Saturday, May 12, 2007


bingo card

Tonight I went to a ripper little fundraiser for Craft ACT called the CRAFT ACT BINGO EXTRAVAGANZA!

Prizes galore, a nice crowd, and a caller who had the voice but sadly didn't really do his homework on the bingo calls... just five minutes on Google would have done the trick. Still, we did a bit of yelling back at him and at times he rose to the occasion with flair.

I sat at a table full of winning energy and luck. Two of our members won five prizes between them, and another member and I won something as well (a $20 voucher at the local art supply store). We all agreed that if any of us won another prize, we should all duck for cover as glasses would be thrown at us.

The people I arrived with ducked out to buy some nibblies as the games were starting, so I marked their cards as well as mine, and discovered that a keen typesetter's eye is a distinct advantage. When they came back I found marking one card a bit boring, so I moved to two, and by the end of the night, three cards, none of which were particularly lucky.

All of it flashed me back in time to when my late Nana took a teenage me to a bingo venue in Perth to join in on her regular game. She was a true professional, armed with her flat-tipped bingo marker, and at least four cards laid out in front of her. Her hand would flash back and forth, and she would join in to all the comebacks, because for many of the bingo calls, there is a traditional response, from whistling to cheering to chanting along. I wish I'd paid more attention to them, but I did have a few on hand tonight. I tried to channel Nana Annie tonight, but she seems to only be present when I'm doing a housework binge, not a gambling binge. This is strange, because she was the sort of person, bless her, that if she won at Bingo, would take the money and buy a lotto ticket with it. She must have spent the equivalent of a lottery win in tickets over her lifetime.

She was a classic nana, sending us bits of money in our birthday cards (these cards stopped as soon as she was bedridden; no-one else took up the habit, and my grandfather always relied on her to know the right dates), using Darrel Lea like a supermarket and sending us packages stuffed with lollies, and taking on the role of being shocked whenever we did anything outrageous. We only saw her every few years, because of the vast distance between WA and wherever we were living, but she made the trip as much as she could, and we returned the favour as much as we could. Nanas are always the cement in a family, aren't they?

Ahh, Colonel Duck will be thinking of Nana Annie tomorrow; he always manages to tell us wistfully sometime on Mother's Day that he 'hasn't got a mother anymore' and we mentally play snarky little violins for him, but at the same time tossing around a thought for Nana.

I'm not sure what to expect tomorrow -- there has been a lot of whispering about me between my boys over the last few days. It's usually pretty entertaining, so I'll keep you informed...


Mummy/Crit said...

My beloved has buggered off again to parts foreign, but my mum, step-father and step-grandmother are all coming over in the late morning for some food. We'd better get a multi-generations shot of mothers and offspring...

And ducky, your doorbitch is a crazy
'enwxjwmj' 8 letters

Bernice said...

right - I'm on your table next Bingo evening. Typesetter's eye.... with a lead-like glint then?

Anonymous said...

You have brought back many memories today. I have taken your blog to put in my scrapbooking on Nana Annies life. I'm with Colonel Duck today. P.S. She would have been so proud of you, as she always was. You bring so much joy to our circle of life
West Aussie branch

fifi said...

I loved this post. Memories of bingo come flooding back with this lovely bit of writing.

I did laugh though, because while ferrying a bunch of girls back from hockey practice they had ne in hysterics with tales of games of "Puberty Bingo"
Obviously the last gasp in sex ed.

something like this;
"Pubic Hair!"
Yes! Puberty bingo!...oh hang on, I havent got scrotum after all."


genevieve said...

Legs eleven (Whistle!), 44 droopy drawers, 33 dirty knees, top of the house (100 of course), key to the door (guess),and just for you, two little ducks (22). Number 13 (sepulchral voice),unlucky for some - gee, I will have to think about more. Having an off day memory wise.
My father called church bingo for a while - our yoof group had to do overhead projector duty for a shorter while (Saturday nights, I kid you not. God we were boring.) The stink of cigarettes is mainly what I remember.
Lovely post - I had no idea they had special markers, those professionals.