So tonight I thought, “Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if I went to Bingo?” and did.
Actually, that’s not true. I thought on Wednesday, “Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if I went to bingo Friday night?” and so just got back.
I knew absolutely nothing about Bingo. For one, I didn’t realize it was a form of gambling. People were winning $90, $75, $25…It was nuts. (I won jack shit). I didn’t know how to play and learned by doing. I bought a green sponge marker, a packet of cards, a pitcher of beer, and a cardboard tray of cardboard French fries, all for around thirty-five bucks.
I had to watch other people to figure out what was going on, plus there was a big display up on the wall with numbers and flashing lights that told you vaguely what was going on.
You know, the standard bingo game where you try to make a straight line up and down or back and forth or diagonally we only played once? Each game was different, a different shape you had to get, to win. On one, you made an X. On another, a 6-pack. Still another was a kite. There was the Crazy Cross, where you tried to get various permutations of a cross. That was the most holy one, and as I played it, I thanked Almighty God Himself for allowing me to live long enough to play bingo bemusedly with a bunch of geriatrics.
It was at The Retired Enlisted Association building and the whole time I was there I could feel the simmering rivalry with the VFW. “Everybody knows about the VFW,” their sad eyes told me, “but TREA? Yeah, we’re all but forgotten.”
I imagined war breaking out between the VFW and TREA and laughed. Then I imagined the Rotary Club brokering the peace between them and laughed harder.
It was a good time. I enjoyed myself. I’m gonna go every Friday night.
Why not? What else is there to do?