Bubala, Mumi & Max

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Show Must Go On

Bone Box
It was Sunday afternoon. I was at work. I was sitting high atop my bingo caller's stand. It was about 3:30pm. The Sunday Matinée session had just begun. All of the little old ladies were dabbing away furiously at their bingo cards after I called each number. Some of the little old ladies had even dragged their husbands along to join in on the bingo fun.

Now, I am not sure how many of you have been to a bingo hall lately, but let me tell you, those bingo players can be a serious bunch. Some of those ladies and men take the game very, very seriously, as you're about to see from the following true story.

So, like I said earlier, I am sitting on my caller's stand looking out over the crowd. That's mostly what my job entails. I put a ball in front of the camera, wait 15 seconds and then call the number and put another ball in front of the camera. Then, I look around the room for the 15 seconds that I have to wait until I can call the next number.

Bingo PlayerWell, as I am scanning the room, I notice that there is a lady out in the crowd who just doesn't look right. In fact, she looks ill. She is sweating even though the room is at a pretty comfortable temperature, and her head is sort of wobbling back and forth.

Unfortunately, I see this a lot where I work. When your clientele is mostly older people who smoke like a chimney, eat plenty of deep fried snack bar food and spend most of their lives sitting in a chair dabbing away furiously at bingo cards, there is bound to be a need for a 911 call every now and then. In fact, over the years, a few people have literally dropped dead right there in the middle of the bingo hall. Fortunately, I have never been working on a night when that has happened.

But, I am babbling now... Back to the sweaty, wobbly-headed lady lady story... Okay, so I can tell this lady is not doing so well. So, I make a call to the front desk and let them know about the situation. I don't stop the game though, because I am not allowed to. The game has to keep on going just about no matter what happens. Even when those people dropped dead right in the middle of the hall, the game kept on going. If it hadn't, you can be sure that the rest of the old ladies in the hall would have started bitching. I can just hear them now. "So what! She's dead! We can't help her now. Just call the next Goddamn number already!"

Okay, so back to the wobbly-headed lady. Oh yeah , I should mention that her husband is there playing bingo with her. So, our security guard comes over and talks to the ill lady. Security decides that is would be best if we call 911 and get some paramedics out there to take a look at the lady. The ambulance shows up. The paramedics talk to the lady, take her blood pressure and tell her that she should go to the hospital for treatment. After a little persuading, the lady finally agrees and the paramedics load her onto the stretcher and wheel her out.

While all of this has been going on, her husband has never once stopped playing his bingo cards. He has not gotten up to comfort his wife. Not even once. And, when the lady is wheeled out to the waiting ambulance, he actually stays behind and continues to play bingo. The ambulance drives away, and he is still there. This man's wife is being hauled off to the hospital, and he stays behind to play his bingo cards! Then, he even has the nerve to ask us that since his wife is not going to be back any time soon, can he play her cards too?

Oh my gawd!

Later that evening, I'm working in the office and the phone rings. I answer it. It's the lady calling from the hospital. She says she needs a ride back to the bingo hall and asks me if I can find her husband and ask him to come and pick her up. First of all, I am astounded that even though the bingo session has been over for an hour now, the lady's husband still has not made an attempt to go to the hospital and be with her. I am even more astounded when I find the man to give him the message from his wife. He is sitting at one of the slots-style gaming machines that we have in the bingo hall. The man's wife is in the hospital and he is sitting at a slot machine not thinking one bit about his wife and whether she is alive or dead or whatever.

These bingo players can be hardcore, I tell you!


Blogger TOS said...

More like addicted to gambling! That's a sad story... poor lady.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Dumbek said...

That's really sad....Unless he won. Then it's ok.

10:08 PM  

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