Friday Night Bingo

To City,

Once upon a time you used to be able to smoke in public spaces. I am not a smoker, but a funny memory of mine, was the times I would walk into the Bingo hall on a Friday night and a thick cloud of white hung in the air. This was in the 1990s.

There was not a whole lot to do in a small town on the weekends which meant the Agriplex would host everything from dances to farmers markets to Bingo nights. While family dances were definitely my favorite event, my second favorite event was Bingo.

Photo Credit: Sara

Back in those days, underage kids were allowed to play Bingo with their parents. When Friday night came along, my step-mom and I would find our dollar store dabbers, drive down to the hall, buy our playing cards, and toss in an extra few bucks for a few Nevada Breakopens, just in case we were feeling lucky.

We would sit beside a lady playing ten or more cards, a smoke in her hand, and a lucky token, such as a troll doll standing on the table in front of her. This lady stressed me out because I could barely handle finding the numbers for the two or (max) three cards I was playing. Then again, nothing was better than myself getting a winning number before she even had a chance.

Photo Credit: Marlon E.

Eventually, the laws changed and underage kids couldn’t gamble anymore, smoking indoors became taboo, and I grew up and got over it. I have not played Bingo in the years since, but I wonder if it is the same without the heavy smoke cloud wavering in the air?

Love, Country

P.S. Do you remember when people were allowed to smoke in public spaces?


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