May 27, 2005

Bingo Redux

For an introvert like me, volunteering at bingo is far too stimulating. I come home hyper and can't get to sleep and then wake up early to make up for it.

Perhaps writing about it will help leave it behind.

First there's the gentle, befuddled look of the bingo caller, who I have the sneaking suspicion might be a saint. I first noticed him at Mass where he sings in the choir. He sings with the abandon reserved for the drunken or the innocent. I also saw him singing Handel's Messiah at an annual city event held at a local Lutheran church. And he goes to Eucharistic Adoration and adores. And he has a smile for everyone, an equal-opportunity smile. But I can't know his soul so it's just a hunch. And, as most really decent people, he gets abused. You're supposed to have to call for only two of the four hours since it gets tiring, but he calls for the whole time because no one else is trained or wants to. Apparently no one wants to be a callers since they get heckled and require thick skin.

I make my rounds selling instant winner tickets. And since I work in an office that is as homogeneous as it gets (mostly white males, mid 30s, running the gamut from middle class to upper middle class), it's a little slice of cinema veritas here at bingo.

Most interesting was the attractive woman in her early 30s sitting in the back. She was showing acres of leg and thigh but there was something just a bit off. I couldn't quite figure it. Was it her hairline? Her facial features? Just something. Now since a full circuit takes only a minute and since bingo lasts forever, this means I'm making more circuits than Michael Jackson has problems. And each time it dawns on me, to my horror and deepening curiosity, that she is...or was... a he. A transsexual. The deeper-than-normal voice eventually confirmed my suspicions.

Then there was the guy who was just amazingly large. Not only obese, but just plain big. His shoulders and back were just explosively large is the only way I can say it. His wife was anorexic. Must've weighed 80 lbs. The mind reels at a couple so physically mismatched. They looked vaguely familiar until it finally dawned on me -- they were the husband & wife from The Incredibles!

A blonde, well-dressed professional woman sat near the entrance. That alone was intriguing since well-dressed professionals stick out here like Fenians singing "God Save the Queen". She bought tickets from me as inobtrusively as possible. No wasted motion. I wonder what brought her here.

The crowd was younger this time. There were several very attractive, well-endowed women. Alas. And here I'd thought bingo was God's gift to the lustful Christian.

It was painful to hear the numbers get called and have to sit on the (obvious) line "you sunk my battleship!". I finally used it on a co-worker, since that's what co-workers are for. I think he smiled.

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