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Moose sweater goes Candlepin bowling, see the rare footage

11/10/2014
Mark took his moose sweater candlepin bowling with friends.

Mark took his moose sweater candlepin bowling with friends.

The dummy finally pulled me otta the closet again, this time to go bowling with Jen, Christopher and Katie in Old Town. Candlepin bowling. That’s what we do here in Maine. Small balls. Skinny pins. Bonus throw.

Didn’t look good when we got to the Old Town Bowling Center. Dark driveway. Pouring rain. Lot full. It was like stumbling into a heard of elk around a water hole in the woods. Not much room for this old moose.

But it was league night. Lots of action. The old timer at the counter fit us in on the end. I suppose a guy in a moose sweater could distract the regulars. Nobody bowls in a moose sweater. Only bad bowlers.

The old-timer gave us shoes with velcro straps. A scorecard. Told Christopher the rules. “It’s the same as 10-pin only you get three throws,” he said. Then he started bad mouthing 10-pin.

“It’s a garbage game,” he said, like he was talking about his ex-wife. “Candlepin is the only true bowling sport.”

The old-timer was dressed in an over-sized blue and grey plaid flannel shirt. Quilt lining. Faded and worn. Not as much class as moose sweater. Too hot. Doesn’t breathe. Anyway, he told us no one has ever bowled a perfect game or 300. “It’s impossible,” he said. “There’s too much going on. They didn’t make it easy.”

He said 245 is the highest officially sanctioned candlepin score.

My first owner, Grampa Lou used to wear me to the alley here back in the 80s. He lived in Old Town. He was in a Thursday night league. Grampa Lou would take me off and set me on a pink or baby blue plastic chair. Smooth and round. Easy to get up and down. The team had their own shirts. Big buttons. Name on the pocket.  Sponsor on the back. Kinda cheap, but I didn’t mind. It was a team sport and there’s only one moose sweater.

But Mark was letting me bowl. This was fun. Candlepin is faster than 10-pin. More action. Unpredictable. They don’t clean up the pins between throws so it feels like you’re really making a mess. The balls are light. They don’t have holes. This makes you feel strong, even when you throw a gutter ball.

And Mark rolled a lot of gutter balls.

Christopher won our candlepin bowling match. It figures. He said he never lost a candlepin bowling match in his life. Undefeated. King of candlepin bowling. I don’t think Mark even broke 100. Katie and Jen did even worse.

But the score didn’t matter.

I was out of the closet and bowling with friends.

That’s what a moose sweater does in Maine.

Editor’s note: Below is rare footage of a moose sweater candlepin bowling in Maine. Our thanks to Dr. Jennifer Moore who captured this rare footage during a safari in remote moose sweater habitat near the village of Old Town, Maine.

 

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