Hey Ronnie, you got a second? I want to talk to you about some issues I’m having out on the floor.

Now, let me make this abundantly clear. I didn’t take this job because I wanted to be a star, and I don’t want more cash or anything. You knew when you hired me that I didn’t want this job because of the money. Just like how I knew when I got into this business that screen time was never guaranteed. But Ron, It’s been almost a year since I got to go out there and I need to perform. Not for them, or for you, but for me. See, I became a bowling alley screen animation because damn it, I love this sport and I love being a part of it. I love popping up on the screen after a particularly good throw nails the pins. So it breaks my non-existent heart to tell you this, but I’m leaving.

You know, I actually thought when I got this position at Ronnie’s Bowlorama I’d hit the jackpot. I mean, I’m a skeleton made out of early 2000s CGI that was never updated. Making it here and getting to be the on-screen animation for a strike was something I used to dream about. When I was a boy, I used to scatter my bones around the room and make a clatter sound with my mouth as I did it.

Decades later and here I am doing the real thing. I scatter my bones all over the screen as the text says strike. You know, the classic. Then my skull rolls into the camera to take us back to the black screen. I’m real proud of that, you know, cause not a lot of animations are doing the skull roll into the camera as a smooth transition back to the scoreboard.

So here’s the thing that has me chafed, Ron. You got me working lane nine. Come on, we both know you buried the lead on this thing when you told me lane nine gets the most action in the whole building. It’s reserved for birthday parties and families with three or more kids. It’s all kids! We don’t have bumpers here! You said bumpers go against the purity of the sport. How’s a kid ever gonna get a strike without a bumper?

Shoot, I was talking to Pirate Ship Cannon Animation, you know, who goes out whenever there’s a spare and blows the whole screen up with a bowling bowl shot out of a cannon? He said he’s only been out four times since last summer. Four times, Ronnie! He’s been doing this since the machines only let you use initials instead of full nicknames like “Big Dave” or “Capn Crush.” I had his freakin’ calendar growing up.

Meanwhile, we got this rookie Bowling Ball Animation that thinks he’s the hottest act in town. He goes out for gutterballs and he has like ten different acts. He’ll pop a hole then zip around like a deflating balloon or he’ll roll into the pins but then shatter like glass instead of hitting them. It’s insulting! He barely gets off screen before he’s back out because some kid named “Little Man” just yanked one straight sideways then ran back to the arcade!

I’m sorry I’m so heated. It’s just that, earlier today this kid comes up, grannies one right down the middle. Straight down it Ronnie. This thing is a slow roller. I’m talkin’ my grandkids will be ready to go on-screen when it hits, but it’s straight. I’ve seen a lot of balls and Pirate Cannon has seen more than me. We both knew when it was halfway. That ball was a strike. I got ready, shaking my bones around to get loose. This was it. Then, as the ball was about to reach the pins, it just stopped. It stopped. Maybe an inch from the pins. It didn’t have enough mustard on it, Ron. The family had to call lane assistance. You know what it registered as on the monitor? A gutterball.

That was it. I’m done. I can’t keep pretending I’m at the top when I’m actually just watching from the side. So, with heavy bones, I give you my resignation. It’s been an honor. Before you try to talk me out of it, I’ve already taken a job over at a minor league baseball stadium. They’re going to let me come out and do my act every game during the seventh-inning stretch. It’s not as glamorous but hey, guaranteed play every shift. I’ll always be grateful for my time here, and the next time I roll my skull into the camera I’ll throw in a wink for you.

Later Ronnie.


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