NOTE: This has been transcribed from the backs of Staropramen coasters.
Watching Czechs Bowl —
Body English is more than just an expression, apparently. Body Czech is much more reserved. While the ball is rolling down the lane, the czechs have three options: watch blankfaced, turn away, or practice their follow-through (and that only among the bowlers who had been taking lessons earlier). All other reactions are saved until after the ball hits the pins.
Among those I bowled with in the US, the ballet of the bowler, subtly influencing the course of the ball, is a big part of the game. The gyrations, the hand gestures, the instructions shouted down the lane, all those things mattered.
It says something about both groups — the Americans think they can change things they have no control over and the Czechs don’t try. In the case of bowling, the Czechs can probably take the philosophical high ground, what with physics and all, but I lean the American way myself. We’re the dreamers, the poets of bowling.
Golf and bowling may be the only recreational activities with such a gap between action and result, that period that allows the actor to perform. Indeed, it is that stretch between performance and result that makes the games worthwhile.