There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog.

1 Mar

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, ya’ll.

I decided that after the last two weeks of heathenistic lollipop events, I should do something with a warm, gooey core of wholesomeness.    And that’s how I came to find myself in strange, new, but all-too-familiar hicktown playing a good old-fashioned game of Bingo.

It’s an atrocity that I grew up in Central PA and never waddled my way over to a Bingo game.    And so waddle I finally did, past tiny little shanty houses and what seemed to be a nuclear power plant a la Simpsons.    At the end of that beautiful hick-laden road was a rec hall with plastic tables, an enthusiastic and under-funded theater club, and a whole lot of old ladies.

The true joy of my Bingo adventure was that it wasn’t for money.  It was for Vera Bradley bags.

Personally, I’ve never gotten the allure of Vera’s wacky color combinations, paisley-on-acid patterns, and quilt material.  It looks like a craft.   You know, like from a craft show.    Except there I can get one for a decent price.  If I want the Vera brand, I’ve gotta pony up way too many pennies for  my liking.    So I went into the rec hall with every intention of winning myself a bag and putting it on ebay.

But I severely underestimated the intensity of an average Bingo game.

These women were bingo semi-professionals.  Most of them already had Vera Bradley bags, well-worn and poised beside them as proof that they were there to take in some serious winnings.  Some brought their own Bingo markers, which were so enormous and metallic that at one point I mistook one for a light saber.

I think the Bingo marker was my favorite  part.  I spent most of my time thinking about how genius of an invention it was.  Dave spent the whole time in awe of how much fun it was to stamp things with.

Oh yeah – did I mention I took Dave?  The only thing better than the Bingo marker was the look on Dave’s face when the moderator said things like, “Come on, ladies!  Who wants to win this bag?!”   It was a genuine pleasure to see him juxtaposed against huddled-over old bitties, with their glasses pushed down to the very tips of their noses, their Bingo markers in the ready position, and a look of sheer determination.

I think I saw one of them curl up her lip and bare her teeth.

Tensions are high in a Bingo game.  If multiple winners cry out after a number is called, they go into a “Bingo Off” and the  moderator pulls another number. Whoever has it on their winning card is determined ruler of all.   One disputed card required 5 more numbers be drawn to determine the tie and the 85 seconds surrounding the event were amongst the most painfully gripping of my life.

A little over halfway through the game, I had to readjust  myself because I had somehow shlumped down and was hunched over my card.  My nose was only a few inches above the table and I was staring straight down, burning a hole through my card with my intensity.   I was going to intimidate the card into giving up the correct number.

It didn’t work.

In fact, nothing I tried worked and I went home a big, fat, penniless, Vera Bradley bagless Bingo loser.   I didn’t mind so much, because I had a really good time.

But then I realized that instead of just being a regular old crazy cat lady when I get older,  might be an old crazy cat lady who plays Bingo.




6 Responses to “There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog.”

  1. Ro March 1, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I went through a brief stint of hitting up bingo halls with a friend of mine. I loved every second of it (As long as it wasn’t a hall that allowed those automatic bingo thingies, where, like, you put your card in and sit back and let this stupid machine do all the work for you. Lame.). I usually found myself grateful for not winning, however, because those little old ladies are VERY intimidating. Go figure.


    • Jackie March 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      whatever “automatic bingo thingies” are they sound terrible.


  2. Zenalicious Mommy March 1, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Too funny! I’ve never played BINGO with the big kids however I did participate on our honeymoon cruise and found it mildly (okay who am I kidding – totally!) addictive and fun.

    Sorry to hear of your loss though.


    • Jackie March 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

      Thanks, Zena 🙂


  3. Lori March 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    We should probably attempt to live near each other when we’re old. Demography suggests that we’ll outlive our husbands, so we’ll need the companionship! Our weekly dates can be to bingo.


    • Jackie March 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

      That sounds like good, firm logic. Let’s plan to cut the distance that separates us in half once a year, every year starting in our 80’s until we’re neighbors.


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