nothing like Bingo to demonstrate the superiority of the female mind. Sure, my
wife and mom always invited me to go with them, but I always declined in favor
of the more challenging game of chess. They just smiled when I told them I
would rather play a difficult game like chess.
And then it
Wednesday chess club meeting was cancelled. My wife felt sorry and invited me
to join her and her mom for a fun-evening of “daubing.” I didn’t want to go,
but I was an altar boy as a kid, and St. Amelia’s needed the money.
It was a
mind-numbing experience. There were 1,000 people packed into the church hall,
each heavily armed with Bingo supplies. I didn’t know there were Bingo
supplies. There was pizza and donuts and soft drinks and coffee. There were
scoreboards like in a football stadium. There were numbered ping-pong balls
bouncing around like popcorn in a big fish aquarium. There was a Grand Knight
of the Knights of Columbus announcing numbers into the public address system.
There was excitement in the air! I couldn’t wait to tell my chess club buddies
about this grand spectacle.
My wife and
her mom each bought nine cards for each game. I confidently handed the lady a
hundred-dollar bill and asked for 20 cards for each game. My wife intervened and
told her to give me only four.
We took our
seats and lined up our cards in front of us. I was in the middle between the
two of them. Ellen had nine cards in front of her and her mom had nine in front
of her. I had four lonely cards in front of me. It was sort of embarrassing.
gave me a package of Bingo daubers. I spent most of the evening trying to use
the word “daub” in a sentence. Then I just started playing with the daubers. I
was daubing everything I could–my bingo card, my forearm, a hot dog, a piece of
pizza, and the forehead of a sweet old lady sitting across from me. I gave her
the measles with my red dauber. I spent the first 15 minutes figuring out which
color dauber to use–there were so many choices!I devised a daubing system–I would use red for even numbers, blue for
odd numbers.I would show them what a
chess player could do! I would even daub with both hands!
I got so
distracted by the daubers that I didn’t notice the Grand Knight announcing the
numbers. The hall quieted down. His voice was soothing as he announced an
unending sequence of letters and numbers: “B-13, G-55, O-70…”
like a concert hall, listening to a symphony. I started to dream about how many
possible combinations of letters and numbers there were on all the cards. Just
as I figured out that there were X number of combinations, I was jolted by
hands and daubers flying in front of my face from my right and my left. Blue,
green, pink, yellow and red daubers, all the colors of the rainbow–flying in
like jet planes with pinpoint accuracy to daub my cards. It was a thing of
beauty to behold–sort of like robotic arms in an automobile assembly line. They
daubed their own nine cards and all four of mine at the same time! All this
time I was searching my cards for B-9. I couldn’t find it anywhere. My friend
with the measles gently whispered, “Top left card, dear, first column, two
numbers from the top!” She found it reading upside down! I would not want to
play chess against that lady!
third game, I got the hang of it. I was daubing like a veteran. I was holding
pizza in my left hand, sipping a Coke through a straw, and daubing with my
right hand at the same time. I was “On the Bubble” when the hallucination hit
me. I got so excited I yelled, “Bingo!” with the confidence of a chess player
delivering checkmate. Sighs of disappointment murmured through the hall as my
family members looked over my cards. It only took a few seconds for my wife to
give me the, “I am sorry for the embarrassment you are about to experience,”
look. I had mis-daubed. I didn’t even know that was a word. My wife apologized
to the Grand Knight, “He was just practicing!”
to announce again. No one seemed to notice as I excused myself and headed for
the restroom. I called an Uber and headed home. I dreamt that night about
fianchettoing my bishop in the Sicilian Defense. I would never play Bingo
again. That game was just too damn hard!
Robert Simpson, Palm
Beach Gardens, Florida
Don’t quit now. The embarrassment is behind you! —Aunt Bingo
your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527,
Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. 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