Monday, March 15, 2010

Bingo!

Multiple times I have successfully convinced JohnnyMac volunteering is a great way to spend a few hours on the weekend. I think JohnnyMac would make his own list of great ways to spend a few hours on the weekend that would look like this:
Lay in bed in silence while my wife spends a few hours volunteering
Drink my coffee in silence while my wife spends a few hours volunteering
Watch SportsCenter in silence while my wife spends a few hours volunteering

But he is a great sport and this particular weekend was a perfect example. The volunteer job du jour? Playing bingo at a retirement community.The woman who runs the program is wonderful and this volunteer assignment is easy and fun. We simply help the residents with their bingo cards, call Bingo, check the cards when someone wins, and pass out tasty treats.

This particular Saturday, there was a new resident. He was a little grumpier than his compatriots but it didn’t phase me. And he had a formidable winning streak early on. And then wow, he was clearly quite lucky since he won about a dozen games straight. 

Except he was cheating. The game is for fun and he is not winning an escape from the retirement community so I smile and play along. And then he demands more prizes.  I am not the Bingo KGB but the Director encourages me to handle it. I attempt to tag JohnnyMac into the fray which only makes JohnnyMac laugh and go elsewhere.

But just because you cheat at bingo, does not mean you're nutty. 

Then Mr. Grumpy told me I look like Carly Simon. I don’t but I said thank you. Then Mr. Grumpy told me Carly Simon is one of all-time favorite singers. I have some Carly Simon on my iPod so I agree with him. Then Mr. Grumpy tells me he has been writing letters to Carly Simon. Every week for decades. And decades. Then he told me he proposed to Carly Simon.

Just because you cheat at bingo, does not mean you're nutty. Actually being nutty makes you  nutty. 

I was as nice as I could be to Mr. Grumpy the rest of the day. Cheat at bingo and propose to Carly Simon all you want, Old Timer. When I am old, if I want to cheat at bingo,  and wear Jackie O glasses with Bo Derek braids, I don't need a little whippersnapper telling me otherwise.

But the sweetest woman of the day was Miss May. Miss May loved to play bingo and as she studied her cards, she came up short each round (primarily because of cheater pants.) But she kept with it.  And then, at the turn of the hour, Miss May got that critical B29 and yelled “SWEET JESUS, I WON.” Pure happiness over a simple game of bingo.

I adored Miss May.
And her SWEET JESUS.
And she never once cheated.
Or told me I look like Carly Simon.

79 comments:

the walking man said...

Mr. Cheater is the same guy the rest of the residents will beat senseless at midnight when the attendants are taking a nap. They will sneak into his room and give him an old folks blanket party.

ShellyInOz said...

Sweet Jesus, that story really made me smile!

Lovely.

Shelly at Tropical Mum

Matthew said...

Ah, but are you vain enough to think that this comment's about you? :)

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Fun post. I once took a girl to bingo on a third date. She loved it. Better still, because it was the first time she'd been, they gave her a free meal and drink - saving me £10. Bonus.
*Plentymorefishoutofwater - One Man's Dating Diary*

singedwingangel said...

I love older people, they can be so funny and set in their ways sometimes... and do stuff that we would never consider unless of course we were old too lol

Slamdunk said...

You all have hearts of gold.

I am thinking this scenario could have easily turned into an Adam Sandler movie if any of us mortal folks who could not have tolerated Mr. Grumpy's cheating.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Mr. Grumpy pants will never get on Miss. Mays good side cheating like that. McNutty.
Bo Derek braids. really?

My name is PJ. said...

First, he won't be able to find his eyeglasses.

Then, he will be shuffling down the hallway and suddenly trip and fall....never having seen the cane placed intentionally in his path.

Then his dentures will disappear from their glass during the night.

And then....

...what, did you think I was going to tell you how it ends? Get real!

mbkatc230 said...

Yep, I can't wait to be old enough not to give a rat's behind what people think. I'm sure he thought that comparing you to Carly Simon would make you amenable to being his cohort in crime. But the sweet little ladie's reaction to winning was priceless! Thanks for the smile this morning. Kathy

blueviolet said...

I hope I play bingo and that people write about me in their blog one day. Or not.

Simply Suthern said...

You just might want to pull the wig off ole Sweet Miss May. She is a Con lady. There is no B29 in Bingo. LOL She's Prolly shacking up with ole Mr. Grumpy after their big bingo heist.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Cute. I love it when old people get so excited.

Mr. Cheater probably gets his bed short sheeted a LOT.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Not that I play (or like) Bingo AT ALL, but I'm with Simply Suthern - there be no B29 ;)

Sweet Miss May was as big a cheater as Mr. Grumpy! Or maybe the caller was. I sense a conspiracy either way.

Have a great Monday, if that is even remotely possible!

Secretia said...

I will never be that old, I swear!

Secretia

Tracie said...

I shudder to think at how I will misbehave during my Golden Years.

Liza said...

