Monday, April 18, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bowling Alley - Poem: Ode to the Willow Grove Dairy Queen

Today was the Day! I'd go to Thunderbird Bowling Lanes and eat myself sick with hot dogs and maybe an ice cream sandwich.

As you know, the Lanes are closing down on May 1. Why? A man contacted the owners, offered them a ton of money, and they accepted.

The bowling alley makes money. Even today, Monday, around noon, folks were bowling and having fun!

Hello Jenna M, said her badge.

We chatted a while.

The snack bar, she told me, doesn't open until dinner time.

Photos please (some day these will be worth millions of dollars!)

 Mmmm, I'm sure I would've ordered french fries.
 Snack shop or should I say Smack Shop, meaning smacking your lips.
Both of Scott's parents were in bowling leagues. Their shirts read "Adams Avenue" on the back.

 The light fixtures were a lovely orange. Some of the equipment is going to another bowling league.
 Jenna and I traded names. Her dad is a financial advisor - am gonna call him, since I don't have one - and I told her I'm a psychotherapist.

Aren't vending machines lovely?

Kids just love them and so do I !!!

For the life of me, I COULD NOT FIND Thunderbird Lanes, had to return home and ask Scott.

Then, I couldn't find the Dairy Queen. I'd never had a hot dog from them, but boy are they delicious!!!

A fellow named Mark, who's been there in 1989 and says he makes a good living, was immensely helpful. We decided on two doggies.

Here's a dog smothered with sauerkraut, mustard and relish.


 I started eating it right away, not telling Mark why.

Scott and I had walked one of the Pennypack Trails, off Byberry Road. When I got home, I checked my blood sugar and it was 79, one point low.

So I gobbled a glucose tab and headed out.
The chili hot dog was also delicious!

DQ can do your wrong.

Then I asked many questions about what to drink and I actually wrote down the name of it:


Just incredible!

When Mark's back was turned I injected 12. When I woke up from a 2-hour nap, my sugar was normal.

Now I have 8 minutes to write a poem before leaving for Lynn Levin's poetry workshop on the ode at the Huntingdon Valley Library.


As we age, it's important to
sample new things to increase
the power of our minds

Some people take up
jigsaw puzzles, as does
my friend Beatriz

Or learn to play the
violin or viola da gamba
or how about a lesson in

Sorry. Not for me.
With my sensitive
palate and yes, I
can smell the
lilacs coming up
from the back yard

I entrust my learning
lessons to none other
than the Willow Grove
Dairy Queen.

I have gone by night
and thrill as the moon
and stars around her
send their moonbeams
to light us all up, as if
I, in particular, am
doing something naughty,
and am, A Diabetes Queen.

This is my first trip
by day. Holding my
head high, I confer
with Mark, these
people are all saints
to me, and he finally
hands over the
perfect lunch
complete with

Who doesn't like
a hot dog? Make mine
with sauerkraut, relish
and golden mustard.

A chili dog is
more complicated.
My mouth must
rest from the new
assault of flavor.

Organs, I've only
lost two. My kidneys,
but rebuilt, thanks to
my daughter's donation.

Is the mouth an organ?
The long loop of
the tongue?

Ah, let's all praise
the mouth and the
tongue for the joy
it brings when you
eat all the right things
Hot dogs with mustard
and relish, and a Chili
Dog which bites off
your tongue.


  1. Comment from Rem Murphy of our Writers Group - Tried to post comments on your blog but I couldn't figure out how to do that. Of course, I like your ice cream poem. And I shouldn't be telling you this, but you really ought to try an Arbie's Jamocha shake.
    I read with interest your comments on the bowling alley. When I was a kid there was one on Moreland Road (where the K-Mart is now). It was supposed to be the biggest bowling alley in the USA and I was expressly forbidden to go in there (because they served liquor, I think).--Rem

    1. Hmmm, I wonder if you can order that Arbie's shake online and have it shipped home.