Subscribe: Subscribe to me on YouTube

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Well I successfully lost my bingo virginity last night, but it didn't so much make me triumphant and rich, as confused, bewildered and poor. How doddery old pensioners manage to keep track of that darn game, I'll never know. I was struggling from the moment Lisa handed over the money, and I was presented with all manner of different coloured booklets and numbered slips of paper, the like of which I haven't seen since my A-level maths exam.

Of course, I was expecting a nice relaxing sedentary pace when it came to the actual game, so I was somewhat startled when the woman on the stage started barking out numbers like there was no tomorrow. I thought she was handing out her phone number to the men on the front row, but no - I was somehow supposed to find the time to search for each of these numbers on my bingo card and cross them off with the felt tip pens we'd just paid a quid for, whilst simultaneously checking to see if I'd won anything - a feat of lightning quick reflexes and speed of thought which was frankly beyond me. I've never been so stressed in all my life. It was all I could do to avoid a full blown panic attack.

The highlight of the evening for me was the interval, when we were granted a reprieve from the advanced mathematics, and allowed to drink water and take sedatives. I considered calling for oxygen, but didn't want to embarrass my companions. So I went to the gents toilets instead for a bit of a cry.

Fortunately in the second half Lisa's Mum showed us all how it was done by winning £25 for a single line (which she successfully claimed after getting a woman nearby to cause a diversion by coughing, while she checked with Lisa that she'd got the right numbers), and not having got within three numbers of a full house all evening, I suddenly found myself on the verge of a £500 jackpot. I only needed number seven, and the woman with the apathetic voice called at least another six numbers before anyone won. So if any one of those had been a 7, I'd be rich. But they weren't. So I'm poor. It was a travesty, and I still haven't quite got over it.

But it was an experience. Although next time I might do something a bit less stressful, like bungee jumping.