I volunteer at a senior center. Now I wish we played Bingo.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Very telling personality of the old man. Having a mother in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and my father of 88, I've noticed as one gets older their true personality becomes 1000% more noticeable.

He clearly cheated and charmed his way throughout his life.

Isn't funny, if he were 35 or 40 years old acting this way, you'd probably think these traits to be sleazy, but old age seems to excuse people for bad behavior.

Eva Gallant said...

You are such a nice person to do that!

Mommy Lisa said...

Everyone likes Bingo.

Too bad for cheater-pants.

Aunt Juicebox said...

Aww, Miss may sounds lovely. :) And you were very kind to volunteer your time.

*uncorked said...

Also, I think it's great that you volunteer your time. I volunteer with a pediatric cancer foundation. Maybe I should switch it up every once in a while to work with old people. They have better stories.

*uncorked said...

Old people are so cute - even the grumpy ones. I don't know if you read a lot, but if you have read Water for Elephants, the descriptions of Jacob as an old man is how I like to think I'll be. He's sassy and funny and a bit grumpy. Actually, I'm pretty grumpy, usually sassy, and moderately funny now. Crap - maybe I'll turn nice?

The Boob Nazi said...

I want to play Bingo with old people!!!

Herding Cats said...

You kind of made me want to volunteer at the retirement center now! BINGO is one of my favorites.

Bossy Betty said...

My mom just moved into an assisted living facility. (It was her own idea to move but now she calls it "The Prison." Bingo is a very big deal there--cheaters, if discovered, would be dealt with by the women residents. Tell Mr. Cheater that next time.

Jules said...

I heard 'You're so Vain' this morning in the grocery. Had I known, I would have thought of you...

Kristin said...

I wish there were more Miss Mays in the world!

AmyLK said...

what a lovely day! Congrats to Miss May!

Kristina P. said...

They all need Snuggies!!

Linda said...

So Mr Cheater will get his in the end and Miss May won! Yeah. Sounds like a most interesting day!

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

Take a compliment any way we can get it. Carly Simon, rock it!
Sweet Jesus he said you looked like Carly Simon. :)

Stereos and Souffles said...

Maybe "You're So Vain" is about him!

Pricilla said...

Mr. Cheater has probably been cheating all of his life.

His kid is probably in prison.

Carly Simon probably has a restraining order out on him

Beware...he might just mow you down with his wheelchair.

I'm glad Miss May got to win one.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Sounds like a great way to spend a day. Miss May sounds awesome.

MsDarkstar said...

When I would visit my grandparents, a "big night out" was to go to the rec center (they lived in a trailer park that was 99% oldsters) for Bingo Night.

"Sweet Jesus, I won" is probably the best win phrase I've ever heard!

Jen said...

I think it's great that you volunteer on Saturdays, and drag JohnnyMac with you! This is something I would like to make a tradition in my house too.

Christiejolu said...

AWE! LOL! I am picturing this with the man from the movie UP. LOL! You were sweet to him though!

Carly Simon...

sharonheg said...

As a former "caller of BINGO" on a Psychatric unit:

A. I'm sure that Mr. Grumpy had a good time but it was at the loss of a bunch of people. Sometimes making a "winning rule" (it can vary. You can only win up to 2 games in a row, Win 5 for the day and you "retire", etc). If the other players didn't notice/care, then don't worry about it. But if someone was getting pissed that Mr. Grumpy was hogging all the winnings, it's something to keep in mind.

B. People like Miss May make it all worth while, doesn't it?

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

And how in the heck do you cheat at Bingo?

Give him a few more wins and he would've probably proposed to you! At least he wasn't grumpy while he was cheating!

ajm said...

SWEET JESUS, that's awesome! Totally laughing over here. :) Bingo is the best.

Salt said...

Aww I love Miss May too and I don't even know her. Grumpy McCheater on the other hand...I suppose he never got an answer to his proposal?

You know you COULD make his day by sending him an autographed picture of yourself. As Carly Simon of course.

SmartBear said...

Now I will be seeing clouds in my coffee...
Mr Cheater pants sounds a little pervy to me...

Myya said...

Old timers are so fun... well, when they aren't too grumpy! When my girls get a little older I want to adopt a grandparent. My friend does it through her church & her girls just love the time they spend with Opal.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

You are a doll!
<><

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

CHEATING??? How do you cheat at bingo? I didn't even know that was possible, and I have been cheating on board games (chutes n ladders, candyland, hungry hungry hippo) since I was a toddler (until I got caught cheating during 5th grade recess and was sent to the principal's office...)...

~Elizabeth
Confessions From A Working Mom

A Year on the Grill said...

sweet jesus what a fun story...

i would write more, but I have to go lie on the couch and watch sportscenter

Live.Love.Eat said...

I want to yell out BINGO!!!!!!!!! Too sweet how the little lady won and yelled out like that. Shame on Mr. Grumpy!

Yankee Girl said...

