Our story began with Old Lady Smackdown aka Bingo: Part One: Players Get Ready To Rumble and continues with part two below.
You’re all settled in your chair when you see the first caller for the night walk up to the stand. Grumblings from the crowd are “oh that guy,” “he calls too slow,” “when they going to get a real caller,” and “I heard his wife makes terrible jam.” The usual barrage of Bingo smack talk. He stands with the microphone and announces the rules for the night. You immediately picture Brad Pitt saying them ala “Fight Club.”
The first rule of Bingo is: No one under 18 years old is permitted to play. (Actually, no one under 29 is here so no worries on that front.)
The second rule of Bingo is: We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. (I completely picture some sweet old lady telling people they can’t play because they are *whispers* Methodists.)
The third rule of Bingo is: You must Bingo on the last number called to win or may god have mercy on your wretched soul.
The fourth rule of Bingo is: Bingo must be called loud enough for the CALLER to hear. (This may be difficult considering the age of the caller. Better use a bullhorn.)
The final rule of Bingo is management reserves the right to change, alter & replace patterns at any time by announcing the change in sufficient time for players to make any adjustments. (You can almost hear the malcontents raising hell at the thought of changing something.)
After they are all read, a little old lady in a pink sweater who has been giving you the evil eye leans over and says in a somewhat cryptic tone, “don’t forget the unwritten rule.” With a slight quiver in your voice, you calmly ask what that is.
She responds (in that tone that you see in the movies when pirates tell you what happened to the last person who tried to overthrow the Captain), “anyone who yells Bingo after the first number or anytime they don’t have Bingo, will be removed and their money will not be refunded.”
You make a nervous throat cough and ask why it is an unwritten rule. She responds, “because the people that run this place aren’t the ones who will be removing your body. You’ve been warned.” You now fully expect an evil laugh or a parrot to land on her shoulder. Neither occurs so now you make a mental note not to yell Bingo until you are 1000% sure.
The game is almost ready when someone’s cell phone beeps twice. You hear an angry man yell out “you want me to get that?” The ringing stops and you move quickly to your phone to make sure that it is on vibrate. You think it would probably be less of a sin for it to go off in church than during Bingo. These people are serious about their game. There is no laughing. No teasing. These games are each worth $250 in cold hard cash. There are 24 chances to win not to mention power ball. You’re convinced you hear a ninety-year-old woman mutter, “It’s on like Donkey Kong,” and we are off to the races.
To be continued Monday with Part Three: It Is On Like Donkey Kong