March 26, 2010

Bingo Redux

Twas the night before Bingo and all through the car,
not a cellphone not stirring, all the way to the bar...

...but then Dave C. called and asked me to volunteer for him and I had a hard time saying "No". I had a hard time saying "yes" too. But when my wife called to say she'd be babysitting it seemed a sign to help out for a couple hours.

So I arrived on a cold Thursday eve with the rain bleating like Irish sheep. I dodged the dagger'd drops like a broken-field runner, without benefit of coat or pads until I reached the familiar smell of cigarette smoke just outside the warm interior confines. (Why don't we ever see cigar smokers out congregating outside a door?)

I was immediately drafted into service at the lottery ticket window, side-by-side with a guy counting out instant winners like a card shark. By comparison my fingers were slow as sloe gin, which I immediately blamed on iPoditis.

A look of gloom crossed my visage when I argued with my co-worker concerning whether we were truly short of crew. It was fake; I had the ineluctable thrill of knowing I wouldn't be there forever (or all night, whichever came first) but I didn't let on. It feels, in hindsight, vaguely dishonest to withhold that sort of info, the sort that he's going to find out eventually anyway when I was scarce. I told Carmen and Matthew and figured that was good enough.

I enjoyed the subterfuge of how I'd plan my escape, like something out of The Shawshank Redemption. The hour closed in on eight and the NCAAs were already on when I dropped trou (i.e. the money apron) and split into the night, feeling guilty only over my giddy reaction.

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