Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Torture’s Incredible Bachelor/Bachelorette Party – St. Paul, MN

I normally don’t review super personal things like this, but I’m making an exception since it was so awesome. Mr. and Mrs. Torture are awesome people and know other people who know awesome people. Some of these aforementioned people know about this underground bowling alley in the basement of a catholic school in St. Paul. And by underground, I mean it’s in a basement. The Torture’s rented out the entire 6-lane facility for their pre-wedding shenanigans and got the ok to bring in booze (it’s run by Catholics, so it didn’t take much)(Hey! I went to Catholic school. I’m allowed to say things/facts like that). It’s one of two tiny church-related bowling centers in the Twin cities and likely one of less than a hundred church-run bowling alleys in the country. It’s a secret big deal. (So secret, they don't even light their sign outside...)

The lanes are standard lanes, with automatic pin setters, and even scorekeeping computer monitors. The seating area for bowlers is almost on top of the bowler who’s up, so you have to be careful, but there’s a nice seating area behind the lanes for bowlers and hecklers alike. You can rent shoes at the counter where you pay for your games and they’re got houseballs for everyone to use. It’s a pretty fun operation. It’s isn’t going to be all fancy black lights and discoballs like at Brunswick FunZone, but it’s absolutely the kind of awesome you’d expect when you tell someone you’re going to a secret bowling alley in the basement of a catholic school. This totally reminds me of a super small bowling alley back in my home town – they bowling alley was called Hob Nob and had eight lanes of cigarette-smelling, super dark awesomeness.

Here are some shots of the funiosity, starting with Mrs. and Mr. Torture themselves!

We started off with a bit of craziness to make sure people had fun. The first bowler on lane one got to pick what everyone will do for frame one – funny walk, spin around, between the legs, football hike, opposite hand, and then everyone does that for a frame. Then the person on lane 2 picks the second frame bowling style, and so on. It got a little ridiculous, and I think I ended up with a 37 for the first game. The next games were much better when it was a free for all. Or maybe the flasks of liquor helped (you have to keep the booze off the lanes though and in the seating area – very simple house rules we were happy to comply with).

There’s even a copy of Mark Roth’s well-known book available in case you need some tips. My father is cracking up right now, since I guarantee he has this book in his home office right now.

And of course, you get to use the school gym locker room for the restrooms, should you need it. Bring a towel, take a shower! D.Rough has no idea how close I came to doing that during the party. I’m amazed she puts up with me, but I’m glad she does.

D.Rough and I were excited to use the bowling balls her parents got us for Christmas last year. We’ve only been bowling with her family once since we got them, but we’re making sure the balls get put to good use. Thanks, parents-in-laws! We love them!!

Seriously, this was one of the best bachelor/bachelorette party ideas ever. And… it was just the start of the evening.

Note: There doesn’t appear to be a lick of oil on the lanes here (for non-bowlers, yes, there is supposed to be oil on the lanes). I didn’t even ONCE hit the right side pins the entire time. Choose your weapons accordingly if you plan to go here. Don't even bother with urethane or resin balls (sorry to get all fancy-talk on you...).

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