I had the privilege of going to a feather party this week – I originally believed this to be some sort of depraved gathering involving random poultry (don’t judge me - I have a blog to write). I was then surprised as anyone when I found myself in a community hall surrounded by 30 octogenarians in the small town of Lewisville; where I discovered a feather party to be a fund raising bingo game for the local fire department - held annually every year before Christmas (which is ironic considering how many times the terms fire department and my mother’s Christmas turkey have overlapped in a Venn diagram over the years).
This experienced turned out to be the amateur playing of bingo though (not the professional kind of combat bingo that my grandmother would limber up for - involving bright lights, computer displays, contusions, hairline fractures, and the winning of electrical appliances). No blue dabbers were in site as I was handed a wooden board which looked like rows of sliding shutters on an advent calendar – allowing me to obscure the appropriate number if my balls should see fit to make their presence known.
I felt lucky and bravado and posturing were in large supply - as I looked to disarm my opposition psychologically by staring each one down (but I suspected most could not see further than a couple of yards). In the past I may have said that I would rather rot on my own floor than be found with a bunch of bingo players in a nursing home, but the electricity of competition flowed through my veins and a hushed reverential silence descended as the balls ascended.
My gut instincts were proved right though as I joyously shouted out ‘bingo’ just several games into the proceedings; a large frozen turkey was now in my possession! Balls came and went with alacrity and my winning streak gathered pace in a fevered blur of concentration and shutter moving. ‘Bingo’ once more I yelled, in apoplectic glee (eat my turkey feathers and dust old people) as I called another ‘bingo’ just moments later - when would the hedonistic winning pleasure end.
Dazed and confused with the high of success I stumbled out of the hall - like a newly crowned drunken prom queen with a large box of five frozen turkeys (but without the stuffing). I had nowhere to store them and no-one to eat them with – I may as well have walked out into the chilly night air with five artificial limbs or a collection of Adam Sandler films on VHS cassette.
Is it not always the convention that when the opportunity arises to win a brand new Mini Cooper, a widescreen plasma television, or a fortnight in Gran Canaria, that one’s ticket is suddenly absent without leave? Yet when Monopoly money is at stake during a family Christmas game, or at the festive office raffle for a boxed set of shower gel and deodorant, I am suddenly rolling in good fortune, great smells, and toy money.
My sense of humor is like a turkey, and I often pull it out of the oven and baste it in reality.