Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Couple Nights With the Beeches: Tracking Down Trouble on Whidbey Island

A jab in the ribs woke me up from a dream where me and Mike Nelson were fighting to keep bad guys from cutting our air hoses. I woke up with what you, or at least you if you were some people, would call a start. But instead of Sea Hunt, it was Dolly-girl, looking like Cherry in Mark Trail, all perky and such, saying, "You know, Jack, I think it's time we pointed the roadster north and did a check-in with Dania and Leo Beech." "Waa, wha? I couldn't hear you for the bubbles..."

Well, when Dolly-girl sets her cap for a visit with Dania, there just ain't no sayin' nevermind if you get my drift. We packed up the Nash and headed towards the ferry boat that takes a car, driver, and passenger to Whidbey Island for a sawbuck and a quarter. I have to admit, I don't mind the trip and there's hardly anybody that makes a couple feel more at home than the Beeches. They are a couple of nuts without the spiny husks...

Dolly-girl gave them a jangle on the blower so by the time we pulled into their place, they were expecting us and by that I mean they'd laid in what we would call a goodly supply of potables and what others would describe as a some things to wet one's whistle. And it's a good thing, 'cause after that drive, my whistle was whistling "There ain't no beer in heaven, that's why we drink it here..."

Still, we didn't want to just pull up, hit the klaxon, and announce our arrival, so we sort of sneaked up to a window. I looked, and quick turned my back, yelling to Dolly-girl we'd caught Dania in an immodest moment. "Impossible. I've known that girl since she was a girl and there's no such thing as a modest moment for Dania Inebriata-Beech!" "Inebriata?" "Sure, didn't I ever tell you that was her maiden name?" "But never mind that--you need to get some specs, Jack. That there is a trinket jar that Dania's Aunt Heleneaux left her. She was quite the gal and knew there was only one gal that would appreciate that gal on the jar. Inebriata." I couldn't disagree with that.

Turns out, Leo and Dania had planned a get together with some other islanders and it sure was fun. Actually, it looks from the table like it was even more fun than any of us remembered the next morning although when you feel the way some of us did the next day you must have had a lot of fun the night before to account for the snarling through the wave that happens for no good reason if you get my drift.

But, you know, after a nice day of walking in the woods, whistling a happy tune, and maybe having a beer or two, what seems like the perfect activity on a moonlit night? BOWLING! Yes, fortunately, Ebey Bowl has re-opened to the joy of many Coupevillians, including Leo & Dania Inebriata-Beech. So, the four of us headed down there because what better activity when one of us had been taking a lot of ibuprophen (I won't say who it was because a certain wave will be snarled through) than bowling, some drinks, and a garlic pizza? Turns out nothing better, or at least nothing better that we tried until we tried drinking a lot of wine later as we did the post-game on the whole bowling thing.

Ebey Bowl is prepared to take you back to the old days. Bowling jackets, leagues forming, 6 lanes, beer, mixed drinks. Dang. Everything you need to have a night of family fun, and there were families there having fun.
Dolly-girl checked out the whaddaya-want and ordered us up some drinks and more. Missy brought them right to us, lane-side, in a jiffy so as it didn't interfere with our ability to focus on our games.

Dolly-girl started right off throwing rocks and, before long, we were all following suit. By the second game we were scratching our noggins about just what it was that was so challenging about this dang sport.

There's 10 pins and 10 frames, and we were getting scores that were awful close to 100. And we weren't even knocking them all down. I figured it was like that chemistry class I took when I was getting my Forensics ticket--70 out of 100 was what you needed. I don't know why they asked us if we wanted tubes put in the gutters, whatever those are. Hey, if they don't want to scrape leaves off the roof in the fall, go ahead and put something in there.

About half-way through the night, nature called, and I discovered the goods and bads of Ebey Bowl. They had The King overlooking a scale. Dang. They would have to go and remind me after I'd had a couple of brown bottle specials and some garlic pizza, that this weekend might not be exactly what Professor Javier Boleyn had in mind as "Eat Less, Move More" in the 2-Step DUH! Diet. Fortunately, I couldn't figure out what coins were needed so I just had to ignore the weigh-in during this caper. But, as I walked past Elvis on the way back to the lane 4, I could picture Dr. Rachel S. Graves, MD looking over her glasses if she wore them, saying, "Jack, Jack, Jack. Pizza and beer is not a diet either I or Professor Boleyn would recommend for you." "Yeah, well, neither are whole-wheat donuts at Gibson's, you Obie, you..." Smack. The bowling ball hit my middle like a potato pancake the day after the kielbasi festival. Dolly-girl. "Don't you be mouthing about my alma ma-ter like that..."

Well, I'm at the end of this story, but I'm here to tell you that I was there so I could tell you here that if you happen to be in Coupeville on Whidbey Island and you want some good fun, head on over to Ebey Bowl. Tell them Jack sent you. It won't get you anything special, but it sounds pretty good, eh?

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