Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kat and Gus, Thank You; Pete McCordic, I'm Sorry

Gus and Kat gave Adrienne and me a signed copy of Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. They rule for that. Thanks, guys.

I read Kat's post about meeting Amy Sedaris sometime after she'd posted, and concluded that if Adrienne and I were the couple she was referring to, we would have received the book by now. I felt a little disappointed because I have watched a decent amount of Strangers with Candy with Gus and Kat, and I had a hard time imagining they knew a couple more deserving than Adrienne and me. Lo and behold, I get home for work one day a few weeks later to find a package on my porch. I thought the new video card I ordered had just arrived freakishly fast. Then I noticed it was from New York, NY. No way in hell a video card gets from NY to an OKC 'burb that fast, so I was intrigued at the box's contents. I opened the box and much silent resentment was lifted from my shoulders when I realized Adrienne and I were the recipients of the above-mentioned Amy Sedaris book. The book was signed:

Adrienne and Jim,

Sorry you broke up.
Good Times!

Amy Sedaris

I love that she included Good Times!.

Then it got me thinking about Kat's post, and meeting celebrities in general. I can't say I have ever met a full-blown celebrity, but some "niche" ones.

Which brings me to Pete McCordic, professional bowler, and niche-celebrity for the purposes of this story.

I bowled in a Pro-Am tournament at the 1989 Seagram's U.S. Open in Edmond, OK, my one and only encounter with Pete McCordic. Having never met a pro bowler and being only 13, I probably had unrealistic expectations. I suppose somewhere deep down, I wanted to impress him, or for him to see some remarkable bowling talent I hoped I possessed. But alas, this was not the case. Pete didn't take any particular interest in me or any of the other youth competitors. I don't think he really wanted to be there. If A League of Ordinary Gentlemen's portrayal is accurate, there is probably a good chance he was hung over.

For a long time, Pete held a certain distinction in professional bowling that was a bit of a double-edged sword. He led the tour's career earnings list, for players with no titles. So yeah, he cashed consistently, but had never won. I believe this distinction weighed heavily on him at times. Finally in 1988 and fifteen years into his professional bowling career, Pete earned his first title at the Fresno Open.

Rewind to 1987. There had been a thirteen-year drought for 300s bowled on television. Pete shoots 300 on TV against Wayne Webb at Greater Los Angeles open, collecting a $100,000 bonus from True Value in the process.

Some weeks before the tournament, I read an interview with Pete McCordic in Bowlers' Journal. In it he lamented the 300 coming before the title at Fresno because he didn't want to be remembered as "the guy that shot the 300".

So failing to get his attention through my bowling prowess (which, admittedly, would have been tough considering I averaged in the mid-140s at the time, and it was the toughest lane condition I had ever bowled on. Hell, in the title match of the pro tournament, neither pro broke 200 (M. Aulby defeated J. Pencak, 195-178).), I decided I would try to get Pete's attention anyway.

Beaming with fake admiration only a 13-year-old can conjure, I said to him, "You're the guy that shot the 300". Yes, even at 13, I was a vindictive ass.

He stifled a cringe, faked a smile, shot 190-something, and moved to the next pair.

So, Pete McCordic, I'm sorry. I've always wondered if you would have responded differently if I had said something cool, like "Hey, congratulations on Fresno", but we seldom get the closure we crave.



At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're alive! And still funny! And still bowling! :)

I hope everything is going well!


At 10:04 PM, Blogger Jim B said...

Kelli, great to hear from you. It's been too long!
Actually, I am not bowling this year. The commute to Norman got excruciating. Hopefully, I will find some cool people to bowl with closer to home soon.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger gus away from the metroplaza said...

The picture makes it for me.

I also expect that he was too hungover to really care either way. Unless you said something like "so did you already blow that 100k from the 300?" Money questions always make people feel comfortable.

In other news, new blogger totally fucked my bloglines feed from you. I'm glad I checked it out myself.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger platkat said...

I'm glad you like the book. Now that your period of resentment is over, keep on blogging! :-)


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