You Gotta Be In It To Win It

bingo-elderly-2Here in Florida, where there are more senior care facilities than there are hairs on your head, they all compete for your business once you reach retirement age. The way they do that is by telling you of the various amenities that their facility provides. Those facilities may include a swimming pool, (a MUST in this climate), either two or three meals a day, weekly housekeeping privileges, nightly entertainment, on site medical assistance, daily shuttle service into town and various daily activities. Those daily activities usually include games that do not require much physical activity, (remember we are talking elderly people here), such as Bean Bag baseball, Indoor Bocci Ball, Outdoor Horseshoe Pitching, (except during the hot summer months, when just holding a metal horseshoe might give you third degree burns), Board games like Checkers or Chess and any number of card games. The number one activity, of course, is Bingo which is scheduled on the nights when they don’t have an entertainer performing – usually 3 nights a week. The higher priced senior facilities can afford to bring in well known entertainers, while the less expensive facilities provide some local performers who are willing to play some music or sing a few songs for a smaller fee.

As I mentioned, Bingo is the number one activity and I suppose it is because the game is so challenging and intellectual (really?). Out of sheer boredom, since there was nothing interesting on TV one evening, I attended a Bingo game. Most of you are familiar on how the game is played and so I won’t go there. Suffice it to say that a player must buy any number of cards in order to play the game. The total amount of money received by buying cards, determines the amount of money that will be paid out for each winning game. Where I live, the buy in cost for each card is $1.00. In the wealthier areas like Boca Raton, the buy in is your Social Security checks. The game itself may not be very exciting but the Bingo games here, sometimes rival the evenings of scheduled entertainment. Some women, (and most of the people who play Bingo seem to be women), feel that they have a better chance of winning if they buy 4 or 5 cards, while the less affluent among us, (or the less agile), buy just one card. Once the caller (who is usually a resident volunteer), calls the first number, the fun begins. The women with the 4 or 5 cards need more time to check all their cards while the women with only one card, need only 5 seconds to check theirs. When the caller calls the second number, a fight breaks out. “Slow down, you’re calling too fast.” yell the women with the 5 cards, while the women with only one card yell “Come on, what are you waiting for, call the next number.” Women, who were the best of friends during the day, suddenly turn into vicious opponents, threatening each other with unspeakable violence. The extreme torture that the Islamic terrorists inflict on their victims pales in comparison to what these women threaten to do to each other.

Of course, there is something here that they call ‘Chocolate Bingo’ and that is something I will discuss in my next blog, so stay tuned. You won’t believe it and you don’t want to miss it.

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