• Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

Old Person Bingo

BINGO!  It’s easy to cover the Bingo squares under O.  Concerned about fiber. Living room furniture all matches. Excited about Farmers Markets.  Have a kid older than 10.  Increased the font size on your phone. 

            This is a unique Bingo card that doesn’t have numbers; it has phrases. I only have one card which is really a birthday card that I’ve kept beside my writing calendar since July.  Every time I glance at it, I smile.  OLD PERSON BINGO (yes, in all caps) is written at the top on the front.

            If you have Medicare or receive Social Security, you could easily win prizes playing OLD PERSON BINGO, but younger people probably won’t like the game.  Look at the five spaces I covered under O.  Why would anyone not have matching living room furniture? My matching red wing-back chairs are perfect, and the fiber I’m concerned about has nothing to do with the fiber content covering those two chairs.

            Doesn’t everyone increase the font size on mobile phones?  (As I wrote mobile phone, I laughed at myself.  Only an old person who has a land line phone would write mobile.)   Have a kid over 10?  How about five Grands over 10!  And if you’ve ever read columns I’ve written during peak summer harvest season, you know I’m excited about our local Farmers Market.  

            Playing OLD PERSON BINGO, I can win across rows, down columns, and diagonally and I bet many of you could, too.  Wear clothing with additional support.  Does that include those elastic tummy control panels?  Can’t find your keys.  Found grey hairs.  Why do some things disappear and others glare?

            Think dinner at 4 PM sounds pretty good. Think 11 PM is late.  I can’t cover the dinner at 4 space, but everyone knows when both clock hands near 12, it’s late.  (Another old person thinking; I thought of an analog clock, not a digital one.)

            Enjoy jazz.  Don’t recognize any popular music.  Not only do I not recognize popular music, I can’t understand the words.

            Still uses Facebook.  Fan of historical dramas.  Get annoyed about remake of movies.  Worried about the economy.  Have considered moving to Florida. Have a 401K.  Feel stiff for no reason.  Have your own garden.  How many of those spaces can you cover?

            Have said the phrase, “Kids these days…”  Have said, “Ooh, a cheese plate!” in a restaurant.  Oh, the things I’ve said and wished I hadn’t. 

            Maybe my friends and I can create more OLD PERSON BINGO cards and add more phrases.  Doctors are listed among contact favorites.  Ate TV dinners on a metal tray. An exciting evening is watching basketball games on TV.  Do banking in person.  Pay bills by check.  Look forward to mail delivery. Wore plastic bread bags as boots to play in snow. Rereads birthday cards.             Playing OLD PERSON BINGO will be fun and prizes won’t be needed.  Laughing and being with like-minded friends – those are real prizes.


Cousins Play Bingo

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 8.43.50 AM “Gran, can we play Bingo?” Dean, age 7, asked.

“Yes, that’s a great idea,” I said.

Dean and Elaine cheered. “And get prizes?” Elaine, also 7, asked. I nodded. My Grands high-fived and threw their fists in the air and shouted, “Yes!”

Dean and Elaine were born a month apart, but rarely play together since they live a three-hour airplane ride from each other. When Dean visited Husband and me for a few days (aka Pop and Gran Camp), I wanted these two first cousins to play, without parents and siblings.

“Gran, you get Bingo. Dean, let’s get the prizes.” Elaine took charge since she knows where the game and prize basket are kept. She and I play Bingo occasionally, but the only other time these cousins have played together was a family gathering when they were kindergarten students. Their parents, siblings, and grandparents played too. An adult called out the numbers and put marbles showing the called numbers in a rack. Elaine and Dean needed help then, but not now.

They carried the basket filled with fancy pencils and cheap trinkets and cheaper candy. “Look at this!” Elaine said as she held a piece of candy wrapped in Halloween paper. (Time to replenish the basket, I thought.)

Elaine chose a Bingo card. Dean shuffled through 100 cards and finally said, “The one on the bottom is always lucky.” Elaine reminded Dean to cover the FREE space with a small colored disk and that he had to cover five spaces in a row to Bingo.

