My Captain, Varmint, Critter and I had “family night” at our local firehouse Bingo, yesterday. We arrived together, spent the hour and a half waiting for the game to start by eating sloppy joe dogs and home-made potato chips and other health food alternatives together, and then the game started…..and my kids didn’t speak to us for the next 2 and a half hours.
Bingo is not as social as you might think, apparently.
And talk about competitive! There were ladies at this thing who would shoot stink-eyes at anyone who called ‘bingo’. These were seasoned stink-eyes, too. The kind that makes your belly all jittery if you are on the receiving end of it. One woman, in particular, who had about a dozen professional-grade ‘dobbers’ for marking her bingo card, and more than a couple weird-looking ‘good luck charms,’ downright scared me.
I could almost understand that kind of competitiveness if this bingo was for money…but the bingo prizes at this firehouse are primarily more kid-friendly baskets stuffed with goodies. This was not a game that warranted poor sportsmanship!
At some point during the game, I happened to glance up at my Varmint. She was smiling optimistically as the numbers were called. She was fresh and clean and beautiful in her non-stink-eye-giving bingo demeanor, even though for the entire two and a half hours, she didn’t win a single bingo game. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was filled with pride.
And then I wondered what the cranky bingo players…the ones who shot off stink-eyes like Howitzers when they didn’t win…were like when they were Varmint’s age.
What happened to take the generous, kind-spirited child heart out of them? Did no one ever teach them good manners? Good sportsmanship?
It was worth pondering for a moment or two as I munched my sloppy joe hot dog.
In the end, my daughter, though not winning a single bingo game, came away with the grand-poo-bah of prizes, the coveted raffle basket….WITH chips and salsa and watermelon salt and pepper shakers, thank you very much. She was delighted. And I was grateful that she won something as reward for her good attitude.
Critter won nothing. Not a stinking thing. And gave not a single complaint.
Though he does keep referring to Varmint’s basket as ‘our prize’…….
….which might get interesting.