June 29, 2007

Would Ringo Like Bingo Lingo?

Things they don't tell bingo workers: Circling the hall, you'll end up walking seventy-five miles over the course of an evening. (I forget to bring my wife's pedometer so I can't confirm that.)

The other thing they don't tell you is that Joe, the grand poobah of bingodom, expects freshly laundered & sorted currency when you turn in the money. Mine comes in in something of a jumble. It's the Irish in me.

Prickly. The customers were a bit prickly tonight. I think because of recent hot, humid weather. In after-bingo someone said that fisticuffs broke out five times in the new Giant Eagle grocery store, once because one guy had "touched another guy's cart".

After-bingo, by the way, often generates surprising comments, like Kim saying, "why didn't he convert her?" when it was mentioned that St. Thomas Aquinas had once drove a prostitute out of his bedroom. Good question. And how ironic to learn that Kim is allergic to literally everything except bingo! Grass, cats, pollen, air - you name it. Yet she has no doctor's excuse to escape the clutches of the bingo hall. Life is unfair.

The "give an inch, take a mile" club is always looking for new members and today we had a person who won a door prize who tried to substitute it for instant winner tickets or cash. This defeats the whole purpose of a door prize, which is basically to get rid of something nobody really wants. Doug took the microphone and put it this way: "When I get home, a lot of times I don't really want what my wife cooked for dinner. But I eat it anyway. It's the same thing with door prizes...". I was surprised because who was sitting in the bingo office? Doug's wife! That original sin exists and we are fallen can be shown by my immediate impulse to run over and get Doug's wife's reaction (and rub it in) regarding this announcement.

The boredom during bingo is existential so try to come up with ways to make it more exciting for myself by coming up with different names for the games we sell. Kim once famously misspoke and called a game "Ball Busters", which was probably the genesis for one lady referring to us as "the fun sellers".

I got a laugh tonight merely by saying, "Instants...one for a dollar, five for five dollars" - as if that's a deal when everyone knows that's the going rate. One woman found this so funny she continued laughing even when I was nearly a half a bingo parlor away, proving that she needs to get out more. Earlier I was selling "Flashboards" which I dubbed "Flashboreds" although no one could tell. I tweaked it to "Flashboard-ens" to rhyme with "Flash Gordons" but to little effect.

Watching the zest with which some players yell "Bingo!", their arm upraised while holding the precious sheet in triumph, I'm reminded by how shy I was as a child (this is where you say, "How shy were you!"). I was so shy that I didn't want to play bingo 'cuz if I won I didn't want to have to yell out "Bingo!" and be the center of attention. For similar reasons I didn't want to ever go on Bob Barker's The Price is Right. "Come on down!" he'd yell and I'd probably slip out the back, Jack...

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