I played Bingo last night! YOU WONDERED WHY I SUDDENLY BROUGHT UP BINGO, RIGHT? (In other news, I am still not the master of suspense.)
A while ago, Sarah X. Dylan and Greg Nibler, the hosts of the daily podcast Funemployment Radio, half-jokingly (which also means part-seriously) suggested putting on a Bingo night, and a lot of their listeners responded with That in fact sounds like fun. The country bar where Dylan works part-time, Landmark Saloon, was up for hosting it, and a brewery Nibler and Dylan contacted was up for sponsoring it: Small Town Brewery, who recently released a spiced ale called Not Your Father's Root Beer. (The flavor: what it says on the tin, I mean the aluminum can. I hope The Stranger would approve of a sarsaparilla like this. Now I wonder if The Stranger would pull himself away from the bowling alley long enough to go to Landmark, but I digress...)
Anyway. Bingo. It happened. Nibler and Dylan informally called it "Not Your Grandmother's Bingo!" The Landmark had a strong turnout for it, despite the drizzly night (we played under a heated patio, which helped) -- even their elusive friend and former colleague Tim Riley showed up to play. Turned out that more of my fellow Funrmployment Radio fans are Bingo fans than I would've thought; several people brought their own daubers, plus good luck charms, though with this crowd, the good luck charms were less likely to be trolls and more likely to be WWE wrestler action figures. (Danny Buche, a good local guy who competes in Beardsmen competitions for the longest and fanciest facial hair, brought The Ultimate Warrior and Bret "The Hitman" Hart.) Players got their cards, food, drinks and alcoholic root beer floats. During one round, someone* (*me) trying to be a smartass yelled out "Yahtzee!" One guy and I wondered, while waiting in line for cards, if it was possible for Bingo to have a "cooler" like casinos have. (We figured bring a Bingo cooler would involve distracting players to keep them from marking the right squares. OR MAYBE SABOTAGE.)
Prizes included gift certificates to Landmark and to Deek and Brian's Next Adventure, a camping goods store that's been Funemployment Radio's longest-running sponsor, along with shirts and hats. There were at last three rounds (I left after playing the second), and joking and smartassing aside it was a happy crowd.
AND I CAME CLOSE TO WINNING. A couple of times. I almost got a five-box line; I almost got an X when we were playing for an X; I was two boxes away from blacking out my card when, well, SOMEONE NOT ME blacked out their card. Grr. (This is exaggeration for effect.)
This was fun. And the little old ladies who get competitive about Bingo at their local church or lodge must be onto something.