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Happy Campers Get Cranky Too

Dear Aunt Bingo:

Please accept this open letter as a reminder to your Bingo-playing readers that the whole reason Bingo is permitted to operate is for charitable purposes. It’s understandable that the draw to Bingo is to win money, but to become angry when they don’t win and others do, or to be confrontational about the speed of the caller or how much people talk or whatever, is quite inappropriate.

The people running the Bingo aren’t professional businesspeople (at least in the smaller charity games). They are community members, many of them retirees, who are there to help their organization and support the good works that organization sponsors.

Players should relax and enjoy themselves, and not get so worked up when Bingo isn’t going their way.

JAG, Ohio, via email


Dear JAG:

You are, of course, absolutely right that players should be mellow, reserved, happy campers when they’ve bellied up to the Bingo tables. But by nature, many people simply aren’t like that—particularly when they are one number away from winning a big chunk of cash and must sit there staring at N-32 through 10 more calls until they hear some S.O.B. two tables away call “Bingo” on N-33!

Bingo is exciting and fun, but it can also be very, very stressful. And it isn’t always easy to chant, “think of the charities I’m helping…think of the charities I’m helping….” When you’re 11 numbers into an “X” game and four of your cards still don’t have a single dauber mark on them!

When something unlucky is happening, it’s very easy to get irritated by the talkers, the eaters, the caller, and your bladder—which just decided mid-game that you need to go to the bathroom. Clearly, they are all conspiring against you and must be destroyed!

While it’s important to remind Bingo players that we should be civil, I think it’s equally important for Bingo workers to keep in mind that Bingo is a competition with money at stake, and that most of the players in the room will be heading home empty handed. This sometimes makes some of us edgy, cranky, and more than a little ticked off at the lucky few who do win. —Aunt Bingo        


Dear Aunt Bingo:

Regarding your many letters about political arguments at Bingo…

I had no idea this was going on.  It doesn't speak well of us. Because you have the right to speak freely, doesn’t mean that you ought to do so any time or anywhere you like. Part of being an adult in a free society is knowing when your opinion should be expressed and when it isn’t necessary, or appropriate.

In that regard, I feel compelled to respond to the letter from R. West of Wisconsin. Talking “smack” about our “leaders” and being against our “great nation” are two very different things and ought never be conflated. The reason we are granted free speech in the first place is to openly criticize our “leaders.” To believe anything else is to make you far from being a “patriot.”

M. Kavanaugh, Colorado


Dear M.K.:

Thank you for your thoughtful observations on this issue. Your letter struck me as an excellent final response regarding heated public political discourse in the modern age. —Aunt Bingo    

Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.

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