16 May 2011
My trailer park is really starting to empty out and most of my RV buds have gone home for the summer. Last week (perhaps to fill the void) I stopped by the Lion’s Club in Huachuca City for bingo night. I have driven by the bright yellow building and its marquee daily since I moved down here and have contemplated playing for awhile now. Bingo is on Tuesdays with the early bird starting at 6:15 (little plug for anyone in the neighborhood). Work has been running later these days so I was a little tardy and they had already started. As I walked in the front door I had 40 pair of eyes (38 elderly women, 2 elderly men) closely scrutinizing me. “Are you here to play bingo?” one lady asked incredulously. In all honesty the way the action came to a standstill (including the bingo caller) I thought I had arrived at a member’s only affair. I was eventually steered to the proper table where I had to again reassure a second woman that yes I was indeed there to play bingo. I was invited to sit at a table with 5 bingo veterans and was graciously loaned one of their multiple (some people have 15 or 20 sitting in front of them) card daubers. Very good group of people that included one of the only guys in the place, Roger, who happened to be the president of the club and perhaps most importantly the snack bar attendant (serves a wicked chicken salad sandwich) at half time (you’ve got to stay hydrated- that bingo hand cramps up easily). I quickly became the table’s Special Olympian as they all took it upon themselves (rightly so) to make sure that I didn’t miss any numbers (which I did miss a fair number of…I started to space out a little towards the end). The gal to my left was not only playing her 18 game cards but my 9 as well and would shoot her dauber over to pick up my strays.
I felt bad for the caller who had angry, grumbling women when their numbers weren’t called for BINGO. Most entertaining was the occasional mistake, such as, “G-75”, which of course should be “O-75”, setting off a firestorm of epic proportions in the bingo hall. Tough crowd. I would love to report an actual bingo, but Roger bingoed (I think I’m creating a verb here) 3 times (very suspicious when you are the president by the way) and took all the table luck (at least that’s what the ladies were complaining) from the rest of us. There’s always next time. Shouting out BINGO remains high on my list of future accomplishments.