Thursday, January 21, 2016

Never Gonna Give You Up

The lead-up to Snowstorm Jonas has begun in earnest.

And by that, I mean a routine stop at Kroger felt like entering a madhouse or, on a more positive note, a carnival.

Granted, it doesn't help that the VCU student population started classes two days ago, but it looked pretty obvious from people's baskets - beer, milk, snack foods -that people are planning to hunker down once the white stuff begins falling Friday.

In the soup aisle, I ran into a J-Ward restaurant owner out procuring citrus after his supplier shorted him. Curious about his establishment's snow plans, he confirmed that the restaurant would probably close but the market would stay open. Good to know.

Tonight was bingo at Gallery 5 and, judging by the fact that there were more tables than usual, a crowd was expected. But no, the crowd was a tad smaller than last month, which we regulars chalked up to weather wimps succumbing to fear of frigid temperatures.

That said, G5's hardy curator admitted that he's already canceled both his Friday and Saturday night music shows. Sigh.

At least we had tonight.

Grandma Muriel, who calls the bingo games using an effects pedal, a peach peignoir and a beer with a straw (the mask precludes guzzling) was sporting a new hat tonight and looking particularly fetching, assuming you like cross-dressing sax players in drag and who doesn't?

Once the games got underway. it became obvious we had some first-timers in our midst because they tittered every time Grandma batted the light fixture with her rolling pin or called out a number with so much reverb you could barely understand her.

Another clue came when people realized they'd scored. "Oh, shit! Bingo...a while ago!" one guy yelled, just then noticing that he had five in a row. Another guy's cry of, "Bingo" was so faint that only his tablemates heard him.

Come on, guys, belt it out like you mean it, especially when you're winning fabulous prizes such as $53 or a Richard Simmons workout record complete with instructive poster (plus, it should be added, Hardywood bucks, gift certificates to G5 and a ten spot). Novices.

I mean, come on, Richard Simmons on vinyl? Who'd have thought such a thing was ever even created?

Between games when we broke so people could buy more bingo cards or grab a beer at the bar, Grandma would pull our her harmonica and play a few bars and then point at someone to sing.

She tried it with me, but that wasn't going to happen, nor with his next victim. Finally, he put it down, crushed his PBR can and went to score another beer. I think we disappointed her.

For the first time in the four month history of G5 bingo, the music wasn't solely John Carpenter's "Halloween" all night (not that there's anything wrong with that). Not only did we hear some electronica, but even a little Rick Astley - radical for bingo night.

There were only two of us at my usual table, two regulars who show up every month because we've been seduced by the bingo goddess. But because it was just us, for the first time we had the opportunity to introduce ourselves and chat. Turns out he lives a few blocks from G5, too, except eastward to my westward.

Neither of us won tonight, a first for me since I've won something every month since bingo began. But that's okay, I'm not owed. I needn't win to enjoy the mild gambling thrill of bingo.

And, more importantly, knowing that my social life will be severely curtailed this weekend thanks to Jonas, it was enough just to have some fun tonight.

I fear my thrills may be limited for a few days. But afterwards? I will be owed.

No comments:

Post a Comment