Last week the wife and I had a pizza.
Big deal, huh? And what does a pizza have to do with bowling? Except that every bowling center in the Free World sells pizza.
But we didn't have pizza in a bowling center. We had it deliveredto our home. Back to the question: What does pizza have to do with bowling?
Price. Cost. Money out of your pocket.
Usually the wifeand I eat out, but on a rainy, chilly December night with a hint of snow in the air, eating in didn't sound too bad.
So we called one of the more well-known pizza delivery businesses and ordered a mediumpizza with sausage. In the usual time they advertise, the pizza arrived.
Seven dollars and 60 cents; that alone was a problem. Do I give the driver-delivery person eight bucks and look cheap or do I go for the $9 and say, "A little extra for you"?
Forget it -- you'll never know.
OK, a medium pizza is what I ordered. I open the box and what do I see? A very small pizza.
I know it said medium on the box, but I have a rule-of-thumb with food: If I can eat it all by myself, it's small. This pizza was small.
Still with me? We're getting to the bowling part now. Because I hear a lot of squawking about the cost of bowling. Why does the cost of bowling keep going up every year?
Everyone is quick to point out that American Bowling Congress/Women's International Bowling Congress sanctions keep going up, the price of each game keeps going up, the cost of the bowling center food keeps going up, the cost of shoe rentals keeps going up.
However, no one seems to find it remarkable that everything keeps going up in price. OK, maybe not everything -- but you're going to have to do some hard thinking to find something that hasn't gone up in price in the last six months., never mind last year.
Bowling is still one of the best bargains you can get for your entertainment dollar. Bar none.
Think not? Pay attention.
Oriole game: Tickets are $7.50 each. For you, the wife and two kids, that's $30. Two small soft drinks, $3.50, two large beers, $6.50, four regular hot dogs, $6. Total cost -- $46.
Blast game: Tickets, $11 times four, $44; two small sodas, $3; two large beers, $6.50; four regular hot dogs, $7. Don't forget $4 for parking. Total -- $64.50.
Capitals game: Tickets, $92; two small sodas, $3.20; two large beers, $7.50; fourregular hot dogs, $6.60; parking, another $5. Total -- $114.30.
Are you getting the drift? There's more. A Bullets game will cost $97 for that same family of four.
Skipjacks? It'll total out to $60.50 for the same family of four with the same refreshments.
So, you don'tgo to hockey, basketball or soccer games. OK.
Let's go to the movies. In Eldersburg, the same family of four will pay $18 to get into the theater and several more dollars for popcorn, candy and drinks.
The Cranberry Cinema in Westminster movies? Twenty-one dollars for the same family to get into the theater, plus food. You'll easily spend more if you grab a bite before or after the flick.
Your family is more down to earth, you say. OK, let's go to the Maryland State Fair in Baltimore County. Ride tickets are $7 each, $28 for the family. Hot ham sandwiches? Four at $3.50 each is $14. Four ears of corn, another $4, plus a few bucks for sodas.
OK, you're right. I've beat the price thing to death. But I hope the next time you go bowling that you'llremember you're getting a great bargain. And you've never paid for parking at bowling in your life.
What will it cost to bowl in CarrollCounty? Depending on the day and the time of day, it'll be from $1.25 to $1.90 per game; show rental is $1 each person.
If you and your family bowl two games each, it'll cost between $14 and $19. And food prices, both drinks and hot dogs, will be cheaper than any of the prices at the other sources of entertainment named above.
Activity. . . . . . . Ticket . . . Park
Blast game. .. . . . $11.00. . . $4.00
Bullets game. . . . . .17.50. . . . 5.00
Capitals game.. . . . 23.00. . . . 5.00
Orioles game. . . . . . 7.50. . . . 3.00
Skipjacks game.. . . . 9.00. . . .4.00
Wakefield Golf Club. . 13-22. . . . n/c
Carrolltowne Cinemas. . 5.50. . . n/c
Cranberry Cinemas. . . . 6.50. . . n/c
League bowling. . . . .. 5.50. . . n/c
Hampstead Bowl. Ctr.. . 4.50-6.50. n/c
County Lanes. . . . . . 5.25. . . n/c
Mount Airy Lanes. . . . 5.70. . . n/c
Thunderhead Lanes. . . . 5.10-6. . n/c
NOTES: Bowling centers are per person for three games; add 1 per person for shoe rental. Activities should take two to three hours. Prices at golf course and several bowling centers vary by time.N/C = No charge for parking.
SOURCES: Individual teams and establishments