February 28, 2008

Bingo: Sometimes Not So Sweet

I was driving home from Bingo (capitalized because it's not just an activity but a place, half-way between Hell & Purgatory), listening to 610AM radio and Brent Bozell is talking about how hard it is to talk about Bill Buckley, saying that everything public concerning him is relatively well-known, while everything private is, well, private.

I feel a tinge of that in trying to decide whether to tell the story of a guy in his late 50s who had before him not just a bingo sheet but a newspaper clipping protected by a plastic cover. A giant headline announced the tragic news of a 1966 fatal car crash.

Pat had showed it to me while the guy was out on a smoke break, and we were hovering over it when he came back. Caught. Red-handed.

Turns out his mother had died in that crash and he was 16-years old at the time. He and his brother were passengers and were unhurt. Someone had lost control of their car and crossed the median.

What can one say? Pat said maybe this was the anniversary of the date that his mother died and he brought that to remember her. I don't know, but it's one of the creepier things I've seen at bingo. The cops on COPS say that every night brings something new, and much the same happens at bingo. There must be a homogeneity in the middle class, a crushing conformity, that isn't present for those who frequent bingo halls.

One of our instant winner games tonight was called "Redneck", and after the large box of a brand is sold you can then pick names for additional prizes. But you can't do it until all are sold, so our head bingo guy got on the microphone and asked whether there were "any Rednecks out there". Well, natch that led to quite a few titters and wisecracks until he added, "not the two-legged kind."

Tonight was busier than a hooker at a Sex Addict convention and thus there was no time to dip into the Buckley tributes I'd printed off but not yet had time to read. In no time flat it's 9:30-ish and Kim and I were at the table selling instant games after bingo was officially over because, you know, selling tickets constantly for the past 3 1/2 hours just isn't enough for some people.

And do you know I sold a $599 winner to lady who was so excited she jumped up and down and called me "sweet ass" (to Kim's devilish delirium, who promptly spread the news like a meme to the other co-workers)? And do you know that the ironclad law that all winnings will be plowed into more tickets proved true, such that she bought another $50 or so from me, and don't you know I sold her yet another $599 winner two minutes later?

Every bingo you do see something new.

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