Thursday, October 27, 2005


"And what," you may be asking yourself, "do non-drug-using 20-somethings in Mary's hometown do with themselves when they aren't conducting strange sonic experiments and eating Chipper sandwiches?"


I'll tell you what we do. We play bingo. But not your grandma's bingo down in the church basement, oh no. (Although we could if we wanted to, for there are ample bingo opportunities available, believe you me.) We play along with TELEVISED bingo.

Sarah's got one o' them fancy satellite dishes, and with her service comes this magical, mystical channel called BingoTV. And once a week, on Wednesday evenings, this glorious station comes to life for two hours and broadcasts good, wholesome bingo fun across America. With BingoTV, you can play bingo from the comfort of your own home (or in my case, the comfort of someone else's home). There are prizes. Prizes like blenders, table saws, razors, snowblowers, and the occasional iPod. (The iPods are a little too occasional, if you ask me, but I digress.) And there's a weekly $1,000 jackpot that's currently up to a whopping $26,000 (because no one's won for 26 weeks.)

But do we play expecting to win? No, no we don't. Because judging by the surly people they get on the phone who do win, it sounds like it takes the average player about five years to hit the bingo jackpot, if ever. We'd be a little daft to expect any snowblowers in the mail anytime soon, especially being newbies like we are.

So why do we play? We play so that we can see failed theater majors say things like "B 4 - and after!" and "55, a pair of beavers!" and "I got here early to count the balls." We play so we can watch people say things like "What I like most about this snowblower is..." week after week, smiles forever intact, never looking weary of their two-hour grind even though good lord, it must feel redundant to basically say the same thing over and over and OVER again and to sound like the kids on Reading Rainbow. We play with the hopes that, like this week's Halloween special, there will be more occasions where the hosts dress up like idiots and amuse us even more than usual. And frankly, we play because the cards are free, the channel's already paid for, and we've got nothing else to do.

BingoTV, I salute you. Now make with the iPods.

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