Tuesday, November 21, 2006

GAY BINGO!!! That's where we were on Saturday night! We went to Dallas on Saturday, spent the night and returned home on Sunday. The highlight of the trip was ...GAY BINGO! I'm not sure if this is just a Dallas occurrance, or if this is a national trend, but if it isn't going on other places, it should be! The location was an old theater, complete with stage and rows of seats. Long tables were placed over a row of seats, so that you had a row of seats, then tables, then seats, then tables, etc. On the stage was the "bingo machine" that lit up the numbers called, and a large cage, draped in chiffon. When we entered the theater, we picked up our packet, which included 2 sets of sheets for 10 games. We went on in and found our seats, which in itself is kind of an amazing story. We chose a row that looked like a good distance from both the front and the back (far enough back to make running to the bathroom fairly easy, far enough front to be able to see and hear adequately), and we eased down to the end of the row and sat down. Later some other people came looking for their seats, and we discovered that the row and seat numbers were written on our packet. And (here's the amazing part) we were sitting in the exact seats that we were supposed to be sitting in! I know, amazing, right? Out of all of the seats in the theater, we had lit in our designated chairs. We knew at this time that we had good vibes...winning vibes!

Before we sat down, I told my wife that we needed to buy the markers for the games. She said, no, they were included with the price of the packets and 10 games. She pointed to the brown paper bags on the tables (at each seat) marked "CHIPS", (you know, chips=markers). We sat there a few minutes, and I decided to check out what color markers we had gotten in our bag. I opened the bag in front of my seat and discovered....chips. Nacho chips. With picante sauce. I immediately went and bought several markers for us(right after I finished laughing). By the way, the chips were actually pretty good. I should mention that in addition to bingo markers, they sold drinks, tshirts, photographs, and 5 additional "bonus" games. They were also selling raffle tickets, and since my wife had a slight attraction to a cute little baby-dyke drag king, we ended up with quite a few raffle tickets.

Neither of us had ever played "professional" bingo. I noticed that the guys that were sitting next to us had their markers out and were going to town marking out spots on their game sheets. I asked what they were doing (my wife hates it when I do that), and they said that they were marking out the ones that weren't needed. Those of you who have played "professional" bingo might know this, but we did not realize that the games had different patterns that had to be filled in to win. Silly me, I thought it was up and down or across that won the game. So, after finding this out, I began marking out my sheets in earnest. My wife just sneered at this activity. She had that whole "It's just a game" attitude. Well, I'm not competitive, I just needed to be able to do what I came to do. Which was WIN AT GAY BINGO! I mean, the whole evening was festive, a lot of fun, but if you play GAY BINGO, you play to win, right? Well, I marked and marked and marked, while my wife sat there, enjoying looking at all of the queens in their costumes. About five minutes before the games started, my wife was suddenly bit by the bug and started frantically marking her sheets! I'm not sure why, but she did. And surprisingly, she did get them all marked.

Each GAY BINGO night has a theme. This time it was "fairy tales". Queens in various fairy tale dress went up and down the aisles, looking for someone to put in jail. It turned out that the cage on the stage was the "jail". Various infractions could land you in jail. Talking or texting on your cell phone was one. Another was calling BINGO when you did not actually have it (you had to be very careful). Also, not doing the required motions to certain calls was another. (We were schooled in the special motions for B7, B13, and of course, O69). If you were "jailed", someone had to pay $20 to get you out of captivity. I made sure that I did what I was supposed to do. I didn't really want to lose $20 and be humiliated by being placed in a jail on the stage and jeered at by queens in Raggedy Ann costumes.

By the way, the theater was packed, and before the games began, we were asked to stand up and repeat the GAY BINGO oath. This included the promise that we will continue playing GAY BINGO until everyone is treated the same, homosexual and heterosexual alike. I would say that the audience was about 50% gay, 50% straight. Very nice to see.

The games finally began, and we got firsthand experience on how much having your sheets premarked helped. We watched as one girl got put in jail for texting on her cell phone. We felt sorry for her, but we were playing GAY BINGO, no time for sympathy. We got into the games, but we were never expecting to win. But, on the third game, I had one spot left. They called the next number and I told my beautiful wife that I had bingo. I stood up to call out "GAY BINGO"! My wife was pulling on my arm, no, don't, you'll get put in jail if you don't have it. But I had it. I told her that. She said, "You'd better be sure". I was sure. They took my card, checked it, and yes, I had won GAY BINGO! They took me out to the cashier, where I had to put down all of my pertinent information. I thought that I had probably won a candle or paperweight or something like that. But then they started counting the money into my hand...10, 20, (Oh boy!, I won 25 dollars!) 30, 40, (I can't believe that I won fifty dollars!!!), 50, 60 70, 80, 90, 95. Ninety five dollars!.... I couldn't believe it. I NEVER win anything! But if I only get to win one thing in my life, I'm glad that it was GAY BINGO!

I went back into the theater and told my wife. She informed me that the "special games" paid $250 or more. I had no idea that it was such a big deal. I guess that I was having so much fun, winning didn't matter. Anyway, we finished the games. No more wins for us, but the guy that I had pestered about how to mark the game sheets won a trip to Las Vegas. But even if I had not won, we had fun. GAY BINGO happens once a month, so we plan to go back in a few months. The dressing up would be fun, and every month there is a different theme. (I'm an old Rocky Horror cast member, so you know that I love to dress up.) If anyone out there lives close enough to Dallas to go to a game, let us know! And if anyone out there has GAY BINGO in their town, let us know also! Is this a national phenomoena? Or is it just a local amusement? Anyway it winds up, I loved GAY BINGO!!!!!!
**note: I tried to put a photograph with this post, but I am having many technical problems. But hopefully sometime in the future I will be able to publish photographs of GAY BINGO!


At 7:07 PM, Blogger Carmen said...

I wanna play gay bingo! I wish we had that here in Cleveland! I actually like in Lakewood, and it surprises me we do not have it. We have a HUGE gay population here & I get brought to things all the time by my gay friends. (they call it "Gay for the Day".) But it sounds like you two had so much fun! I am so jealous, I wish I lived by you. That sounded like a lot of fun! Good for you! I hope you win big next time!

At 7:39 AM, Blogger GoGo said...

Its Thursday nights here at a lesbian bar lovingly nicknamed "the dive".



At 11:46 AM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

I hope that soon I will be able to put some of the photos on here. I am having camera problems and AOL problems. I'm not really sure why. I get an error message when I try to get on AOL (but I can get on AOL Explorer, which is why I am here writing this) and no one seems to be able to fix it. And my computer is not recognizing my camera for some unknown reason. I think that I will have to go to Walgreens, load the photos on to a CD and get to them that way. Technology is frustrating at times.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger getalife said...

Sounds like a hoot! Well-written post, and sorry I missed the game!
Never heard of it around here.

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

Gay & Bingo, what an odd combination.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Rose of Sharon said...

Sounded like a blast! We'll have to check it out next time we go to Dallas. We enjoyed bingo on our cruise. Never won a game, but it was fun to play anyway!

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