I went to Bingo with Philomena. She got to my house a little early to pick me up, and I told her I didn’t have any Canadian money. So we had to go to her house and trade in my US currency. When we got there, I realized I’d forgotten my passport back at my place. So we had to go back to my house. Then we were off. Philomena is an aggressive driver. On the way she explained that Canadians are like sheep. If somebody is in one lane, the next person gets behind them, rather than switching lanes to pass. They also don’t like to go faster than the person next to them. So, after a lot of aggressive lane changing, we got to bingo 45minutes early. The parking lot was already packed. We got one of the last ten spots. Philomena (who is 64 years old) took a parking spot far away and explained that we should leave the closer spots for the elderly.
Once we got in, we went straight to the bingo room, which looks like a big gym, full of tables and ladies with lucky trinkets on the table. I couldn’t believe it. There were no open seats anywhere! All of these ladies show up and put seat cushions on the table around them for their friends. It’s one thing to reserve a spot, but half of them don’t show up. So, Philomena got a little pushy, because otherwise there would be nowhere to sit. Don’t forget we were 45minutes early. She went straight to a pink-shirted lady who had about 12 pillows around her seat. Phily just started to sit down. Pink lady told her that those spots were all reserved. Phily said, “There’s nobody here, and there aren’t any items here. They’re probably not even going to show up.” The lady confirmed, that all of the ladies would be showing up to claim their spots. Once game play started, four of the twelve had shown up.
We moved on, in the same table row as Pink, and moved some pillows that nobody was guarding at that time. We put our stuff down and then moved out to get our bingo cards. I have to admit, I’m nervous. I know that people who play take it seriously, and I don’t want somebody freaking out on me for not following etiquette. So, we’re at the table to tell the man how many of each color and packet we want. Philly starts telling how many she wants, and tells me what to get. Well, this lady behind me starts asking for hers before I get a chance. Phily gets pissed and starts saying to me, in a loud voice, “Some people here are just ignorant. You should never cut in line. That should have been learned years ago.” Well, I don’t really care, but after I got my cards, I looked at the lady that “cut.” It was my now, favorite, pink lady.
We paid for our cards, bought a dabber for me, and went back to our seats with some fresh coffee. Now, the ladies that should have been guarding the pillows we moved are there and I’m nervous again. I’m sure we’re going to get booted. Turns out Philly kind of knows them and we were accepted. Phew!!! It’s like an alpha-woman party in there. Playing still wasn’t going to start for a half an hour. Time to people watch!
The one lady across from us gives us candy, which I’m not able to eat because I’m on Nutrisystem, but I thanked her. Throughout the rest of the night, I had to say, “No thank you” about ten more times to her baggy of mints, which the other ladies were eating every time she offered. So, she was sweet as pea. The other lady sitting near us was serious about bingo. She had a crap load of cards, sighed whenever it got close, and cursed every time somebody called “Bingo!”
The people further around averaged at an age of 70years old. While I was looking around, I had that moment that every woman knows… my tampon was about to give way. Apparently, I’d turned into Niagra out of nowhere, on my first day, which never happens. I’m not stocked up in my purse, because I didn’t think I’d need anything. Typically, I’m willing to ask any woman that’s on her own if she’s got a tampon. I’ve been asked a dozen times. It’s like leave a penny, take a penny. While digging through my purse I realize I’m screwed. Nobody else in here has had a period in over twenty years. Looking around frantically I see one person my age. Guess who she’s sitting with? Pink lady. Grrr… I won’t give her the satisfaction of thinking that I need her or her friends in anyway. So, I cross my legs and hope that the dam doesn’t give.
On to bingo!!!
The cards are the thickness of newspaper, and on each one, there’s a different game that will be played. On one of them, you get to mark off all of the evens. On another, called Sputnik, you dab the outer ring, except for the corners, because they won’t matter when that game comes up. The lady with us that takes it really serious, is now using a stick of glue to make all of her same colored cards into one big card. I was playing with two. She was playing with five. I have to admit, I wanted to use her glue stick.
It was a Buddhist run game, and between his accent and the microphone, I couldn’t understand a word. So, Philly tells me we’re now playing and to just look at the TV screen, where the feed from a camera shows the ball that popped up. Every time “B 1” came up, he would say, “B Ichiro” because Ichiro is apparently number one on the Mariners team. I have no idea. The old ladies grumbled every time he did it. Another time, he read out a number and every body started banging their dabbers on the table. Was this a sign of a riot, fight, or was somebody supposed to kiss? Maybe the caller and camera guy? I have no idea. Still don’t. It never happened again.
Later, the Big Game came up, called “The G-ball.” Whenever he talked about it, I felt like Beavis, giggling about “The G-Spot.” The G-Ball game is that right before the game, a ball is pulled up, and if you can get a bingo on that ball’s… wait. There’s an easier way to explain it. If he pulls up “G 60,” then during the 60th ball that they pull up, if you get a bingo, then you get the prize. Every week, the prize goes up $100. Now I know why it’s so full there. It hardly ever gets up to the $2,300 it was now. So, he’s pulling the ball out, and says, “Mumble mumble mumble G 60.” Everybody starts cheering, and then he says, “But it’s 46.” Chaos. Women cursing, banging on the table, and shouting that it’s a rigged game. There are 47 squares on the bingo card, so it’s completely impossible to get it in 46. That’s why they’re so mad. Now they’ve got to come back next week. The caller makes cracks about how exciting it will be “when somebody gets it tonight.” The ladies aren’t amused. At all.
Now it’s intermission. Guess what the women are talking about? How this bingo G-ball (I giggle) is rigged (ribbed!?! I’m going to lose it!!!). One lady suggests they all boycott next week. Guess who it is!?! Yep, good ol’ Pink. Every other woman around her looks at her like, “Yeah, you do that. We’ll win it.” She’s embarrassed and walks away.
On to the last half. The foursome I’m sitting with keeps getting close to winning, but not close enough. They were funny and I was enjoying myself. I love numbers and I love arts and crafts. This is like a two for one deal!!! Then it’s the last game. I have a headache from looking between the TV screen across the gym and down to my cards with my scratched up lenses. I’m still crossing my legs. It seems the dam will hold. For this final game, you pull back out your first set of cards and now try to fill it up. The ladies around me all have some games that only have four numbers to be filled in to win. My lowest count is nine. Oh well. This was fun, whether I won or not. Then, the numbers started falling for me!!! I told my group I was getting close, that I only had two left. They still hadn’t filled in any of their’s any closer than four numbers to win. So, they ask what I need. I tell them 40 and 49. Next ball? It’s 40!!! Next ball? Woohoo!!! It’s 49!!! BINGO!!! The Buddhists confirm my card and I won $200. What!?! The highest win before that had been $100. Plus, I had to split the winnings. If the other lady hadn’t gotten it, I would’ve gotten $400.
Now guess who is pissed and throwing a hissy fit with her dabbers? Yep, it’s Pink. She’s putting the caps on them all dramatically and throwing them into her purse. Since she cut me off, she screwed herself out of the winning card!!!
I love bingo.