Friday, 30 October 2009

No.172 Of the Serious Business of Bingo

I went to a bingo night last night. I know, not something you'd expect someone to boast about in a blog but last night we thought it would be different. Different because it was held in the Belfast Spiel tent during the arts festival that is running this month. Billed as Eileen Bowe's night of bingo and fun we expected a mixture of bingo and craic or number calling interdispersed with other types of alternative entertainment. But no, for Mrs Bowes, bingo was clearly a serious business and there was work to be done. Immediately after introducing herself we were informed it was eyes down and that we were playing for a packet of biscuits for one line. There was no time for humour or rapport this was bingo at its most serious.

Mrs Bowe must be pushing 80 but there was no sign of her slowing up because the numbers came at us fast and furious and there was time only to whizz up and down and across four books to tick your way to a prize. One table of guests walked out in protest at her speed (all the fours they're making for the doors Mrs Bowes) which seemed to bother her not in the least.

After the last game she thanked everyone in her North Yorkshire drawl for making her so welcome and promptly walked off stage.

I walked out with four cans of soup for a full line. All the eights not a moment too late Mrs Bowes. A bizarre night indeed.

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