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The Bowlers of Lankville: A History

December 21, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Brock Belvedere

By Brock Belvedere

There is ample evidence of bowling in Lankville (originally known as “rocks”) as far back as the year -64,000. Archaeologists, working in some wet caves, have found wall paintings depicting small men rolling a rock down a rocky lane into some rocks. “They called it “rocks” and later “bowllsing,” said noted historian Glenn Ogilvie of the University of Southern Lankville. “Bowllsing was popular in specific areas of Lankville all the way down to the Lankville Empire. Various emperors promoted the sport and even had lanes in their summer palaces”. Ogilvie suddenly fell out of his chair and died and was then shot.

The history of bowllsing is hard to trace during the Crepuscular Ages (app. +400- +1200) but emerged as a relatively popular pastime during the Lankville Reformation. “There were no religious connotations attached to the slinging of balls into hard shafts, or pins as they later came to be known,” said noted sports historian B.J. Wilkens, who was interviewed while collecting seashells on a local beach. “Therefore, everyone could enjoy the sport. During the Counter-Reformation, the name was changed to “bowling”, for reasons unclear,” Wilkens added.  The historian then continued his collecting (or, at least, what he considered collecting). Really, he was just putting sand in a bucket. When the bucket became overloaded, he would accidentally on purpose drop a great load of it and exclaim loudly, “Why, I’ve gone and dropped some of my seashells!” It was frankly very obvious where this little game of his was going.

"Little Eddie" Browny from an 1845 portrait.

“Little Eddie” Browny from an 1845 portrait.

The first famous Lankville bowler was undoubtedly “Little Eddie” Browny of the Small Lankville Nearby Islands.

Browny rolled the first recorded perfect game in 1827 and compiled a sparkling 288 average over his 15-year career. “My ancestor, “Little Eddie” was a great traveler, introducing the sport of bowling to several distant places like the Outer Depths, the Desert regions and the Big Mystery Savannah,” said distant relative Jean Kittsle, 92, of Eastern Lankville. “We have some of his letters where he talked about its health benefits, how to maximize the use of poor people pin-setting help and possible future innovations.” In his 1842 pamphlet Bowling: 2000, Browny wrote:

“Perspiration upon the hands is a great hindrance to the master bowler. I envision a device wherein cool air might be blown upon the bowler’s hands to relieve this worriment thereby dispensing with the need for powders, oils, and thick greasy compounds. These toiletries might then be kept at home in a convenient bedside drawer where they belong.”

Unfortunately, Browny did not live long enough to see the great spectacle of the first Pan-Lankville Bowling Tournament held in 1879 (Browny was murdered in a tent in 1850). The “Browny” Tournament was won that year by the great William Heins, champion for three consecutive seasons and the author of at least ten perfect games.

Rudy Cheps in 1952.

Rudy Cheps in 1952.

By the 20th-century, bowling became inordinately popular all throughout Lankville. The first true celebrity bowler was the long-time champion Rudy Cheps, who won his first title in 1942 and went undefeated through his retirement in 1955. “I grew up on a farm and I would pass the time rolling hogsheads down hills,” noted Cheps in an interview in 1982. “I got real good at rolling those hogsheads down hills and I think it prepared me for a career in bowling.” Cheps was the first bowler to be featured on television and was a big part of the LBS’ (Lankville Broadcasting System) popular program Commodious World of Sport which began airing in 1952. “I was asked to be on Commodious World of Sport several times and they broadcast a bunch of my games,” said Cheps. “I was interviewed by several notable announcers at the time, traveled all over Lankville, made a lot of money.” Cheps was also known for his enjoyment of the high life. “Yeah, I spent a lot of money, went to all the big shows, all the movie openings, always was one with the ladies. But after awhile, I got tired of the whole scene. You know, you can only jack up so much bare ass before you get tired of it. So, I retired. Went back to the farm.”

Bowling waned in popularity after Cheps’ abandonment of the title. “An enigmatic figure really did not appear after Cheps,” noted Commodious World of Sport reporter Larry Gorman-Thomas. “You had a bunch of nobodies– twenty-some different champs in 15 years. Never gave the public anything to grab a hold of. We stopped broadcasting the sport in 1975 or so.”

In 1982, bowling was removed from the Official Lankville Register of Popular Games. Today, it survives strictly as an amateur entertainment.

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