By Ruby & Coco, the Gutter Gals

Bowling, we believe, should not be so dependent upon one’s faculty with numbers. After all, the shoe sizes are far from precise and certainly bear no relationship to the sizing system used by the Italian shoe companies with which we are so familiar. So, save your anal tendencies for other things–such as the care of your hair and nails. You have our permission to be more random and loose with your bowling scores. Bowling, after all, is an intuitive sport. Don’t think about it too much.

Remember, keep it simple. When in doubt, estimate, and if the rules don’t fit, make something up. The first six frames are power frames. Add the number of pins knocked down to the score you got in the previous frame, and then multiply that number by the frame number. Here’s where estimated multiplication works very well. We don’t expect you to actually have a calculator with you. We certainly don’t expect you to be able to do this in your head. For frames seven, eight, and nine, simply add the number of pins knocked down to your current total. On the tenth frame, multiply your total score by ten, and then add any bonus points you may be entitled to.

Bonus points may be awarded for a number of things, among them: falling down (5); not breaking any nails during the entire game (3); two players getting the same score on the same frame (10 each); both getting the same score with the exact same pins (15 each); throwing a ball into the adjoining lane (10 plus number of pins); bowling ball matches your outfit, nails, or lipstick (5); throwing the ball behind you (5); and style (2)–this is a good tiebreaker! Points can also be deducted in this system, so watch yourself. Subtract points for these faux pas: not wearing lipstick (-10)–even men should use lip balm; lipstick on your teeth (-18); sweating (-5)–you are working too hard if you sweat; and spilling beverages or food (-10).

Adopting a proper attitude will greatly enhance your bowling performance. Here are some thoughts on the subject:

[ Bowling is an event. Respect the uniqueness of the sport. Do not wear any apparel which features logos from other sports. It is rude.

[ Be attentive to fashion. Classic, bowling-theme attire is always appro-priate, but even if you choose to dress another way, be aware that you should look cute. It is not polite to offend other bowlers with your lack of style.

[ Our philosophy is: “Gutter balls without guilt.” Be respectful not only of others who have thrown them, but of yourself. Gutter balls are, in their own way, therapeutic. For the ball, they are like getting a good massage–a workout without smashing violently into all those pins.

[ Never, ever argue about your scores. Just make something up.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): zine cover.