An Expert I Met at Bingo06 Bob Heading

The other day I ran into the most interesting woman at a small Bingo hall. She was sitting about ten feet from me at the next table. I first noticed her because I could hear louder and louder grumblings coming from her. At the intermission I went over and identified myself. I asked if she had ever read the Bingo Bugle. “Sure,” was her answer, “I read it all the time when I am back home in Las Vegas.”
She told me that she never missed my column, but she had one complaint. “You seem to like loud halls, don’t you,” she stated. I told her I didn’t necessarily like loud halls, but that I could not stand to play Bingo in a place that seemed like a “library” or a waiting room at a funeral home. “You’re wrong about that,” she retorted. “The more quiet the better for me,” she added. She then lectured me for a good five minutes on the important aspects of the game.
She talked about the beginnings of the game, since its origins in Italy. I thanked her for reading my column–which had given out the same info over the years. When I mentioned this she said: “I have known everything about Bingo…even before you started doing your column.”
Finally, when she seemed to slow down and tire out, I got a word in edgeways. “So, what was all the grumbling about,” I asked? “This place is too disorganized,” was her reply. She proceeded to list a litany of things she thought was wrong about the way the evening’s games were being handled. “Irregular calling of the numbers, poor explanations of the instructions, bad sound system, lousy food and a total sense of disorganization. I am used to playing at better places. This place is ‘Mickey Mouse,’ as far as I am concerned.”
“Wow,” I thought, this lady doesn’t seem to like ANYTHING about this place, yet, I am having fun. I wonder why the total difference in perceptions. Suddenly the answer came to me. She is a naturally pessimistic person. She can find flaws anywhere…and, she has over-looked why she is there. She forgot the REAL reason she was there…to have fun.
You see if you are a “fun person” you can enjoy just about anything. You overlook the bad parts and make the most of the good parts. This woman was in a room full of friendly people, playing the game she loves best and was still unhappy because things weren’t “perfect,” at least as SHE saw the definition of the word “perfect.”
Next time: Why I love LOUD Bingo halls.

Drop me a line on the Internet: And, if you don’t have e-mail, a friend says you can use his physical address: DD, Box 5441, Palm Springs, CA, 92263.


22 Garges Heading The Over Popular Password

Do you ever wonder why we need so many passwords? It’s easy to see why we would need them for financial matters. No one wants the world to know they are almost broke. Husbands and wives want privacy about their secret little mad money accounts. We don’t want our kids calculating in their minds how much they might inherit.
Other than that, why do we need a password, for example, to sign up for a daily crossword puzzle, or to play Bingo, Solitaire or Mahjong. All my friends know I am a crossword puzzle addict, and that I may, at any moment, ask them for a word that means “out to lunch.” Everyone knows I don’t answer my phone when I am reading the daily Bible lesson, or even the daily jokes. But alas, some of these apps are trying to make me use a password. Why would I want to hide all this valuable stuff behind a password? I resist!
Yesterday I was browsing the weather page with my usual anxiety in the days between winter and spring, when all of a sudden, up pops an alert from my IP informing me that, to protect my privacy, they had emailed me a code to reset my password.
“But I don’t want to reset my password,” I shouted into the phone. “I don’t even have a password. I don’t care who knows I check the weather every day.”
For more than seventy years I needed no password on my landline in order to check my messages and nothing bad ever happened because of it. Today we call it voice mail and a password is required to listen to it on our mobile phones. I don’t know the password to get to my voice mail. Maybe I never did. The first thing I learned when it comes to voice mail is, if you ignore the order to put in your password, the recording will tell you to use 1-2-3-4. Works every time. Where is the security?
It would help a little, maybe, if all the Internet Techs got together and agreed on vocabulary. The word “password” is one we all learned as kids building huts or tree houses. But every once in a while we get a command to enter our “pin “ (Is that a password? Or what?) Or maybe we will get a command to enter our security code. Could that be a password?
Maybe one day we will need to know a password to get into the super market, school, or church, or even the house next door. The next generation won’t mind. They already know lots of passwords by heart.

