Inspired by my column last week about surprises, I figured I would be nice and surprise Lady Human with a present. 

I’ve been bugging her since September that she needed a new bowling ball. Might as well get her one. 

You see, bowling balls don’t last forever. In fact, according to the fellas at Tropic Lanes, a ball starts losing its luster after 90 games — longer if the ball is cleaned, textured, polished, or resurfaced regularly. I know, that was more than you ever wanted to know about bowling balls.

Lady Human has been rolling with the same ball for a few seasons. Time for a change.

Of course, for her, picking a ball is all about how it looks and not if it fits her style of bowling. It has to be the right color. As if only purple balls get strikes. After consulting with the gurus at Kodiak’s 10-lane center, we settled on a ball — a 14-pound Roto Grip MVP Attitude. The color was perfect — a gold and purple swirl — and the ball suited her approach to the pins. 

I kept asking Lady Human if she had ordered the ball and always got the same response, “no.” So after seeing her struggle with pin reaction week after week, I decided to take it upon myself to order her the ball. I ordered it Tuesday on Amazon.

Well, the next day, when we returned from lunch, there was a package at the office. I didn’t pay for fast shipping, so I knew it wasn’t the ball. With the box having Lady Human’s name on it, I picked it up. Strange. It was heavy. Heavy, like a 14-pound bowling ball heavy. She couldn’t have. No, she didn’t. 

I ripped open the box like it was Christmas morning, and there it was, a 14-pound Roto Grip MVP Attitude. She did. 

She ordered the ball a week ago and had planned to keep it a secret until using it on the lanes for the first time.

I shook my head and said, “you won’t believe what I did last night ... I bought the same ball.” I feverishly logged into Amazon to cancel the order. Too late. The ball already shipped.

With my hobby of collecting bowling balls, all is not lost. Even though the ball is lighter than what I roll, I plan on adding it to my collection. Now, we have matching bowling balls. 

A LOSS IN THE FAMILY

A week after being surprised by a new nephew, my brother’s family dealt with losing one of their three dogs. 

Bella was a 12-year-old Labrador retriever/pitbull mix. She joined my brother’s home as an 8-week-old pup and was the longest-tenured tenant of his house in Aberdeen, Washington. The dog had been there through the births of my brother’s two sons. She died of cancer. 

The hours leading up to the veterinarian appointment were spent spoiling Bella — all the treats her belly could handle. I asked if she had ice cream, and apparently, the vet asked the same question. 

My brother — four years younger than me — said he never imagined that losing a dog would be as painful as losing our father in 2018. But it was. I will always remember breaking the news of our father’s death to him in our childhood driveway. We hugged like we had never hugged before.

I knew exactly how my brother felt earlier this week. This Sunday will be one year since Gizmo left the Clarkston Zoo and went to dog heaven. 

It’s hard to believe that one year has passed since Gizmo made his final NFL picks and went on his last walk — there are fewer sticks at our door now. Oh, how I miss seeing those sticks, though. 

We think about Gizmo every day and he still has a presence in the Zoo as his picture remains on the wall with his Seahawks collar draped on the corner. 

We are reminded of Gizmo everytime Cody, who we adopted in December, rolls over for a belly rub. A classic Gizmo move.  

NFL PICKS

The biggest takeaway from Week 5: More Tuesday games. I’m in favor of eliminating Thursday games for Tuesday games. It was great to have three straight days of NFL games. 

I posted a 10-4 record in Week 5 to run my overall mark to 50-26-1. 

CLEVELAND (4-1) at 

PITTSBURGH (4-0)

Cleveland has not won in Pittsburgh since 2003, but this is a different Browns team. Cleveland has won four straight and is tied with Baltimore for second in the AFC North behind Pittsburgh. 

Barring another four-touchdown performance from Pittsburgh rookie receiver Chase Claypool, the Browns will prevail ... Browns 24, Steelers 21.  

WASHINGTON (1-4) at NEW YORK GIANTS (0-5)

How cool was it to see Alex Smith play in an NFL game after nearly losing a leg two years ago? Smith, Washington’s QB2, saw his first action since breaking his leg when newly-promoted starter Kyle Allen left with an injury. Smith wasn’t brilliant in the loss, but just the fact that he played in another NFL game was a win. 

Allen is back under center this week for Washington in its game with the winless New York Giants. This isn’t a marquee game, but one team has to win ... Giants 26, Football Team 21.  

GREEN BAY (4-0) at 

TAMPA BAY (3-2)

This just in, Tampa Bay has three wins, not four. They could have four after Sunday’s game against Green Bay. Doubtful, though. The Packers are playing well and are getting back Davanta Adams for this game ... Packers 34, Buccaneers 24

KANSAS CITY (4-1) at 

BUFFALO (4-1)

This could have been a Monday battle of 5-0 teams, but both teams lost last week — the Chiefs to the Raiders and the Bills to the Titans. 

Still, this is the best game on the Week 6 slate. Patrick Mahomes vs. Josh Allen. Kansas City can’t lose two straight games, right? ... Chiefs 45, Bills 28.  

ARIZONA (3-2) at 

DALLAS (2-3)

The injury to Dak Prescott is heartbreaking for the Dallas Cowboys. Prescott was hanging video-game numbers on opponents this season, making up for the soft Dallas D. Enter the Red Rifle Andy Dalton.

Without Prescott, the Cowboys still have the offensive pieces to post wins. It just might not happen this week against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals ... Cardinals 35, Cowboys 24.

Other games:

Vikings 42, Falcons 28

Panthers 21, Bears 17

Colts 20, Bengals 13

Patriots 31, Broncos 17

Jaguars 28, Lions 24

Titans 35, Texans 31

Ravens 38, Ealges 21

Dolphins 27, Jets 10

49ers 24, Rams 20

 

   

        

    

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