My family has a weird sense of humor; we often find things amusing that others don’t. Like teens and twentysomethings who are obsessed with bingo. My sister and my cousin started playing while they were both college students together at SIU. There was a bingo place near my cousin’s house, and every week they would be there, dabbing at their bingo sheets along with all the old people on oxygen. This bingo habit of theirs has been going on for about five years now. Julie moved to a state where bingo was illegal, but now she’s back in the land of the gamblers. We discovered that there is bingo at the Knights of Columbus hall right near my house, so of course Julie, Marcy, and I headed there last night.
It was packed when we arrived, so they rolled a circular table down the aisle for us and set us up in the back. We felt like we were in our own V.I.P. area. Or Remedial Bingo area, take your pick. Some of the names of the games were confusing, and there were lights out on the bingo scoreboard, so we were constantly calling people over to explain—winner’s choice? triple 17? um, how do you play bingo again?
And for being in a Catholic-owned building, the evening was sure pretty double entendre-y. There were mini-games played called Quickies, and the workers would pass up and down the aisles, calling out “Quickies! Who needs Quickies?” This caused the three of us to giggle like 12-year-old boys, which we then got mocked for. Marcy even sarcastically raised her hand once, which earned her a free game board.
In addition to a weird sense of humor, my family can be kinda loud, too, so the three of us were soon laughing and talking with all of the bingo workers. We joked that we wouldn’t be asked back, but by the end of the night we were getting all the bingo workers’ inside scoop.
We sat in the smoking room, which, oh my, was it ever smoky. I felt like my lungs were coated with tar at the end of the night. But the smoking room seemed to be where the action was, so we’ll just have to hold our breath next week, I guess. We asked about the non-smoking room, but were told by one worker who was explaining the bingo rules to us, “Yeah, it’s pretty quiet in there. They probably wouldn’t like you guys.”
None of us won, but we had a great time, and I think a Thursday-night tradition has been established. Like I’ve said before, I’m sad that Julie has to leave Nashville, but I’m so thrilled to have her here. It’s wonderful to have not one, but two family members in Indy. Watch out, old ladies, there are new bingo broads in town!