening then follows when cooked food, sausages beans and chips comes our way. Coll refuses to eat the chips as the fat they were cooked in was recycled and the sausages are full of fat but hey isn’t that what a sausage is supposed to be like. Bod also avoids the sausage and chips but pinches the bean bowl and proceeds to spoon them in as fast as he can as if he’s going for the world record. It’s at times like these I wonder why I go out on a Thursday. It’s not the venue, the beer, the dodgy music, the stinky cheese or even the skittles. Coll nails it on the head himself when he says we have had a shit night but at least we’ve got each other. Well something sort of sentimental slush like that but hell yeah we know what he means. Hyder texts a question through to us all and we text back variations on a theme and Bod even manages to send a photograph of one of his boys turds to him to help him understand. Question How did you get on tonight? Answer Shit.
Thursday, 12 October 2006
Chappers Mind - Blog 12-10-06