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What Goes On Behind This Computer ;-)

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Last week, (2/10/03), Bob and I went on a cruise, for the first time in twenty years. You know what they always say, "And a great time was had by all?"  

Yeah, it was a great time.  

From 1985 to 1993, I worked Bingo for the local Catholic school our sons attended. I ordered supplies and made sure the drawers were set to go each week.  

However, I never played Bingo. Felt too much like a busman's holiday, I guess.  

On Tuesday, aboard the Majesty of the Seas, Bob suggested we play. Well, it was either that, or watch The Bourne Identity in Portuguese, so we went up to the A Chorus Line Lounge, where Bingo was being held.  

Did you ever have a really strong, positive feeling? I *knew* I was going to win, I just *knew* it, and I did! Three tote bags from the ship's gym were raffled off. The tote bag contained a towel, tee shirt, hat, sippy bottle, and for good measure, they tossed in about a kazillion Majesty key rings!  

Not quite what you were expecting, hmmm?  

Well, Thursday evening there was going to be one final Bingo for the Snowball jackpot. This was the major pot, which had accumulated during the entire trip and had not been won. Usually, they called 49 numbers, and an entire square on a card needed to be filled.  

The whole pot was riding on this one, last game.  

Let me tell you about these cards. The big ones contained six squares, the small ones contained three. Instead of using magic marker dots or chips to mark the numbers called, you just bent it backward.  

There was no really positive feeling this time, so I was just going along for the ride; it killed half an hour. No big deal. Of course, when someone behind us called out Bingo quite early in the game, I said, "Darn!"  

The gentleman rushed up to one of the crew and proudly presented his card.  

"Um, sir? You need to have the whole square filled, not simply just one row. Sorry."  

All right! The game wasn't over yet! I started to get excited as more and more numbers on my card were filled in.  

And then another gentleman called out Bingo. I said, "*Darn*!"  

Only it wasn't a valid Bingo. It was what they called a Bongo. One of the numbers bent backward *hadn't* been called yet!  

Happy puppy wriggling. The game wasn't over!  

Now we're talking dry mouth, edge of the seat, nail-biting tension. We were coming down to the wire.  

The lady crew member who was calling the numbers said, "Old Betsy," (the machine that spat out the balls), "makes a lot of noise. So if you have Bingo, shout it loud, shout it proud, do a happy dance."  

By now, a couple of my squares had only one number left to go. The number 59 featured prominently. "Fifty-nine. Fifty-nine. Fifty-nine!" I  chanted feverishly under my breath.  

She looked up, smiled sweetly, and said, "Fifty…"  

Talk about cruel and unusual!  


I bounced up out of my seat, shouting, "*Bingo*! I've got *BINGO*!!!!!" Not only doing a happy dance, but a happy, *Snoopy* dance. Nothing like making a total fool of oneself.  

Three of us walked down to claim the prize. Two of us had valid cards.  

::bowing modestly:: I was one of them.  

Did I mention this was a great trip?