Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the bingo hall...

It had been ages since I played bingo with my friend Val, the Bingo Queen.  So, when she asked me if I'd like to go on Friday, I didn't hesitate.  I had bought my own dabbers since our last outing, and I was looking forward to cracking the seals on those puppies.

Val and I played one game starting from 4 pm.  Then our respective menfolk joined us for the second game starting at 7 pm.  All told I was at bingo for six hours.  That's quite a lot of bingo.

I'll spare you the tension: we didn't win one red cent.  We gambled every which way from Tuesday: the regular book games; the "specials"; the X,T, and L bonuses; the Toonie Pot; and lots and lots of Balls.  What did we have to show for it at the end of the day?  Bupkis.

(I just looked up the meaning of "bupkis" to make sure I was using it and spelling it correctly, and discovered that it is derived from a Yiddish word meaning "goat poop".  That sounds about right.)

I remembered from our last visit that the bingo hall contains a small cafeteria.  I was going to need to put some dinner in my belly at some point.  I figured I was covered.  When we arrived, around 3:30 pm, I took a spin through the food vending area to see what was on the menu.

Greasy, breaded fish filets and limp fries in steam trays.  Also, some kind of dark meat cutlets, identified as "Salisbury steak", sitting in a sauce of caramel-pudding-like consistency and colour.  If that was any kind of steak, I'm Justin Bieber's mom.

I hoped very hard that this was the dregs of the lunch menu, and that there would be something fresh come dinnertime.

6:30 rolled around and there was a break between games.  I moseyed on over to the cafeteria, and guess what was sitting in those steam trays?  The same food that was there when I last took a peek, 3 hours previously.

Fortunately I discovered that they would make a BLT to order, if I was willing to stand and wait for it.  I was.  Actually, it was a darn good sandwich.

I'm surprised by how much tolerance I had for bingo this time around.  Oddly, because I wouldn't have considered it a "skill", my ability to play bingo has improved.  It's not as confusing or as stressful as it used to be.  I can even carry on a simple conversation while keeping up with the caller.  I won't necessarily be paying attention to the pattern we're aiming for, but Val keeps an eye on my cards.  Even reading them upside-down across the table she can tell better than I how close I am to a win.

There's something meditative and comforting about marking off the numbers with nice round, bright circles of coloured ink.  It's aesthetically pleasing.  I always pick a dabber colour that will complement the colour of the cards.

Next time Val said we're going to go to a different hall that's less crowded.  Fewer players = a higher chance of winning.  We've been to the other hall before, around 2 years ago.  Their cafeteria was better.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hmmm.... I played bingo once many years ago and won nothing. I think that's normal. Also anyplace that serves bacon can't be all bad.

DarcKnyt said...

My grandma is the bingo queen of our family. She was nifty with those dabbers, and even met a husband there.

Better odds, better food...why would you even consider any other hall? ;)

Granny Annie said...

I lost the rest of your exciting post as soon as I hit the meaning of "bupkis". Shouldn't I have known that since I am the queen of bupkis around here? Goat poop is especially abundant and I didn't even know the proper name!!! LOL

I will never be fast enough for Bingo. Is there such a thing as online bingo?

Lynn said...

That sounds like fun to me. The food sounds terrible though - I'm glad you could get that sandwich.

G. B. Miller said...

Haven't played bingo since our respective parents (wife and mine) set us up on a blind date.

However, our bingo playing was an adventure as it during the decade of smoking in the building. Nothing like a blue tinge atmosphere to make you not want to do it again.

Sounds like you had a good time though.

Tracy Moore said...

I've only played bingo twice. The first time went okay. The second time though was enough to put me off. I won ten dollars at one point and every woman there (mostly seventy and older) were downright angry...yelling that it wasn't fair and giving me glares of death. That was it for me!

Glad you were able to get the BLT. The other stuff sounds very icky. Bupkis=goat poop? Going to have to use the word more often. Thanks for that. :)

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: You're right - bacon is always indicative of a quality establishment. They made it nice and crispy too. (There's nothing worse than flabby bacon.)

DarcKnyt: It's a fair question. The answer is complicated, involving initial plans to include another friend who ended up not being able to meet us after all, and the timing of the games relative to all our individual schedules.

Granny Annie: I guess online bingo will be the way of the future, if there's any future for bingo.

Lynn: If we go back to that bingo hall again I might just pack myself a bag lunch from home.

G.B. Miller: So you and DarcKnyt's grandma both met your significant others at bingo! I didn't realize that it was such a romantic game. ;-)

Sparkling Red said...

Tracy: Seriously? Yelling at you? That's not very nice. I know that Val sometimes gets dirty looks when she wins more than once in a sitting, but no one's actually shouted at her. Maybe they're scared to try. She's pretty fierce.

Jameil said...

I neeed bingo again! I've never played for money but you remind me of how much I loved it!

DarcsFalcon said...

"caramel-pudding-like consistency" Ha! I know that substance of which you speak! I'm not sure I would call it food either, lol.

I'm sorry you didn't win anything, but I'm rooting for you for the next time! Bupkis is no fun to bring home.

Jenski said...

Glad the BLT ended up being success, at least!

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm still picturing you as Justin Bieber's mother. Okay I won't, it's not a good image. :D

I've never played Bingo, and just know I wouldn't be able to do it anyway. My hand eye co-ordination is way too slow.

I'd eat a BLT sandwich though.