Sunday, July 04, 2010

Bingo Mania

One of the best times I've had with my sister took place last Wednesday evening.

Memories of long ago Sunday afternoons with sis and mom playing bingo at the on-base club came to mind. I set off to find a bingo hall - on line.

Found one - not too far from where we live. We got there a good 30 minutes earlier than the time posted. Alas, someone didn't tell the owners we were coming. It was obvious this bingo hall had not been in use for some time. Maybe years. Darn.

But not all was lost. Joanns was close by and I had a need to buy some perle cotton. Out came the phone and the wonderful browser capability.....yes, there was another bingo hall not more than 15 minutes away.

We found the place easily enough; parking was another matter. Who were these people that took up all these parking spaces?!?!? Finally found a spot, pulled in and hoped the business next to the bingo hall was full of loving and kind people who would not tow my car while we were inside the bingo hall.

For those of you who have not entered a bingo hall ever, just think large spaces, long tables and lots of chairs. Lots of uncomfortable folding chairs.

This bingo hall benefited a local rescue organization - which I liked. Going in, I asked how much were the cards. $5 for a package. Well, heck - $5 is not bad at all. Give me two. Sis was smart. She took one package.

We found a place to sit and spread out our stuff. Oh good grief. Taking a closer look, I found NINE cards on each page .... and there were FIVE pages to each package. And I bought TWO. Okay, this is not going to be difficult. I could do this. I'm pretty quick. I read very quickly and while not completely absorbing an entire book, I get the main idea.

By the time I realized it wasn't going to be difficult, the 5th number was in the process of being called. Little TVs are suspended from the ceilings and one gets to see the number before it's actually called. My advice - don't look at the TV. The guy will be on the 20th number before you know it.

A slow headache was building...which could have been from the hot dogs or the chips and nacho cheese, but then I won't swear to it. I finally understood the blurs across the table...these were the champion bingo players. The blurs were that of their hands moving across the bingo cards, stamping out the called numbers on their cards. I was in awe...until I realized I had missed a couple more numbers.

The lady sitting across from us kept pointing out to sis the numbers she missed. After about 20 minutes, she was no longer amused. This was serious business.

How do these people do it? Sis and I were laughing over our inabilities to mark the cards quickly - not to anyone's amusement except for us.

There were older women there...there were younger women there...there were couples...there were guys with tattoos....there were women with tattoos....and lots and lots of bingo cards. Not a whole lot of food around them - which should have given us a clue to stay away from the hot dogs and nacho chips.

In between the games, several ladies were roaming around selling more bingo games of some sort. I was scared to ask....if I had to look at any more numbers, I envisioned my head exploding all over the table...and it would be very annoying for the avid players.

Finally, we get to the last game. All evening, neither one of us had a clue if we had a bingo or not. It was enough to try to keep up with marking the numbers off, let alone figure out if they added up to a bingo or not. I found it extremely funny as did sis. Those around us did not. At any rate, last game and one of the roaming ladies hands me a small piece of paper with three more cards on it. What's this? Oh, that's free and it's an additional chance to win the last game. Oh goody - I am so excited. I get to look for more numbers now on another 3 cards.

Do I consider it gambling? Are you kidding me? I put this adventure in the category of that word game - you know the kind. A list of words are given and you have to find them on a page full of what seems random letters.

If anything, I feel good we donated money to the rescue organization....and that we didn't die from food poisoning...and that our car wasn't towed...and that I was safely home after 3 hours of eye pain.

I suppose we may try it again...just as soon as I can focus again properly and we both take bingo etiquette lessons. In a year or more.

Oh yes, the quilts. Actually one quilt. The hearts were sent to me by a very special group of ladies who belong to Quilters Who Care. I added a couple of heart blocks, joined them together, added the backing (don't you just love the randomness of the wide strips?) and quilted it. Mailed to a women who spent some time in the hospital recently - hopefully, she will not return any time soon. Learned a new binding technique - french binding - and so this was definitely one of my favorite quilts.

And in the meantime, I quilt.


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