Bowling, the mayor and a charity

W. Curt Vincent Editor

I don’t bother keeping track of Facebook commentary. Nor do I concern myself with reading responses left on our website. It’s just not worth it, and I was always taught that I shouldn’t get a big head over compliments or shrivel up over criticism because, let’s face it, most of them really aren’t very objective.

So if anyone is bent on taking shots at me or sending me attawaytogos, Facebook and our website aren’t the best avenues.

That said, sometimes a comment or thread on Facebook or website is thrust in front of us. Such was the case on Labor Day.

I was the lone lucky one who had to come into the office that day, which I did in the afternoon. Greeting me at our back door was an envelope taped to the window. Nothing was written on the outside, but inside that envelope were several pages of comments that started with discussing the soon-to-be-renovated bowling alley in Laurinburg — and quickly went off-track into puffed up challenges between residents and Laurinburg Mayor Matthew Block.

All of those commenting professed to be top-notch keglers.

At first I chuckled at how something seemingly so pedestrian could turn into a lengthy back and forth that ultimately went absolutely nowhere.

But then I started to think — how could this be turned into something positive?

That’s when it hit me.

Throughout the boasting of who has a “300” or “800” ring and whom could whip whom in a bowling challenge, nothing was settled — as is the case for a majority of the Facebook and website rants. But what if something COULD come of a challenge?

Here’s where I’m drifting …

What if Mayor Block were to actually be interested in a bowling challenge? And what if his challenger were the local newspaper editor? And what if the money “wagered” in this match was all ear-marked for a local charity of the winner’s choice?

The idea was interesting enough to keep me pondering.

The logistics that would need to be worked out are numerous, starting with the fact that the new owner of the local bowling alley would have to be on board. But why wouldn’t he be? Even if, for example, he were to provide two free lanes for three games on a Saturday morning for such a challenge, I’m thinking he’d rake in some pretty decent snack bar dollars and collect a whole lot of good publicity for his new-look business.

But let’s say the time and place can get worked out. What’s next?

I’m in for this, so the only other person who has to agree and actually show up would be the mayor. I understand how anti-public-appearance he usually is, but perhaps doing something positive for a community charity would change that.

And let’s not look at this as any kind of grudge match or bragging rights situation. It’s bowling. It’s just fun. And if a little money can be raised for charity … all the better.

So what do you think? After all, it doesn’t matter of the mayor and I get together for a three-game bowling match or not. If the public isn’t interested enough to lay out some donated cash, then the whole idea is worthless.

How might that work? Easy. In fact, there could be two ways to make your wager — the first would simply be to donate any amount of money you choose in the name of the person you think will win the challenge; the second might be to donate a certain amount of money for each strike or mark your bowler gets in the three games.

When all is said and done, the total amount of money raised by the two bowlers is combined and given to the winner’s local charity of choice. Pretty simple. And if y’all want to create your own side bets, that’s your business.

Now that I think about it, this could actually even become an annual event.

So, Mayor Block … ready to roll?

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-506-3023 or [email protected]

W. Curt Vincent Editor Curt Vincent Editor