Contact Bev at


28 Aunt B HeadingElementary Bingo Ban

Dear Aunt Bingo:
I am an elementary school teacher (grades 4-6) and for a long time have been a big believer in applying “play” to education—meaning that I use games, challenges and competitions as part of my teaching to make learning more fun for the students.
A lot of the techniques I use are things people are quite familiar with, such as spelling bees, awarding “book points” for reading, earning stickers for completing assignments, and so on.
The most popular for the kids are those that include a game of some sort with an element of competition; for example, times-tables challenges where students compete and are eliminated one by one until there are a handful of “winners.”
A favorite type of game of mine for teaching has been Bingo, for two reasons: First, I am a Bingo player myself and enjoy playing; and second, Bingo is very adaptable to a range of educational topics.
Because Bingo is based on a grid pattern, the squares that make up the grid can be filled with numbers, words, phrases, pictures, etc. Depending on the subject being taught for a particular section, I like to include a Bingo game as part of the lesson plan to help reinforce key elements of the subject and award candy, stickers, ribbons or other prizes as the students progress.
Sounds innocent, right? I thought so too—until I recently received several complaints from parents about the Bingo.
After years of including Bingo in my lesson plans, suddenly this year I received comments from several parents that Bingo was a form of gambling and that including it in a classroom setting was inappropriate because it encouraged gambling.
I tried to explain that there was no money involved, prizes were small and that I made sure every student got a prize. But these parents still felt it was wrong. One parent even noted that it was his understanding that I played Bingo outside the classroom for cash prizes, which might be affecting my judgment on this topic. (He had me there. I do know from experience that Bingo is fun!)
Following these conversations, I spoke with a few of my fellow teachers and my principal, and together we came to the conclusion that using Bingo in the classroom was neither crucial nor worth a fight. I have since dropped it from my lesson plans.
I would be interested to know what you think about this, and if you have any teachers (and parents) who read your column who would like to weigh in. My thanks.
—Name and location withheld

Dear Reader:
In my opinion, insisting that Bingo be removed from your classroom is silly. Your argument is a good one; there’s no money involved, no buy-in or wagering, so for me making the connection to gambling is a real stretch.
Plus, how is playing a game like Bingo any different from having a spelling bee or holding a footrace in gym class? In the case of your Bingo games, you are teaching a subject while making sure every student gets a prize. In a spelling bee or a race, there is one winner and multiple losers. Which sounds harsher?
It’s doubtful anyone would fault you for making the decision you did. And it is always good to have parents who are engaged in and attentive to their children’s education—even when you may not always agree with their input.
Maybe you can bring Bingo back for the next school year? —Aunt Bingo

Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.

27 Bingsis HeadingA Birthday Fit for a Princess

Kate’s birthday rolled around again and I got together with Cliff, determined to make this the best celebration ever. First we had to think about a gift. Kate does not much like clothes and detests shopping for them, so that was out. She’s not much for gadgets, doesn’t want to change her laptop and that left us nowhere.
I was hit with inspiration. “Jacobs Jewelry is having a sale,” I said.
“Well, she’s not much for jewelry either,” replied Cliff despondently. “But let’s go look. Maybe we can find something she won’t actually hate.”
So off we trotted to see what we could find. “Not rings or bracelets or necklaces,” I said. “She claims she has too many if them now. Maybe a brooch?”
We looked and looked and I finally spotted the perfect thing. “A tiara,” I said triumphantly. “A beautiful, sparkly tiara. I think she would love it.”
Tiaras were definitely not on special sale, but we found a perfect one and split the cost so it wasn’t too hard on either of us. We had the store do it up very nicely and also found a card.
“I’m going to get her a bouquet of yellow roses to go with this,” said Cliff.
“And I will bake her a cake,” I added.
On her actual birthday the next day, we planned to go to the local casino. “We’ll have two meals and play Bingo in between,” said Cliff. “I’ll bet Rod will spring for one of them.”
“We’re going to the casino for brunch,” I told Kate. “So let’s get at it. I’m hungry,”
Kate was happy as we waited for our meal. “Let’s give her her gift now,” I said.
She pouted a little when she saw the Jacobs box but then she opened it and saw the tiara. “Oh!” she said. “A tiara! I’ve always wanted one! Put it on me, put it on me!”
I did and she looked exactly as a birthday girl should look. “It will bring me good luck. I know it will.”
After brunch we moved into the Bingo Hall where Kate preened in her tiara.
“We have a birthday today,” announced the caller and everybody sang to Kate.
But the wins weren’t coming our way until just before intermission when Kate won a giant prize on a blackout.
“Well that means I can buy the next meal,” said Kate.
“Oh, no,” said Rod. “You keep your winnings. Dinner’s on me.”
We were a merry group, laughing it up heartily and then I announced we had a birthday cake waiting at home.
“Oh, no,” said Kate. “I can’t eat any more. Even my tiara will be too tight.”