The other day Karen's nephew, turning seven soon, had a birthday party with a dozen of his classmates (and his sister) at a bowling alley. It was madness. Overexcited kids ran around, wrestled, hefted the heaviest balls they could lift using both arms and heaved them onto the bowling lane, where they crashed on the wood and caromed off the barriers set up for kids' bowling. Karen and I worked as chaperones, trying to keep the kids taking turns properly and waiting until the pins were set up before heaving another ball at them. It was tremendous fun. But quite tiring after two hours. Only one toe got bruised by a dropped ball. It all took me back to the birthday parties we used to have as kids at places like Jazwieck's Golfette in Everett, WA.