Despite my misgivings, I decided to once again embrace the slippery beast that is Bingo (my previous interaction is well documented in the blog below). I know that traditionally you should never go back to the scene of a crime - but I believed that enough time had elapsed to heal my numerological and spherical fear. This turned out to be as good an idea as the first failed bring your child to work day – that by pure happenstance coincided with the very moment the D-Day landings started.
So I once again sat down with a table covered in confusing colored papers (with more documentation than is required to buy a holiday home in the Tuscan Hills – the Italians do love bureaucracy and red tape). Unfortunately before I had a chance to get the cap off my dabber and make it moist (I feel this is a metaphor for many areas of my life) the first Bingo was called - and we were straight onto the next game. I felt like I was still limbering-up and stretching in the tunnel - as the gun goes off to herald the start of a 100 meters sprint (a race I had paid to be part of).
So this was prison rules bingo, no mercy bingo, a bingo for the elderly and unemployed -who had gained a head start through their seasoned experiences to the conventions of the game. Numbers shot by like tin ducks in a rifle range - one after the other in quick succession; my dabbing was fevered and intense (but not necessarily effective) - I feared I had missed many numbers. The taunting digits jumped around in front of me like a numerologist’s flea circus. I had failed once again to make any inroads with the glittery green ink when the gentleman in front of me called ‘Bingo’. He then called ‘Bingo’ again for a second time in the next game, and then again in the third. By the end of the evening he had won on five separate occasions – this would represent a lifetime of Bingo wins for any mere mortal - but this God of the balls was compiling an early retirement pot. I gripped my dabber hard in frustration and pondered whether to shake him warmly by the throat or rub him for good luck.
I was kept company in this escapade by a small computer that was issued to me and helped me in the same way a special educational needs teacher helps a struggling student in a remedial math lesson. It would beep when I was just one number short of reaching the El Dorado of Bingo. With every beep I felt a small piece of my life slipping away as I sat patiently willing number 17 to make an appearance. It did not. I was exhausted by the end of the session and craved the need to go and lay down after such feats of concentration married with affects of high blood pressure.
I did discover though how to get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say the F word? You get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell bingo!