First of all, none of us had ever played Bingo at a real life Bingo Hall. So we spent this past week discussing what we should prepare ourselves for and if we needed to know any "Bingo Lingo". Cheryl talked with her mom who told us that apparently there are four or five slang terms for every.single. letter number combination. Needless to say, we were pretty sure that we were going to be earning looks of scorn from every old lady there with support shoes because there was no way we were going to learn them all, not to mention trying to play and remember that 30 is Dirty Gertie or that 62 is Tickety Boo.
And so we went to dinner first.
Dinner was Logan's Roadhouse with the perfect steaks, perfect rolls, and perfect (perfect!) drinks. First of all, I am not a big drinker and don't drink often as a rule. I don't like the taste of most alcohol and honestly, I'm pretty much as big of a lightweight as you can get. It's rather embarrassing, especially since before I had kids I could drink normally and have no problem. But at some point in the three years I was pregnant/nursing , I became unable to drink even a single wine cooler without my cheeks flaming red, sweating, me giggling for over a half hour and then, if I'm at home, falling asleep. And yes, you read that right. Single wine cooler. Like I said, I'm an embarrassment. Also a cheap date (lucky Dave).
Anyways, all that to say dinner consisted of me being brave and getting some kind of reddish drink and realizing it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted and drinking all of it. Fast. For some reason this time, only half of my face got red and then other half stayed normal, causing no little mocking from Cheryl and Diana. But it was all worth it because it was the Best Drink Ever and I will have it again. We concluded dinner with some Nutter Butter dessert deliciousness and our waiter buying us a tiny brownie dessert partly because we had never had it and partly because I think he felt sorry for calling me a lightweight (yes, even the waiter laughed at me). Regardless of the motivation, we got some rad dessert, so I'm cool with it.
And onto the Bingo Hall we went.
The Bingo Hall is in a shady (read: creepy, not under lots of trees) "shopping" area with a 7-11 on the corner in front of it and some abandoned buildings in back. There were two Bingo events scheduled, one at 7pm and one at 8pm. Cheryl said there are places with games beginning at midnight and going until forever am, but we thought that was a little excessive.So we walked in, with many many people staring at us. We were stared at because we were not only young, white and obviously from another part of town, but because Diana is HUGELY pregnant. In fact, we went on Friday night and her due date was on Saturday. We were hoping an evening out with Bingo fantastic-ness would spur the baby on into action and with any luck she would start having the baby right as the caller said "O Baker's Bun" (O - 61).
So we walked to the front and told the gentlemen there that we were first time Bingo players and asked if he could please explain what in the world we were supposed to do. We knew we wanted to play on paper, not on the computers, but that was about the extent of it. So, he took each of our four dollars and gave us our Bingo cards (actually papers) and our daubers (the little marker things that you mark your cards with) and said he would explain more after he helped the others in line. And let me tell you, the others in line knew what they were doing. I don't think anyone spent less than $100 and they were getting two paper cards, computers, small business card sized cards (that we still don't know what they are for) and all sorts of accoutrements. I mean, these people were serious bingo players. Eventually, the man got back to us and explained (sortof) what we were supposed to do and we made our way past the Dauber vending machine and chose our seats in the glassed in non smoking section.
Then the action really started. First of all, this is not your elementary school Bingo. In each Bingo session, there are five games, and in each game you play six cards. The caller (who may or may not be as cool as our caller, who sounded like a lounge singer on each call - Geee Forty TOOOOOOO yeah!) picks out a ball and then shows it to a small camera that displays the number/letter on a screen about five seconds before he actually calls it. They key to keeping on top of the game is to look at the camera and mark your card before he ever calls the ball. If you get lost, there is a gameboard on the wall that shows what has been called, but if you ever need to look up there you are screwed because it's huge and confusing.
And so, we spent the next forty five minutes marking our cards, laughing at the caller and at each other. Each of us came pretty close to winning (we think) but every time some one yelled out Bingo before we could, which is a total shame because I made us all swear that if we won some one would "B-I-N-G-O and BINGO was my name-o!" Now wouldn't that have been the best??
Anyways, regardless we had a seriously awesome time and even played a couple of mini games afterwards and swore that we were going to do at least once a month. It was the cheapest, most hilarious thing I've done in forever. We wrapped up the evening with a walk around a park near my house that has a small lake, hoping that Diana would spontaneously start laboring from the strain. She didn't, but she and Cheryl did bully me into doing a flip on the small pull up bar and trying to do one on the higher one (I was too scared and ending up kindof leaping from one bar to the other and falling into a sloth position). Thankfully, my camera was in the car and you are spared that view. But in conclusion...
Next month we are totally going to the midnight game.