The Belles of Bingo


JULY 2021


Dear Aunt Bingo,

One of the funnier things that goes on at my Bingo hall is that there is this clique of about ten players who think they own the place. They are all chummy with the caller and other workers and sit at a couple of special tables where no one else is welcome and where people have actually been forced to get up and move from. It makes for quite a show. Recently it dawned on me that all of us who play Bingo here are reliving the high school cafeteria experience: A handful of cool, popular girls are running the show and everyone else just operates invisibly around them. The funny part is that this clique is made up of white-haired ladies wearing pilled sweaters and polyester stretch pants.

I am curious if other halls out there have similar player cliques. Have you ever seen this kind of behavior?

—Jane, via e-mail


Dear Jane,

While I haven’t paid much attention to it, now that you describe it, I must say that I have seen this kind of behavior—in Bingo halls and elsewhere. It’s kind of natural if you think about it. A group of people with a shared interest band together to enjoy that interest, and the next thing you know they’ve morphed into the social center and everyone else has faded into the background. It doesn’t really hurt anyone—except for that bit about them pushing people out of the seats at “their” table (I hate when people do that)—and as long as they are not disruptive, hey, let them be the belles of the ball. —Aunt Bingo


Readers: Have there been cliques at your Bingo halls? What do you feel about them? Are you a member of one? Please write in and share your thoughts. —Aunt Bingo

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Dear Aunt Bingo

Notebook and Pen