Against The Bias

One player's perspective in the great Sport of Bowls

Bowls Clubs Names

There are some very curious names of bowls clubs.  Most of the names give us a hint of the community they are part of.  Anyway, her is a small selection of some of the more unexpected names.

Carlisle Subscription, Hero of Switzerland, Parliament Hill, Middlesborough Co-op, South Derbyshire Miner's Welfare, St. Margaret's Hope, Aberdeen Royal Academy, Coal-town of Wemyss, Fountain Brewery, Grangemouth Railway, Strathclyde Police, Rolls Royce, University of Glasgow Staff, Shotts Ironworks, Chrichton Royal Hospital, Low Waters Miners Welfare Social and Bowls Club, Lenton Unionists, Gloucesteshire Wagon Works, Hylton Colliery, Tally-Ho, L.T.A.S.S.A., Customs and Excise LBC,  Correctional Services Department Sports Association, Planning Department LBC, Aphrodite LBC.

The Fun Side of Bowls

There is a lot about bowls that is funny, or at least entertaining.  This is a sampling of goodies which I've picked up or written over the years.  Enjoy a bit of a read, or feel free to use anything you find here in newsletters, etc.

Bowls Jokes

1.)  A guy who owned a bar won the lottery and to thank his customers he sold all drinks for a quarter.  Two fellas walk in and each orders a beer.  That's be 50 cents, says the bar owner.  "50 cents!  I can't believe it." says one of the customers.  So the bar owner explains why he does this.  Anyway, the two fellas order a couple of more rounds: double scotch on the rocks each and then brandy.  Each time it's just a quarter a drink.  As they're drinking their third drinks, they notice three people at the opposite end of the bar and they're not drinking anything.  They're just sitting there, chatting.  One of the customers leans over to the bar owner and says, "What's with those guys?  How come they're not drinking?"  Oh, they're lawn bowlers." answers the bar owner.  "They're waiting for happy hour."

2.)  The club's top bowler, a guy who had won every club championship numerous times, was known for carrying a little black book which regularly consulted during games.  Whenever he stood on the mat, with a particularly difficult situation, he would take out this little book and then make a brilliant shot.  Eventually he died and there was great interest in this book.  many of the club's members approached the man's widow asking what she was planning to do with this legendary book.  As a shrewd woman who was also in need of funds, she decided to auction the book off to the highest bidder.  The auction was held at the club and after some very spirited bidding a member, who had often finished second to the now deceased champion, took possession of the much sought after and now quite expensive book.  He could scarcely wait to take the book home and puruse its pages at leisure.  He sat himself down in his study and began to leaf through the pages - and he found that the pages were blank!  He finally came to a single page that had one sentence on it.  It said;

"Small circle on the inside."

3.)  The team's manager said that his top player would have performed better at the last tournament, if it hadn't been for the drinking and smoking and sex . . . especially between ends.

The Ballad of Jack Bowles and Kitty Whyte

(with apologies to Robert W. Service)

There are strange things done in the noon-day sun

     by the people who bowl on the green;

The battle for glory can be civil or gory

     and cause the strangest things you ever did see.

But the strangest of all twixt the spring and the fall

     that was witnessed by day or by night

Was the night when Fame wrote down the names

     of Jack Bowles and young Kitty Whyte.

The Bowlers' own language - how to translate

 The Sport of Bowls has its very own language which can totally mystify anyone who hears it, but hasn't had the pleasure of throwing a bowl in fun or earnest.  For the information of the uninitiated, here are a few terms translated into standard English.

  • "Good weight!" = lousy line
  • "Good line" = lousy weight
  • "Good back bowl" = you were lucky you didn't put it in the ditch
  • "That's in their way" = that's in my way
  • "That could be useful up there" = that bowl is closer to you than it is to the jack
  • "Get it next time" = you sure didn't get it this time
  • "He's surprisingly good" = you're surprised he ever makes a shot
  • "I'd bowl with him any day" = he always buys the first round


As with any language there are irregular verbs.  In English we have 'I am', 'you are', 'he is'.  Well bowls also has its collection of irregular verbs.  Here are a few:


1.)  I use tactics

      You use gamesmanship

      He cheats

2.)  I can't read the greens

      You're struggling

      He stinks

3.)  I use the bowls in play

      You get wicks

      He has horse-shoes up his a**

4.)  I put in a useful back bowl

      You're heavy

      He's lucky his bowl didn't go in the ditch


Brilliantly Bad Jokes

They may make your hair curl and insides lurch, but these jokes (mostly puns) are so bad they're brilliant.  If you like one, help yourself.  These make great filler in handbooks, newsletters and club parties.  Enjoy (if you dare).

King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites.  His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.  Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."
"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested.  "Don't you know who I am?  I am the king!"
Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. 
Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire, and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor!  I think I'm shrinking!"  The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."

A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls.  One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more.  On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road.  Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them.   Immediately, he was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedate lions
for immortal porpoises.

Back in the 1800s the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses.  The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California.  This, of course, is the origin of the expression, "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and urinals, leaving no clues.  A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day.   After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling.  The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register.  His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

There were three Indian squaws.  One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, nd the third slept on a hippopotamus skin.  All three became pregnant.  The first two each had a baby boy.  The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys.  This just goes to prove that the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.  (Some of you may need help with this one).

A sceptical anthropologist was cataloguing South American folk remedies with
the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern
were a sure cure for any case of
constipation.  When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in
the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."


A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft.  Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

A woman delivers a set of identical twins and decides to give them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" the friars to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, dude, this is so bad, it's good) a super callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.