Two turkeys

brian front

Brian Wartell celebrates in style after three strikes in a row.

It’s not a perfect 300 game– not even close — but a turkey is a badge of honor among amateur bowlers.

You’ve got to be flawless — 13 strikes in a row — to roll a 300. To get a turkey, it still takes skill, timing and maybe just a bit of luck, to notch three strikes in a row.

On Monday night, I got to see two of my friends celebrate.

— Brian Wartell rolled three in a row to start our third and final game in the Average Joes League at AMF Pro 300.

— A few frames later, Ron Miller duplicated the feat.

ron miller

Super sub Ron Miller notched a turkey, too.

Both got a chance to strut their stuff by putting on a turkey hat made of cloth, fur and yarn. The hat came off during the next frame when, inevitably, each saw his streak end. An opposing player brought the head decoration, featuring a goofy-looking bird in a floppy white hat, black boots and a spread of colorful feathers.

Brian is a longtime teammate and I’d seen him roll a turkey before. It’s always good to celebrate, though, and he wound up with a 500-plus series, his best of the season so far.

brian back

Hard to say if the front or back of the bird is more attractive.

Ron’s turkey was the big surprise. He and I met at a nearby brewpub for a pregame meal and a beer. Just as the check arrived, 20 minutes before starting time at the bowling alley, a teammate texted to say he wasn’t feeling well.

“Hey, Ron,” I said. “You wanna bowl tonight?”

He had met me after work for happy hour, expecting to just head on home afterwards. But after a quick check-in with his wife, he agreed to fill in. He had to rent some shoes and use a house ball but he pulled it off. Better yet, he blended in just fine with Brian and our other teammate, Joel.

ron and george

From the brewpub to the bowling alley: Ron and George.

Our team, the Mediaocracies, began the night with a record of 13 wins and 11 losses, good enough for somewhere above the middle of the pack. We won’t know until next week how many — if any — games we won this week. Even if we came up short, my hat’s off, so to speak, to Brian and Ron for their turkeys.




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