Bingo provides relief from heat of summer


Published:

Is it too hot to go to the beach, swim in the pool or enjoy other outdoor activities? Has your dermatologist told you to stay out of the sun? Many people have found the solution: Play Bingo! Besides, you can pick up some extra cash.

After I married recently, my wife introduced me to Bingo. Can you imagine spending a whole day of my honeymoon at the Palm Bay Senior Center?

It was part of the discussion — “What do you want to do today?” We considered a few senior activities. Then, I responded, “Yes, dear,” and we ended up listening to the caller and watching the monitor.

We arrived at the senior center around 9 a.m. to position ourselves at our special table, set up our spot, arrange our dabbers (the ink markers) and other tools of the game. We socialized with other players until we purchased Bingo sheets. Then, we arranged in order the Bingo sheets for 37 different games. Some players had mascots, position markers, carrying cases and mementos of previous competitions.

Before the first game was called, rules were explained and clarified. A full menu of refreshments, beverages and desserts were offered. There was a camaraderie among the regular weekly participants. Further, I could tell there were serious competitors in the room that would challenge me from the first call. My wife told me numbers I missed. She urged me to pay attention to the TV monitor screen ahead of the called letter and number. Yikes!

After a few hours, I could see the benefits of Bingo. There is mental activity, oral and visual stimulation from a caller and a flashing TV monitor, the challenge to win, socializing with old and new friends and filling the time of the day.

During a scheduled break to accommodate those of us with weak bladders, I found a newspaper “Bingo Bugle.” It was loaded with stories about Bingo locations, Bingo stars and winners, Bingo cruises and ways to make a fortune while playing Bingo.

When I got home, I inquired about other Bingo venues. I opened the 2019 Boomer Guide and found 22 locations starting on page 36 between billiards and bocce. I was going to write more about the challenges of playing Bingo, but I had to head to the Quail Run community clubhouse for an evening of B-I-N-G-O. I’ll survive!

Ed Baranowski is president of Topics Unlimited, a Melbourne-based education, seminar and consulting company. He can be contacted at topicsed@aol.com