Monday, July 21, 2008


I was invited to play Bingo at our local casino. Bingo, here, is not only an activity…it’s also a FOREIGN COUNTRY. “The Bingo-zoids”—who live in the “Bingo Land” are serious folks. They HAVE to be! There’s no time for goofing around--there are hundreds of details and customs only known by the inhabitants and those who regularly visit their land.

Having no “Bingo Land” visa, and without a Berlitz “Bing-ish” cassette, I try to follow my more seasoned companion around like Egor, with a “monkey-see-monkey-do” method of managing diversities.
Some terms I heard that, without a “Field Guide”, are left to my interpretation:

1. Early Bird - Are we going to mark numbers using assigned beaks?
2. Crazy bingo - Are we going to play under the table? Or maybe behind our backs?
3. Blackout - Turn the lights out? That will be challenging.

I understand nothing. Now is not the time for vanity---I am a complete idiot here. “Bingo-zoids” are pretty much exclusively senior citizens with sharp, pointy minds. To pass the time in my spinning head, I start to feel silly. OH-OH. The more I think about how serious things are here, the sillier they seem. I start to nervously point out “funny” things to my companion and tablemates. I am “Tigger” in a room of constipated Eeyores.

Note: I am no where near as energetic as the REAL Tigger, but compared to the “Bingo-zoids”….I am both flouncy and pouncy.

People are holding up one and five dollar bills in the air. I ask if there’s a stripper (they probably wouldn’t notice anyway). Horrible, awful, violated-type looks came upon the faces of the “Bingo-zoids” at my table—which only created more of a humor-vacuum in my head. You’re supposed to “prime” your “dauber” (which sounds dirty doesn’t it?) to create the wettest possible daub. So…oh yeah, I WENT there… I am always behind hearing the numbers and my companion saw the next number, thought I missed it, and just as she was reaching over to my card point to it out, I accidentally daubed her, hard, on her finger. This made us laugh.

I am annoying and distracting—a deadly combination in “Bingo Land.”

I felt that if these people could have pried their fingers from around their daubers, they would have threateningly cracked their knuckles “Soprano-like” and eyed their hit men:

“We have another Tigger in the building. Make some more cement shoes.”

Honestly—it’s mental boot-camp here. I don’t know how they do it. I had a 6 pack (which in “Bing-ish” means 6 games at once)—but there were people 100-years-old who had 12 and 15 packs. There are schematics to memorize and follow in order to create the figure of a DEER, a SHOVEL or a BROKEN ARROW with the called bingo numbers. These Century-arians conquer this with seeming ease.

I think the secret is they don’t get emotional….at all. A woman at our table won many hundreds of dollars.

”Congratulations!! That’s awesome!” I say.
She barely cracked a smile.

If being unemotional is the key to winning bingo, I might as well go home. If I had won—I would have done an emotional, freak-out, WINNER dance and insisted on a confetti drop.

I think now they have a picture of me at the desk with the caption:

“Distracting Idiot. Do not admit.”


Jenie Altruda said...

TOO FUNNY! Did you ever see that Oprah where she and Gail went across country and she ended up playing BINGO? Also, on BIG LOVE - HBO show about polygamists - one of the wives was a Tigger like you at a local casino. What if we go together sometime! Together we may get a police 911 call out of the zoids!

Bev Spicknall said...

That is a stitch! When did you do that? I can see us now in our old age duking it out over daubers. Actually, that's pretty sad. Forget I said that.

Stacey said...

Very funny, Heidi. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall of that event.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Oh, Tigger! You are too much. I hope you get your dauber primed, you nut. Thank you for my first awesome laugh of the day, funny, funny friend.