Perhaps you've heard the saying, "No one will ever love you until you love yourself." Here at the Department of Stuff You Don't Have, we prefer the saying, "No one will ever love you until you buy a ton of really screamingly kick-ass bowling gear." We know we personally wouldn't waste our time on someone without, for example, these Hello Kitty bowling balls:
"OK, sure," you are saying, practically-minded individual that you are. "But what purpose does that serve, other than fulfilling mankind's universal desire to hurl Hello Kitty great lengths?"
Well. Aren't we picky. Perhaps you would prefer to becoming cool by acquiring a product that serves a more obviously utilitarian sort of purpose, such as this bowling ball jockstrap:
Technically, this is the See Saw Towel, available from Storm Products, Inc., a catalogue of seriously intense bowling accoutrements (French, meaning "shit"). We are talking about gear designed exclusively for guys whose right arms are themselves bigger than Fitness Celebrity John Basedow, although needless to say these arms have flabbier abs.
However, Storm also caters to the more sensitive individual, whom we advise to become cool by purchasing the Scented Grip Bag, available in Vanilla:
This is a terrific concept ("Here's something that smells nice! Granted, the bowling alley you bring it into will feature the federally mandated Bowling Alley Odor of necrosis mixed with Marlboro swirled with fetid armpit with just a hint of pizza, thus eclipsing all other smells within a five-mile radius! But in your heart you'll still know you're carrying the Scented Grip Bag!"). Lamentably, the Bag comes in just the one scent, but we are holding out for the day they introduce other varieties, such as Musk. It is our fervent hope that this would result in widespread instances of sudden, violent bowling league orgiastic behavior in bowling alleys everywhere, and if you do not wish the same for our nation, you have no soul.
We come at least to the true supremo of bowling products you will never be cool without. We speak of the one, the only ... (Cue annoying "THX Sound" music)
... THE GLADIATOR
This is the currently featured homepage product of a company called (we swear - and this pretty much makes us happier than anything, ever) Visionary Bowling Products. As you may have noticed from the picture, this is a Limited Edition ball; in other words WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, STUPID???? THEY ONLY MADE 1,000 OF THEM!!!!! BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY!!!!!!!!
Ahem. Sorry about that. Perhaps I should let the people of Visionary Bowling Products speak for themselves:
"The Gladiator LE uses the Panoptic coverstock (a blend of several reactive coverstocks) along with the Mohawk core, to create a ball with easier length than either the Gladiator Pearl or Solid, and provides a smooth transition on the backends [...] This allows for a quicker revving ball that begins to roll in the midlane while keeping a controllable continuous arc reaction on the backend. The 'MOHAWK' on the core creates a mild mass bias for fine tuning the ball's reaction."
That is how Visionary Bowling describes the Gladiator LE.* What's more, just for you they've taken the care to picture the ball, on their homepage, with a real live gladiator, so that you can be sure of its quality. That means you don't have to take my word for it or theirs. Here's the gladiator, who has come here all the way from Visionary Bowling's homepage, to tell you himself:
GLADIATOR: Hi, I'm a gladiator, and I heartily endorse this product.
Of course this is sure to raise the wrath of the Internet "nitpickers" who will start their annoying cyberwhining that this picture is not "historically accurate"; needless to say, these people are unaware of the little-known but strangely majestic lion-versus-bowling-ball battles of ancient Rome, in which the plucky gladiator only won, in the end, by snapping the lion in the eye with his See Saw Towel. Stupid lion! You can bet it never saw that coming.
The gladiator pictured, of course, is not one of the ones who actually participated in those fights. They would never have those guys on the site, and with good reason: they were ugly. This is a gladiator with a small but promising side career as an actor; he has stylishly askew, bicep-showing headshots; an agent named Manny; a Twitter account for "networking" and getting invited to the right parties, etc. But wouldn't you know, the money is in snapping lions in the eye with towels. This gladiator sighs a lot; no one cares for his art. But he is "on his way up" nonetheless; last we heard, he was in talks for a role in Little Shop of Horrors in a small but critically-acclaimed dinner theatre in Billings, Montana.
But enough about his personal life. This is about you, after all, and your tireless quest to become cool. We at the Department of Stuff You Don't Have applaud your efforts. We wish you only the best. May you have luck, may you have success; may you have easier length than either the Gladiator Pearl or Solid. Because we at the Department have every faith in you to provide a smooth transition on the backends.
If you're good, we might even let you show us your mild mass bias.
* Important note: the Visionary Bowling catalogue also features a ball called the "Ogre Solid."
©2010 Nicola McEldowney