I wasn't planning on going to Duluth today, but I wanted to get the results of the Grant Lewis vs. John Albert bowl-off from their outing last night to Jillian's. I started with Lewis, as he's the more talkative of the two (big understatement). He also happened to be the one I found first.
"You're gonna be upset when I tell you," Lewis said. "We never bowled."
Why, was the obvious question. Here's the Grant Lewis version of events: "I dunno, Albert wasn't up for it. I challenged him numerous times. I think he was embarrassed -- I think he may have been lying about his 180 average. And after called out about it, he backed down. He's the one who's running. You tell him I'm here anytime."
Eventually I caught up with Albert and raised these accusations. It's looking now like it was all a veteran move by Lewis to put some heat on the rookie by sending someone over with a tape recorder. Albert the Innocent's version of events: "No, I didn't run away from anything. I didn't hear anything about a bowling challenge. If there was, I would have done it." He said they didn't talk about bowling whatsoever. On the lying about his average accusation, Albert said he could support it. "Yeah, for sure," he said. "Anytime."
Another version of events might be that Lewis was just distracted by all the video games and never thought about bowling. "We played this game called 'Jamba Jungle' or something," he said. "You just have to follow your finger around the screen til you get it in. There was probably a crowd of about 30 of us at the end because we thought the game was unbeatable. Once you got really close, the time would come down really fast.
"Some say I stepped up and beat it, some said I beat the unbeatable," he said, pausing for the historical significance... "Ask Painer if you don't believe me. I was betting people $100 they couldn't beat it." I asked if he ended up raking in money on his win. He said no. "No one wanted to bet me because they knew I had the best shot at doing it."
"Spencer!" he shouted across the locker room. "Come here and tell her about me beating the unbeatable!"
Machacek walked over and Lewis repeated his request.
"You beat that?" Machacek said.
"I beat it! We thought the game was unbeatable."
"Yeah it was. You beat it?"
"I beat it."
"What'd you get? How many tickets?"
"Yeah. We gave them to underprivileged children."
I suggested that maybe Lewis should make a career out of gaming. "Honestly, I've thought about it," he said. "In college it was me and Hugh Jessiman, we were roommates. We had two TVs set up and we had four systems. We would challenge people when they came over."
"So are you better at that or are you better at hockey," I asked.
"Umm... ... ... I dunno, it's close. It's close," he said. "I think hockey pays a little more."
Meanwhile, in another corner, Artie Kulda praised the driving skills of Riley Holzapfel, who beat him repeatedly at a car racing game. "I can see he's playing every day, video games," Kulda said, glancing Holzapfel's way. "Arm exercises for strength," he added, demonstrating some wrist moves.
I asked Holzapfel if indeed he had been training for this. "No," he laughed. "I guess it's just natural talent."