Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fear and Loathing at the Sharpsburg Bingo

I was on the bus with Jamie a few days ago. She and her girlfriends went to the bingo in Sharpsburg last weekend. Apparently it was, er, interesting:

“When we got to the bingo, we found some empty seats and sat down. Then this lady came running over to us. 'You can't sit there! That's my lucky seat!' She made such a scene that we got up and moved across the hall. But when we sat down there, another lady started yelling at us. 'I've been sitting there for 20 years! You can't sit in my lucky chair!' So we moved a third time. Another person told us we couldn't sit there because she was saving that seat! Finally, I went to the woman who runs the bingo and asked her, 'Is there anyplace safe for us to sit?' She showed us to some seats in the back.

“Then we got started. All of the regulars brought little figurines and statues to put around their bingo cards. A lot of them had those wire note holders – you know, the ones you put on your desk to hold business cards and notes? Only these ones all had their lucky bingo numbers in them. Some of them had so many that they made a square around the cards.

“This one woman had a whole bunch of little elephant figurines: all sorts of elephants in different shapes and sizes. She had them lined up around her bingo cards like some kind of elephant train. Anyhow, during the break I went over to look at them. I pointed to of them and told her it was really cute, but I accidentally touched it when I was pointing at it. She jumped up and started screaming at me! 'You ruined my elephant! You drained all the luck out of it! I can't use it again!' She was going on and on about how I messed up her elephant and how she wasn't going to win anything tonight because I had screwed up her luck. I just went back to my seat.

“An older lady had about 20 bingo cards in front of her and she kept track of them all in her head. Didn't use bingo markers, chips or anything. She knew exactly where her numbers were and when she won. I've never seen anything like it!

“Anyhow, I won the $75 prize. The elephant lady didn't win anything. They have good prizes at the Sharpsburg bingo, but the people there are just crazy. The lady who runs it apologized to us and said that the regulars tend to scare everyone else away. That's the last time we're going there, that's for sure.”

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