Friday, February 20, 2004

Honolulu chicken

After playing at the fully modernized Rink 3 in Tyngsboro, we retired to the hotel for the afternoon. They have a full health club in the basement, with a weight room, a stationary bike room, a nice pool, you name it. I actually poked around the weight room for a couple of minutes. In the tradition of lousy gyms, they have a selection of magazines including Modern Printer. I know more about midsized forms than I ever thought possible. I made the mistake of using an elliptical with the wrong stride length, so my hamstrings ache a bit now.

As a Squirts team activity, we all headed down to Leda Lanes in Nashua and indulged in some candlepin bowling. I've never played this before. It uses a palm-sized ball and ten nearly cylindrical pins. You get three throws per frame, and there are some other weird rules about strikes and spares.

Other than that, it was a typical bowling alley. They had ancient video ads that flashed on monitors above the lanes. The ones that employed smiling candlepins imploring you to bowl more were especially freakish, because the pins looked like happy-go-lucky cigarettes. Other newly updated ads invited you to join their morning league to bowl against a crowing rooster, and to visit their well-stocked snack bar for some Coke, Sprite, or Sunkist C-Plus orange soda that hasn't been manufactured since 1987. And as in any bowling alley, the residual cigarette and mildew smell was something that a mere fresh coat of paint ain't gonna solve. Best of all, I got horrible neon shoes that say "Hi, I'm the only size 13 in the place!" Neon pink on one side, neon yellow on the other. The right foot had yellow, then pink. Which means that there's a matching pair out there somewhere!

After getting some exercise knocking down oversized novelty cigarettes with bocce balls, we made our way to Friendly's. After much internal debate, I ordered the Honolulu chicken sandwich. "Honolulu chicken," you say? Well yes. What says "Honolulu" better than fried chicken, bacon, and melted Jack cheese on toast? By the time I worked my way to the rapidly congealing fries, I felt like I had been transported to a warm, white sand beach under a gently swaying palm tree. Aloha!

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