“Get a card, Gran. You have to play, too,” said Elaine.

Dean turned the handle on the metal wire basket and counted four balls that fell into a trough. “I’ll call the numbers,” he said. Elaine frowned, then suggested, and Dean and I agreed, that we take turns calling four numbers.

Dean sat up straight, held a small yellow marble and announced, “B 5!” He placed the marble under B in the number 5 slot. “I don’t have 5,” said Dean and his shoulders slumped.

“I do! Look!” said Elaine as she covered the number.

“O 63!” Dean said.

“Oh, I have 62 and 64,” said Elaine.

“I have 62 and 65,” Dean groaned. “Gran, do you have it?” I shook my head. “Nobody has it! Why’d I even call it?”

The game continued. Every number was discussed. Who had it? Who didn’t? What numbers were on our cards close to it? Who had 54 when 45 was the called number? What numbers were needed to make Bingo?

Forty minutes later, Dean shouted, “Bingo!” and Elaine checked the called numbers on the tray. Dean had his eyes on his card and his hand clutching a package of Sour Tarts as said his numbers. “That’s a Bingo!” Elaine announced.

The hour-long game ended when each Grand had five Bingos and five prizes. Then Elaine and Dean ran upstairs to bowl on the Wii. They giggled and squealed and laughed.

I hope it’s true that cousins are childhood playmates that grow up to be forever friends.











Gran’s New Game

search-2“Mom, Gran has a new game and it’s really fun! Bingo! Have you ever played?” My 11 year-old Grand stood beside Daughter, his mother. She raised her eyebrows and looked at me. I smiled and nodded. Daughter’s five children, ages 2 – 11, had spent a half day before Christmas with Husband and me and then I took them home. We stood around Daughter’s kitchen island.

“Well, yes. A long time ago, I played,” Daughter said.

“Did you have a metal ball and twirl a handle and little white balls came out?” Lou, age 9, asked.

“Did you get peppermint candy when you won?” Five-year-old Elaine liked the candy better than the game.

“Did you put little colored circles on the numbers on your card?” Ruth, age 7, had lined up different colored markers for each column of numbers.

“I said Bingo the loudest!” Elaine said. “And Jess (her 2 year-old-brother) screamed Bingo and got candy, but he just played with the little circles.”

“Sounds like you had lots of fun with Gran’s new game. Maybe she’ll let me play,” Daughter said.

Whew. Bingo made this first cut. I had bought it to play when everyone got together at Husband’s and my house for Christmas. Eight children, age 11 and under, and their parents: Daughter, Son, and spouses. Outside is the perfect place to give everyone space. But we’d be spending some time inside. Trying out new toys. Opening gifts and eating and visiting and playing, and eventually, all would be tired and some would be cranky. I hoped Bingo would be the perfect inside game. Everyone could play and I had a big collection of prizes.

I had prepped Daughter and Son that we were ending our day with Bingo. So when the Grands began whining and fussing about whose toy was whose, I whispered, “Shhh. Anyone who’d like to win a prize come sit quietly at the dining room table to play a game.”

The five Grands who’d help me try out my new game were the first ones to the table. “Come on, you all. It’s a really fun game!” David encouraged those who were dilly-dallying. Parents teamed up to help pre-school age Grands. Toddler Grands were given only colored circles. Cards and markers were passed out.

“I’ll call a number and if it’s on your card, cover it with a colored circle. When you have a straight line of circles, say ‘Bingo.’ Then you get a prize,” I said.

The Grands’ parents deserve Academy Awards. They smiled and laughed and wished for B7 and O64. They applauded and cheered when anyone shouted, “Bingo.” They oohed and ahhed when Husband brought out the basket filled with prizes. Slinkies, stickers, decorated kitchen towels, notepads, mechanical pencils, key rings, Matchbox cars, and such.

For now, it’s Gran’s new game. Someday, I’ll tell everyone about my granny taking me to the American Legion Hall on Saturday nights to play Bingo and the prizes were money.