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.”