Last November, when the headlines were driven by the first wave of COVID-19, archeologists in Egypt unearthed more than 100 beautifully painted wooden coffins, some with mummies inside. It was the largest archeological find of last year.

Now, with the second phase of COVID knocking the world senseless, the publicity-lacking dig has further discovered that these coffins, as old as 2,500 years, contained the entire Egyptian Duck Pin Bowling League, as well as the duckpins and the balls. All the mummies were buried in bowling shirts.

“It’s all in perfect condition,” says Prof. Binchley Warthog-Hives. “We even found the bowling alleys but nobody knows about it. This comes from an unknown Pharaoh, who lived either in the late 26th Dynasty or the beginning years of Dynasty 27. From what we can ascertain, his name was Phunneboi I.”

This reporter is skeptical. “Funny boy I?”

“Spelled differently.”

“That isn’t exactly common.”

“Yeah, like Tutankhamen just rolls trippingly off the tongue, right? Well, King Phunneboi decided to just chill once he got the throne and he summoned his wealthiest patrons to fund projects that would just make people laugh, enjoy themselves. One cadre of elitists proposed duck pin bowling.


“It caught on immediately. Duck pins are smaller than regular bowling pins as are duck pin balls. Since the pins are short and squat, they’re hard to tip over, so you really have to go to warp speed when you roll the ball. Between you and me, some of the team members threw overhand. But they were rich, you know? It made the pin boys’ lives a living hell.”

“Pin boys?”

“Of course. Before the automatic pinsetters of the last century, pin boys were used to picking up the downed pins. The folks who bowled overhand? Knocked the hell out of these kids. Many of them were deported into the suburbs as living lawn ornaments.”

This pursuer of truth was not quite convinced. “Did Funny boy stop with duckpin bowling?”

The Professor blushed. “Well, I didn’t want to bring this up, but he commissioned a pin ball machine that, basically, was half a pyramid with a wooden wall around it. Slaves were used as the balls. The biggest men in the Dynasty wielded the log-like flippers and the fattest men were the bumpers. The rich player would choose his first slave ball and command ten slaves to pull back and release a huge spring launcher. Then the slave was launched up this angled wall.”

“Was it popular?”

“No, actually. The slave balls didn’t fare well. At the end of the first day, the highest score posted was 10 and the death toll was 342. And don’t get me started about his Ferris wheel. Who neglected to have it mounted on a base? The first ride started and…well…I think they finally found the wheel in Nubia. The riders look like marmalade. You know, the kind with chunks?”


This scribe’s B.S. Meter was, now, off the charts. “Professor Warthog-Hives…are you pulling my leg?”

The Professor stared into my eyes. “Not physically. But, mentally? I’m more like caressing it.”

“Enough with this balderdash!!!”

“Good word.”

“Thanks. It’s my ‘Word Of The Day.’ Now, sir, how much of what you’ve told me is just twaddle!?”

The Professor wipes his brow. “Everything I’ve told you is true…except, maybe, the Ferris wheel….and the pinball game…and…maybe, the whole duckpin bowling thing.”

This reporter pulled out the photos given to him earlier and just nodded my head. “Nice Photoshop.”

“Took me a day.”

“Exactly why are you here, Professor?” this reporter demanded.

The man broke down in tears. “I need a job. (Sniff.) I wasn’t one of the scientists behind the dig. About a dozen of us out-of-work scientists were hired freelance to appear in the background of the news footage. We all had clipboards and all we had to do was nod and murmur. You know, ‘Rhubarb. Rhubarb. Rhubarb.’”

“Very tasty in a pie,” this scribe added.

“Indeed,” said the Professor. “I had hoped the gig would get me into the Screen Actors’ Guild but it turned out to be non-union. So, now I’m trying to re-launch the gig. But I gotta get a job. I gotta.”

“And what are your qualifications for a future job?”

“Well, I can hold a clipboard and nod my head while not reading any pages and mutter ‘Rhubarb. Rhubarb. Rhubarb.’”

This reporter thought hard. Then, the idea came. “Have you ever thought about entering politics?”

The Professor’s face lit up. “Of course! I can be as vacant as anybody!”

He started laughing. “Thanks. You up for a slice of rhubarb pie?”

Since a reporter never turns down free food, this story ended well.

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