Play a Round of Bingo?

A gold mine of entertainment and family values for sure

We don’t often think of bingo as a fun game, and truthfully, many of us have never bothered to try to play the game after watching our grandparents waste hours of their lives marking off numbers on a bingo card. Just like the protagonist in Jason Love’s B-I-N-G-O, many assume there’s an age limit that restricts anyone below the age of antiquity from entering bingo halls. It’s like a secret club, but for the elderly, and not too interesting.

But like many other things, bingo has evolved with technology. Just like the iconic grandmother in the “Grandma Finds the Internet” meme, bingo, too, has found its way into cyberspace. No longer content with shabby downtrodden halls, online bingo has become what the BBC calls “a very full house”. Given the number of old ladies (or lack thereof) on the internet, online bingo sites are being frequented by the younger folk.

Anni Nevison has been playing since she was 18, and she says the online bingo communities are like a little family. It’s as though everybody who plays bingo suddenly acquires our granny’s most valuable trait: unconditional caring and kindness. It looks like this sense of community is the main selling point of online bingo, as CheekyBingo says that it “maintains strong player loyalty with friendly, engaged chat hosts who hold regular chat-based and social media competitions”. It certainly seems that way, because whoever manages Cheeky Bingo’s Twitter account apparently advocates following nearly every fan who follows them – a practice that’s shows that value of community.

Alas, it also seems like bingo is an untapped mine of fun and entertainment. Legend tells of the tragedy that befell the risqué bingo night held by a certain state university in North Carolina, where organizers took “Dirty Bingo Night” to a whole new level. In other areas of the world, outlandish games such as Rebel Bingo and Music Bingo draw people like moths to a flame, and the odd mix of people who come to bingo halls do nothing but add to the entertainment value.

Of course, there are also some people who wander into bingo halls not knowing what to expect, as this attendant in a bingo hall in Nova Scotia came to find:

Customer: “Hi, I’m here for the immunization clinic.”
Me: “Sir, this is a bingo hall.”
Customer: “You’re mistaken, the people at the hospital told me to come here.”
Me: “Sorry sir, this is a bingo hall. I don’t know why they would tell you to come here.”
Customer: “What are those people doing here then?” *points at the people playing bingo*
Me: “They’re playing bingo, sir.”
Customer: “You’re lying to me! You just want me to die!”

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Michael Allen is the author of A River in the Ocean, the heartwarming story of a single father who is separated from his daughter when an awful accident nearly takes his life. He comes out of his coma with amnesia, but something keeps pulling him to find what's missing in his life. He didn't know he was looking and she didn't know she needed found. Available now at Amazon!

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A River in the Ocean

Michael Allen A River in the Ocean
Michael Allen’s latest novel…

A River in The Ocean is the story of a father and a daughter who get separated by a tragic accident. The father wakes up from a coma unaware he has a daughter while she has been raised for years by an odd couple who have great intentions, but no idea what they are doing. He begins to feel something is missing in his life while she begins to feel she is out of place. He didn’t know he was looking and she didn’t know she needed found.

Available in print and on Kindle: A River in the Ocean