Am I a Bingo Dingo?

Hello again, I am Miss over 40, over 50, not yet beyond. Self-confessed fitness fanatic, best in the business Pilates instructor, lover of food, have a fabulous lifestyle, fashion lover and apparent bingo attendee

What’s your thoughts on bingo? Is bingo for the elderly?

No funny comments if you are younger than me! I have played bingo on the rare occassion with my mum since I was young, it really is a fun game.

But seriously do we associate bingo with the elderly, we do, don’t we?

My beautiful mum is 83, mind as sharp as a whip. Before I go any further, who else finds that a rather odd saying? Generally it means the person is quite intelligent, however, I do think to myself, well how sharp is a whip? Hmmm it actually refers to the crack of the whip.

On that note, there is also sharp as a tack, well there is some ouch factor if you stand on one. This one relates to humour. Well my mum is sharp as a whip also sharp as a tack. Funny and intelligent. Thank God I took after her.

Last Saturday I rang my mum. “Mum I haven’t seen as much as usual lately” I suggested a mother daughter day on Sunday.

Excitedly, what will we do? She says. Let me surprise you! I thought movies? Nope there was nothing I thought Mum or I would get excited over. Oh yes the theatre ? I love the theatre,wizard of Oz playing. There was no tickets left for someone who has walking disabilities (age related), Mum, not me 😬

Bingo, light bulb moment, my mind again said yes actually, Bingo. My mind exploded with excitement. Bingo , she will be ecstatic. I find the local bingo, gathered all the information I needed and a plan was set.

Do you know what a bingo dingo is? No? It is someone who doesn’t play bingo who will then will arrive to play for the big one, yes the jackpot. It is kind of frowned upon in the bingo world.

I have had a few games, so not completely a novice. The last time was probably four years ago in a little country town, Mulwala (Victoria Australia) at one of the RSL clubs. I must mention first, I am not meat eater.

It was at this club, an agriculture district, that I had my first bingo win. The excitement welled in me as I waited one more number, I screamed BINGO and smiled like a Cheshire Cat with excitement. You will never guess? Well maybe you will, I won the jackpot.

The jackpot was? Yes, you guessed it, the biggest tray of meat you have ever seen. I donated it to my meat eating group of friends but rejoiced in the fact that I actually won something.

Sunday, I arrive at my mums at 1 PM, I pack her up into the car, she asks “ where are we going?” Bingo I replied.

I’m pleased to announce, she was happy. I dropped her at the front door and parked the car whilst mum secured a spot in the line to buy our bingo games.

Since it was my treat, when I arrived I took her spot in the line and allowed her to move to the side. Unsure of how many games to play, as the very experienced sometimes play up to 6 games, I, being not so experienced, turned to the sweet looking lady directly behind me to ask her advice. “Hello how are you today? “ What do you recommend I should do? Her rather terse response was “Go to the back of the line where you belong“ I said pardon, I do not understand. Why would you say that? You pushed in. It was at that moment I learnt of the competitiveness of the “ bingo groupies”

I explained that I did not actually push in, and that my mum had been in the queue. I found out afterwords when a lovely, somewhat less competitive lady sitting at my table explained to me, “those games are potential winners”, so if I won, she would be very unhappy. My logic is it works two ways, if she won she would be very happy and glad she did not push me out of my spot.

Anyway I won her over with my friendly chat I departed the line friends with Helen!

Enter the bingo room. Tables, so many tables, row after row, groups seated together bringing their thermos filled with steaming cofffee, homemade sandwiches, cakes, you name it, it was there. Seats saved, with simple bingo texts, that made the same statement as a reserved sign in a restaurant. Is this spot free? No, I hear, as they point to the BINGO texta.

The tables are long, possibly 8-10 seats each side. Mum and I were lucky enough to find two seats together, reality was, the person my seat was reserved for, failed to show. I’m pleased to say we were surrounded by lovely people.

2pm eyes down. We were playing 2 books each game. Not quite experienced, but no beginner either. I took in the atmosphere. This is serious stuff. I recall the days of comments such as legs eleven, number 11, number 8 shut, the gate, 2 fat ladies, 22. In the politically correct world we now live in, this has been eradicated. Apparently some of these quirky little sayings were racist, predudjice, insulting. Come on, it’s all a bit of light entertainment. Straight up the nu beds are called, on its own number 8, all the sevens 77,slightly more serious.

Game after game, so close, then “BINGO”. Last game (number 10) of first round, JACKPOT game. Number after number, I dotted them on my bingo game books with my special bingo texta, 3 to go, 2 to go, 48 was my last number. Then it came, I looked at my book, to sent messages to my brain, oh my god, “BINGO I yell so enthusiastically, the whole place stopped and stared. That Cheshire Cat was back. Everyone at my table, the table behind, all smiled and congratulated me. $280 buckeroos, dollars, whatever term you choose to use. In our hot little hands. I think my enthusiasm may have thawed there competitive iciness. Genuine congratulations I received.

I was asked to come back next week. Was that because they enjoyed my company? Or they want a chance to win back some money, I think laughing to myself.

2 more rounds, 10 games per round, 30 games over the day. 3 hours of concentrated entertainment, with no more wins. I looked around for Helen. Would she be glaring? My guess is a big YES.

Am I a bingo dingo? Questionable. I am not a first timer, but they don’t know that. I say no!

Will we go back, hell yeah! All my girlfriends called me, books in, book us in. I’ll be back in a fortnight my new bingo hall friends. Mark my words, Mum and I are going to be one of the bingo crew. Someone will be saving my seat in the near future!

Hopefully I do not become a bingo dragon breathing down the back of the neck of the lovely YOUNG lady in front of me in the queue. She’ll turn to me and ask what do you recommend, I will answer, buy four books, come sit with me and we will go halves in YOUR winnings. 😂😂😂😂😂 I’ll share my homemade sandwiches. 💋

Chat soon darlings ❤️

Author: Janette Bendle

I have reached my fabulous 50s. Guess what, it’s okay. 20 years in the health and wellness industry. Educating men and women on the importance of nourishing their bodies with good food, moving with integrity, recharging their energy levels and empowering their minds. I love my job. A mother of two boys who are now men and my greatest achievement. A lover of words, an aspiring author with a book written and no idea where to go next, a poet who writes from the heart and her vulnerability. A foodie who loves to experiment, a salad lover , But not just your Every day salad, I throw in anything you can think of it ends up in my salad. I have a reputation for making the greatest weirdest salads around. As a total contradiction, I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. I rescue abandoned souls in the bodies of dogs, an animal lover, Who sometimes likes animals more than humans. My teacher in life, my mother never ceases to amaze me. I am one fortunate human being who is filled with gratitude for the life she lives.

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