Sunday, January 8, 2012

Catch The... Bingo Bug

Our initial view of the Bingo Hall

posted by Melissa Baumgart
We went to BINGO!!!  And I loved it.  We drove up to Mountlake Terrace and took exit #179 off Interstate 5 headed north from Seattle.  After stopping to cash in my scratch-offs and PowerBall ticket at a convenience market, we headed to the Bingo Hall.  I think I speak for both of us when I say, we were extremely nervous and intimidated.  Everyone there looked seasoned, serious and prepared.

There were women with intricately designed Good Luck tokens of pictures and money like an alter on the table before them.  (This particular women won at least twice.)  I saw other tokens like a small plastic giraffe,  chocolate coins covered in gold tin, and a woman with an electric fan blowing on her.  Admittedly, the fan may not have been for luck.

Speed Blackout near win!
We headed to the counter and after admitting to this being our first time, and laughing at a requisite joke by the Bingo Hall staff, we "bought in" and purchased our own personal dobbers.  Mine was pink, Amy's green.  We decided on our table, one close to the caller.  I wanted to be sure to be seen when I called out my winning Bingo card.  A kindly young woman invited us to sit by her, so she could help us.  I was thankful, and felt a slight bit of calm wash over me.  We had been welcomed and accepted into the fold.

The welcoming woman said she had been playing Bingo for 15 years.  She didn't look a day over 30.

The games were not just straight -up Bingo.  There was "Little Man", "Kite with or without a Broken tail", "Chevron", "Hardway Chevron", "3 around 2 Corners"...and many more.  We asked for a cheat sheet with the designs displayed for each game.   Without that I would have been completely lost.

During one of the extra add-on games, "Speed Blackout", I was on.  That is what they call it when you only need one more spot to get the Bingo.  You could hear people through the hall at various times (usually way before I was even close to being on) calling out to their nearby peers, "I am on for B3" or something like that.  I was on for O70, and I was feeling the effects.  My heart was racing, my hands trembling.  The caller called out "O-Seventy.....One"  Crap!  So close!  It took me a good five to ten minutes to stop shaking from all the adrenaline I felt from my near win of $300.

Amy, deep in Bingo concentration.
I never did win.  But after spending only $10.00 for over two hours of fun, AND the possibility of winning big, all I want to do is go back to Bingo.  It's like when I was super into Bikram yoga (without all the sweating and calorie burning), it's all I wanted to do.  I have spent my last 24 hours scheming on how soon I can justify going back to Bingo.

I am reminded again, after attending the Bingo Hall, of how much I enjoy being around everyday Americans.  The crowd there was completely unpretentious.  I always feel comfortable in that kind of setting, and yet I find myself not attracted toward that lifestyle for my own life.  Oh, the humanity of us all.


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