Haven’t been feeling mentally great for a while. Don’t know why really. Cancellations and overdue payments from some swim parents haven’t helped. The state of the nation in general and the fact that my offspring are growing up & making me feel surplus to requirements, also not conducive to a happy mind.
So, a night out with my sister was in order. Wasn’t sure what to expect and was slightly nervous, but last night we went to Bongo’s Bingo in Leeds. It’s been a long while coming. I’ve talked about going for years, since Jade first went in Manchester a very long time ago.
These days it’s on in cities all over the country, every weekend and sometimes during the week. ‘Johnny Bingo’ must be sitting at home now in a bath of Buckfast laughing away as he checks his bank balance.
This was not your Saturday night session at Mecca with the jam making brigade that were the mainstay of my Pops’ working life in the bingo industry back in the day.
So Bman dropped us off at Canal Mills in Leeds which smelled a bit like a cow shed TBH. We got a seat on the end of one of the many crammed-in long tables, because Jade said not to get stuck in the middle of them otherwise we’d have to clamber over everyone to go to the loo or the bar. We’d paid £8 and this got us a book of 6 games to last the night.
There was a good 2 hours of drinking time before the first game began. Plenty of time for the 200+ Love Island posse to get fully tanked up and start dancing on the benches.
It was compared by a lively DJ/Caller and ably assisted by glamorous helpers – i.e. 2 young men dressed as a slutty French maid and slutty nurse, who did a lot of dancing, occasionally stripped off inbetween displaying prizes and checking calls.
The prizes, none of which I won, but most of which I coveted, included a life size cardboard cut out of Ross from Friends (won by the boys on the table next to us). Bottles of spirits, cash prizes varying from £40 up to £500! Double ended dildos!! Inflatable Pokemon costumes, giant fluffy unicorns, Henry hoovers, karaoke machines and big boxes of coco pops for people to throw around.
There was much cheering and dancing when anyone won. False calls greeted with jeering pointing and chants of “you fucking dickhead”. The young girls next to us had no clue what they were doing and I kept having to explain how they could win.
Certain numbers involved dance interludes, but you had to be lively to get back in the game or you’d miss out on hearing/seeing the numbers come up. TBH I’m amazed anyone won anything as the night went on and more alcohol was consumed.
Despite fierce concentration on our part, we didn’t win a thing. We needed my brother – he always wins when we play bingo at home with my Pops. I think he would have enjoyed it actually.
Not a place for the faint of heart (or liver) or if the prospect of an on stage ‘dance off’ in the event of a tied call fills you with fear. Be prepared to join in or face sitting there covered in spilled wine and airborne coco pops. Definitely worth a visit if you can get a ticket and just want to act daft for a couple of hours and may even, if you’re lucky, bag yourself a decent prize.
It made me feel better anyway and was just what I needed. Let’s do it again sometime.
Ciao Ciao MoFos XX