The team held it's collective breath as the ten-pin teetered momentarily, finally succumbing to gravity and falling in to the gutter to complete the strike and win the game for the team. A cheer went up and Hank, Uncle Billy and I charged onto the lane to congratulate Eb with friendly back-slaps, high-fives and hair ruffling.
"Way to go, Eb!" shouted Hank.
"Great job!" I added.
"Didn't think you had it in you," said Billy.
We guided Eb back to his seat, a smile creasing his face.
Hank plopped down beside him. "I'm buying your first beer, young man."
"Hey, how about me?" said Billy. "Don't forget that turkey I threw in the middle frames set this up."
Hank looked up at him. "I didn't forget, Bill ... I'm buying a round for everyone."
I slipped off my shoes and grabbed my street shoes from the beneath my seat. "I'll have to take a rain check, Hank."
"Where are you going?" asked Billy.
"I gotta get home ..."
"What? And miss free beer?" asked Eb.
"I sure hate to, but I've got an early call tomorrow."
"What's going on?" asked Hank.
"I have a job interview."
"No kidding?" said Hank.
I laced up my shoes. "They're looking for tutors at Knowledge World."
"What's that?" asked Eb.
"Teaching rug-rats their ABC's," said Billy.
I finished tying my shoes and gave Billy a sideways glance. "I think it's for kids who need extra help in school."
"Hey, that's great," said Eb, still smiling from ear to ear. "But are you sure you don't have time for one beer?"
"He needs his beauty rest," said Billy, "or it'll be all he can do to fill out that application."
"Is that something you want to do?" asked Hank.
I grabbed the bowling shoes and stood up. "Not necessarily ... but I could use a little extra jing at the moment."
"It was either that or Walmart greeter," said Billy.