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Rated: E · Short Story · Other · #794623
Entry for contest
Ahhhh, bowling. You’ve come to me today to find out the history of bowling. Well let me tell you, you’ve come to the right place. I remember it well. It was the year 1862 , on a small island off the coast of Sicily. The island’s name I believe was Desolata, which in English translates to “there ain’t a darn thing around for as far as the eye could see.” I was crewed on a vessel, Our Lady of Flotsam, out of Liverpool, that was being used to transport a cargo of haggis and bagpipes to the Scottish troops that were stationed at Tripoli. Personally I would have dumped both overboard but you can’t ever account for people’s tastes. As it were, we were five days out of Liverpool just passin the Rock of Gee-bralter when a storm blew up. Try as we might we just couldn’t keep the old girl floatin. It wasn’t long before even the rats on board realized we were about to become what we was named. The Captain, seein all was for naught yelled “Every man for hisself !” as he climbed into the one and only lifeboat and cut it loose with his saber. Things got a bit hazy after that and the next thing I remember was waken up on this dried out hump of an island. Me and thirty two crates of Scottish haggis and bagpipes.

Now for those of you that aren’t familiar with haggis, it is a delicacy treasured by Scotsmen and some of the lesser-known tribes of New Guinea. I can’t speak to the tribes of New Guinea, but just look at them Scotsmen. I mean they wear dresses for cripes sake. Pretty much what you do to make haggis is you combine oatmeal, suet, lamb’s liver, onion, salt, pepper and other unknown spices. You mix this all up into a conglomeration that vaguely resembles a porpcupine that fermented in the molasses barrel, a big gooey ball. You then stuff it all into a sheep’s stomach. First, remove the stomach from the sheep. No self respectin sheep would eat a fermented porcupine ball. Sew the stomach up tightly, poke a few holes in it and boil it for 4 to 5 hours….or was it days? Now if you’re a Scotsman, you can dig right in , Yummm Yummm!. Anyone else would simply toss the stuff out for the dogs. Saw this done once; there ensued the biggest dogfight I ever seen. The loser got to eat the haggis.

So there I am; me, and two hundred thirty two crates of haggis and bagpipes. (More keep landing every day.) After about a week of walkin around the island I came to the conclusion that the rest of the crew seein the crates of haggis pilin up on the beach, swam the other way. Oh, at first the hunger got to me and I tried eatin some of the haggis. After my third helping I began to see why the Scots invented Scotch. Unfortunately there were no crates of that on the beach. So, I took to fishin. I fashioned some short spears from the wooden parts of the bagpipes and every day I’d wade out in the surf and try and spear me some food. Two squid and several cuttlefish later I came to the rash conclusion that I was gonna die of starvation amidst 648 crates of haggis and bagpipes (more keep landing every day.) I kept them spears stuck in the sand, handy to my reach in case anything edible decided to visit this God – forsaken place. The sun baked down unmercifully day after day and I spent most days tryin to use the shade of the crates to keep from shrivelin up and blowin away. The smell of haggis bakin in the sun was almost enough to drive a mad man insane. Since I wasn’t sure if I was mad or if I was insane, I figured I’d be alright. One day, hidin in the shade of a particularly odiferous crate of haggis it began to shudder and creak. With a groan it burst open and out spilled 180 baked haggis’s. Hard as a rock they was. I picked one up studied it a might, and not finding anything interesting, I tosssed it over my shoulder and started to walk away. It musta rolled down the beach because next thing I know I hear “crack!”. Lookin in the direction of the sound I see all my spears layin in the sand with the haggis nestled between’m. And that my friend was the origin of what you call bowling. Over the next several weeks I refined the sport a bit, organizing the pins into a triangle and such. I even found one haggis that had some holes in it that lined up with my fingers so I could aim it at the pins instead of tossin it over my shoulder. Made a might of difference.

Long about this time, off in the distance I see a lifeboat approachin and I realize it’s the good Captain who’d been floatin around out there for weeks looking for land. He was half crazed with delirium and this was pretty bad since he was generally believed to be half crazed to begin with. After I helped him ashore and got him rested up a bit I introduced him to the game I had invented. I called it Scotsman’s Revenge and he became quite good at it. This particular phase of my life was also responsible for one other important contribution to the world. Long about the third day of a Scotsman’s revenge tournament, the captain grabbed a haggis from one of the 974 crates, (more keep ariivin every day), that wasn’t quite done curin and hurled it at the pins. It slid to a halt several feet in front of the pins. Lookin at me with puzzlement I quickly explained. “Captain, that one’s half baked……”

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