Old Lady Smackdown aka Bingo: Part Four: Stockholm Syndrome Sets In

Our story began with Old Lady Smackdown: Part One: Players Get Ready To Rumble and continues with part four below…

The regular Bingo is two sheets of 6 cards per sheet. So you are now looking at 12 cards, which is intimidating enough until you see that they are changing announcers. A rather stern woman, who immediately calls for silence and a re-iteration of the rules, is now the voice of regular Bingo. You hear the crowd making pleased comments “Oh she is good,” “Finally, someone who calls them fast,” and “I hear her apple pie is the bomb, yo.”

Before the first game starts, all seven numbers for the power ball numbers are read off. Now if any of those numbers are the Bingo number, then the winner receives $500 instead of $250. The only way to play is by paying the extra buck at the door, which thankfully you did. Of course, you didn’t know that’s how it worked and didn’t write the numbers down, so you won’t know if you have the power ball number until you win. The old lady in the pink sweater chuckles at your lack of knowledge and her amusement distracts her evil eye for a moment.

The first game is “3 Card Corner Stamp.” And it comes hard and fast. This woman is no-nonsense, and you are scrambling to keep up while you look up and the others are in their groove. You haven’t had any dinner, which is yet another mistake you have made, so you are using all your concentration you have to win this round. You can’t show any weakness, or they will pounce.

The grumbling starts faintly, and you know its close. You feel a sense of urgency as the numbers are called, and you realize you are chanting, “Come on B5. B5. We want B5.” You realize you sound more and more like Eliza Dolittle in “My Fair Lady” when she says, “Come on Dover. Come on Dover. Move you’re blooming ass!” You are now contributing to the mumbling that is increasing, and then you hear “Bingo from the basement.”

This time you hear a different kind of grumbling like that it isn’t right. They check the numbers, and sure enough, the person is wrong. Since it’s in the basement, you don’t see it happen. You have this visual of the crowd rising like a zombie siege and carrying off the person to the door with pitchforks and torches at the ready. Maybe nothing happens. Maybe the cries and pleas you hear are your imagination. You see a woman make the sign of the cross and wonder if it’s because she still has a chance to win or if it’s for the poor soul downstairs who was wrong. Either way, the game continues.

The actual winner comes forth a few numbers later. Now another thing you notice is people during the games are flagging people down and handing them money. It’s distracting because you think at first they are calling Bingo, but no one grumbles. You find out they are buying the $1 intermission games. That’s right if you don’t want a break, for a dollar more you can try to win another $250. Now how can you pass that up? Yet another buck flies out of your hand and into the clutches of the Roman Catholic Church.

To be concluded Friday with Part Five: Addiction Complete

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