One of the benefits of being old is the ability to get away with anything!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I came here to make a "You're So Vain" joke but I see it's been done so instead I'll just sulk.

I want to be nutty as a Snickers when I'm old. I want to be one of those seventy year old eccentrics who insist on skydiving and acting like they're 25. And farting a lot. Because old people get to produce noises all they want and they're excused.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I don’t know why I thought that once competitive people reached retirement home age, they’d loose some of that have-to-win-at-any- cost drive. Obviously, that’s not true. Miss May, on the other hand, sounds like a gem. Both people seem like they’d be great characters for a novel.

The Blonde Duck said...

My aunt cheats on every game and giggles the whole time!

DeNae said...

You are a wonderful person, JM. Those old bingers and your young husband are all lucky to have you around!

The Warrior in ME said...

Ha- Miss May and you made me smile!

Mighty M said...

So did you see the gentleman with the Bratz backpack because the bingo hall is exactly where I pictured him heading with that! :)

Simply Mel said...

Sweet Jesus, this is what life is all about ~ happiness over the little things in life!

Existential Waitress said...

I love Carly Simon - I KNEW there was something about you that I liked... ;) That's awesome that you volunteer. the world needs more people like that.

Erin said...

I echo what DeNae said up there---you Macs are rock stars. I would love to volunteer like that (and I do volunteer in other ways), but since hubs' grandparents passed, I have a hard time being in assisted living facilities.

Great job.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

All I can say is THANK GOD it was a civilized retirement home. I used to help work bingo at a church and I still shudder when remembering the brawls that would break out over cheating. It was like World Wide Wrestling, but with a lot more canes.

Just Breathe said...

What a sweet, sweet story. Thank you for sharing it with me. You made me smile today!

drollgirl said...

SWEET JESUS! that is so cute!!!!

Eric said...

Why do the elderly love bingo and gambling so much? I swear I'd never seen my dad move as fast as when he was on the casino floor.

Also, is Carly related to Paul?

citymouse said...

Kudos to you and Johnny Mac for being so giving.

When I worked with my husband, I encountered a lot of elderly people. They can be the sweetest or the creepiest people you know. He does rounds at several nursing homes. There's always some old guy who insists on running down the halls naked. Never any women... the guys always seem to to be culprits. Horn dogs to the very end. (I hope they say that about me when I am old...hahaha.)

Melissa B. said...

Sweet Jesus, what a cute little old lady! This story of the grumpy old man reminds me of the book Like Water for Elephants. Priceless!

Lisa and Laura said...

Things I love about this post:

1. That you volunteer.

2. That you help (crazy) old folks play bingo.

3. Miss May.

4. Sweet Jesus!

Best. Post. Ever.

Leah Rubin said...

Wow, you are good in ways that really matter! What a lovely thing to do, and to be kind even to Mr. Grumpy-Cheater-Stalker. You better put a big gold star on your chart, lady. You earned it.

Cathi said...

That is a wonderful story. I volunteer weekly at assisted living homes and your story is very similar to alot of my experiences there...alot of grumpies and nutty and alot of sweet people. One of the grumpiest woman when I first started going is one of my best friends now, she is a sweetheart....you never know each week what you're going to get however...

foolish heart said...

Great post. I love the elderly, even the "grumpy pants" ones...

Ed said...

I love it.

Bingo + Old People = Awesome

Old people fucking ROCK!




Often in chairs.

Matty said...

This sounds familiar. My parents live in a retirement community in Florida. The stories they tell me about the "behavior" of old people makes you wonder just how "mature" they are.

J.J. said...

I would've ratted out Mr. Grumpy in a nanosecond. How much grumpier could he have gotten?

T!nK said...

AWWWWWWWW I love Miss May as well!

Possum said...

Classic!!

Alicia said...

awwww i want a miss may! i just love senior citizens! really i do...they're adorable! and bingo is my all time favorite game!!! i can't wait to be old :)

Simone said...

The Carly Simon part really made me laugh out loud Jenny, brilliant!! Writing to her....for decades....seriously!!??

Bless your heart for volunteering....and JohnnyMac too :)

"Actually being nutty makes you nutty"....love it!

M-Cat said...

I love old people and Miss May is now one of my fav's

Vivienne said...

It's a good thing you didn't crack down on Mr. Grumpy. His love for you, Carly, might have been eclipsed by his love for Bingo treats. Then it would've been trouble all around.

HalfAsstic.com said...

You know it could always be worse than Carly Simon. He could have said you looked like Janis Joplin.
.... "Sweet Jesus! I won!" How sweet is that?!

Intense Guy said...

Sounds like a grumpy John Hinkley and Jodie Foster...

How do you cheat in Bingo? I want to be ready... :)

Kato said...

You are a lovely, lovely woman JennyMac. You have the patience of an angel I tell you.

I would whispered to that old bugger to stop cheating this instant. And then told him that if he turned his frown upside down Carly Simon might have written back to him.

Too mean? :)