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National and Global, United States

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bingo As Serious As World Peace in This Group



I decided to take my mother on her twice weekly trip to the senior center this week.

My intent was to see that she was in a positive and productive environment. On the other hand, I was looking to see what my world might be like a few years from now. From softball to Bingo, I thought. All in the blink of an eye.

Bingo, as I recall the game, was mostly 'laid back'. The cousin of Keno, but not so confusing. Simply place your chit on the numbers as they are called. So, I decided to sit and play-the-game with my mom and a group of her friends. They were all mature people in their 80's. Well-dressed, friendly and social. So I thought. Until the game began.

When the game started, each of those ladies would have up to 20 cards in front of them. My mom had two. She was definitely in the minority. The first number rang out: B-22. A hush feel over the auditorium. Next: N-16. Again, scrambling fingers and hands are all you could hear. I-3 rang out. More shuffling. B-16. You could feel the tension in the air. It was as the 50-yard dash had begun and the wheel chairs and the walkers were of absolutely no concern.

At this point, I attempted to add some humorous statement. Three words came out, and then I got those cross-eyed looks from just about everyone at the table. It was as if 12 mothers had found out that I had skipped school. They were looks that would 'kill'. Another number: I-12. Another hush. Again, I attempted to make a statement. Again, daggers from the group at the table.

I turned to mom and whispered: "what's going on here"? She turned and said: "keep quite. This is serious stuff. There's $25. at stake here, and if you make us miss a number, these ladies won't let me sit here anymore."

And so it continued for the next hour. B-2, G-20, O-14. I was mesmerized by the seriousness of the group. The total lack of wanting to socialize...or talk. They were there to win that $25. at Bingo, and you had better not get in their way.

There was no concern for political discussion, social input, news-of-the-day. Darwinist Bingo. Win or die! I could envision little old ladies being thrown over the table or landing a punch to someone. No wimps here.

I was glad when that day was over. I was exhausted! At the end of the games, everyone reverted back to their nice, social, and mature selves. Talking about how good the lunch of pot-roast was, and how nice it was to see everyone enjoying themselves.

At the end of the day, everyone said good-bye and 'we will see you tomorrow'! The wheel chairs and the walkers started to roll out the door in single file.

I now had a better understanding and appreciation for the game of Bingo. It raises the adrenalin level in this group. It's like younger people playing touch football. It's competition. In your face gamesmenship, taking no prisoners. Winning. $25. worth. I guess when you are in your 80's pomp and circumstance don't concern you anymore. I think you get that old by not being 'old'. Going for the 'gold' of $25., and determined not to let anyone get in your way, wheelchair or not.

I took my mom home, and went home myself. As I walked through the front door, I went to the television remote, channel-surfing. Looking for the Bingo Channel. There isn't any. But if there was, we'd have a whole bunch of old ladies fighting for the remote control and telling me to 'shut up' or die, while the numbers are called.

1 comment:

  1. too funny- again! I enjoy your musings- when does spring training start?- if we ever get a true major league team here- it would be fun again- we were big Cards fans as you know!

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