Monday, April 30, 2012

the center space is free

I know very little about Bingo.  We played it as children at my grandmother’s house.  But that was long ago.

To me, it has always been one of those diversions for VFW halls, Catholic churches, and retirement homes.  The ideal demographic for Bingo players would appear to be Catholic veterans of a certain age.

And this cruise has plenty of the white-haired group.  Bingo would seem to be a natural match.

I watched portions of two games -- one of them the big final session with a grand prize in excess of $3000.  But there were not very many players.  At least, fewer than I thought there would be. 

Almost all of the players looked as if they would qualify for Social Security.  But why were so few of them playing?  After all, it was gambling and there was good money to be won.

A quick check at the cashier gave me my answer.  Depending on the cards played, it costs either $22 or $32 (that is US dollars, not pesos) to play a series of four games.

Most of my fellow cruisers are a frugal lot.  They will pour into a shopping mall squeezed thigh to thigh merely to grab a bit of free internet.

This would be a far more interesting tale if I had been seduced by the possibility of winning the evasive $3000 jackpot.  But I wasn’t.  Instead, my investigative reporting dug up an old Steve memory.

In 1988 I ran for a seat in the Oregon legislature.  As part of my “get out and meet people in the community,” my campaign manager and I headed off to the community hall in Boring where some townies were gathered to play -- you guessed it -- Bingo.

It was not a very good idea.  Bingo players are there to play, not to chat. So, my campaign manager and I sat down and played -- pretending we were local citizens who had stopped by to spend an evening at the Bingo tables.

My campaign manager pretended far too well.  She won two games in a row -- earning the undying animosity of the other players.  I suspect the evening was a net loss in the vote-garnering game.  I have not played since.

Of course, I will have plenty of chances to play Bingo on the road to Dubai.  My grandmother would approve.  Just as long as cards and dice are not involved.


Andean said...

So you played Bingo in Boring--is it any less on a cruise...

Steve Cotton said...

 Any less bingo?  Or any less boring?  I cannot imagine a less interesting game.

Andean said...

Can not imagine bingo being less, then what it is. 
Boring I don't know -- I never played the game.

Donna said...

Boring, Oregon.....  hhmmm, how many votes could you have possibly rec'd from this little village back in '88??  LOL   I live in Milwaukie and travel thru Boring on my way to campgrounds east of Mt. Hood and to visit friends in in Central Oregon!! 

Steve Cotton said...

I am willing to bet not as many as I had pre-Bingo.

Steve Cotton said...

Probably not as many as I had pre-Bingo.