Dear Aunt Bingo,
It’s amazing to me how people act at a Bingo hall. It seems like the regular players think they own the chairs they sit in. They do not! We have new people come in, and they don’t know who’s been sitting in those chairs. At our hall, if there is no buy-in ticket there, it can be anybody’s seat. (Regardless of daubers setting there.) Until there is a buy-in, it is anybody’s seat.
And all this shoving, arguing, and cursing is so childish—you’re an adult and you should behave like one. I work as a volunteer in a Bingo hall and I think it is absolutely disgusting to hear and see this kind of behavior.
—Signed A Volunteer Worker
Recently I found myself chatting with a psychologist I met at a party, and I asked her what she thought of certain behaviors I’ve observed in Bingo halls, including seat saving.
She said such behavior is likely driven by two things. First, there is superstition. If a player won big money sitting in a particular seat, then that player may go to great lengths to make sure they get that seat again. The second is territorial control. We live in a time when people feel that much of what is happening in their lives is beyond their control. As a result, the little things they feel they can control, they do so with staunch determination. Bingo hall seat saving is a perfect example. The player may like the lighting, the airflow, the view of the caller or monitor, the supposed luckiness of the spot, you name it. As a result, they view the seat as “theirs” and see anyone who tries to take that seat as an intruder and a threat.
All this said, you are absolutely right to say that the seat is, in fact, not theirs, and they have no right to use confrontation to get what they want. Unfortunately, I fear that such issues in the Bingo hall are bound to continue. —Aunt Bingo
Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, WA 98070, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.
For more great content like this, look for the print edition of the Bingo Bugle in your area: Local Bingo Bugle Publications.