It was dusk when I gazed out the back window. It had rained all day, and the sky was darker than normal. The large tree in the back yard was still deprived of its spring leaves, but was full of something curious…
They had an eerie quality about them…Their backs were slumped, their necks were curved, and their eyes could bore through the soul of the darkest demon…
Earlier this week, when I voiced my concern over the potential dangers of the Illinois squirrels and boxing deer, my mind was thankfully put at ease, when my friend told me that these creatures were NOT prevalent in her town. However, this led her to pre warn me about the overabundance of turkey vultures in this area. So far, these aeronautical creatures hadnt been known to attack humans, but she couldn't promise me anything.
The floor boards creeked below me, and my hair blew back in reponse to the heater vent, blowing air upwards from the ground. I continued to glare out the window at these looming creatures, not daring to look into their eyes. I had just readied myself up to go to Bingo night with my friend, and we couldnt risk being late. In that moment, I said a small prayer. I pleaded that God would get us to the car, without being attacked… Not when there was so much at stake!!
We made it to the car without incident, and I quickly forgot about the vultures, because my nerves had begun to take hold of me, as the time neared for BINGO. I only had an idea of what it would be like, because I hadn't gone since I was a kid. Turns out, we didnt know ANYTHING, and we werent prepared!
First of all, we got there late. Well, right on time…which was late. We were the youngest people there, and I wont lie that we were getting a lot of DESIRED attention. I started giggling immediately.
It all started when the vetran asked if we wanted the $7 package. We didnt know, so we said thats exactly what we needed, and I paid him $14. Next, he asked if we wanted the blue board. We didnt know, so we said “sure”.
“Those are an extra dollar a piece”.
I told my friend to give him two more dollars.
He asked if we wanted to put our name in the pickle jar. I said “I dont know what that is…but sure”! I was giggling hysterically at this point, drawing the attention of the bingo drawing lady.
“Ok. Those are an extra dollar a piece”.
I told my friend to give him two more dollars.
He asked if we needed the ink blotting devices to mark our spots. I knew we needed those, so I said “We need two”.
“Ok. Those are each an extra dollar a piece”. Now I was just laughing out loud, as I told my friend to give him two more dollars. We were officially broke, and now the lady in the front had had it with our nonsense.
She said “If you arent playing, I need to ask you to be quiet”.
We giggled all the way to our seats, which were right next to a darling little elderly lady. She was a professional bingoist, and she was happy to help us out, when she realized we were clueless. I offered her half of my Toblerone candy bar, and we were fast friends. She allowed for me to switch bingo dot colors with her for one round, and even laughed every time I got in trouble for talking….Which is more than you might think.
I have no idea how these people keep up with all of numbers being called out, because I constantly felt like I was drowning. Also, they were so serious! Some people yelled BINGO so loudly, that it would scare you right off your seat. Then, the whole room would groan and say “I only needed one more”!!
At first, I thought these people were ridiculous, but it wasn't long before I was groaning right along with them. My friend won $15, and I was proud of her. Me…I never won.
I left there feeling more knowledgeable about the game, but a little down about not winning. As luck would have it though, my friend had another friend, who just happened to be a townie. She was willing to try to lift my spirits, by taking me to a place where they held “fair” and “friendly” competitions.
I knew we were going to watch crabs race, but what I didnt know, is that I actually got to race my own crab!! I was immediately cheered. They each picked up a random hermit crab in a bowl…but not me. I looked at each crab. I looked at their agility, the tread on their claws, and the heaviness of the shell. I looked at their size, their probable age, and into their beady eyes. Finally, I had found my crab.
The only thing I didnt love about my crab was its name “Jesse James Fudgepacker”. However, I overlooked it, knowing he was the one. My anxiety soared, as I placed him down for his first race. I whispered in his ear a small cheer, and was not surprised at all, to see that he made it to the semi finals!
The second time was no different than the first, as he breezed by his untrained peers, and won the race. We had made it to the finals.
His competition in the finals was sketchy though. There were some bruts…ones that have clearly won on other occasions. It was obvious…he wasnt ready! Still, he made me proud by placing 4th overall.
I realized, as I stood watching others stare at me with envy, in my new “winners circle crab Tshirt”, that I don't need to win money, to feel like a winner. Sometimes all I need is just wonderful, encouraging friends…and a little bit of faith in one small crab.
Thank you Angie for a fabulous time…and if youre reading this….you still owe me $7.50 (half of the bingo earnings). 🙂