Five Signs You're Hooked On Bingo

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Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Fighting the cravings. Having funny thoughts. The sweats. Nightmares. All sound like symptoms of the World Cup ending, or missing an episode of Coronation Street. As an aside, perhaps there should be a soap opera World Cup, rather than leaving it to the professional footballers each time. After all, who wouldn’t get a thrill from seeing Phil Mitchell stick one past Ken Barlow? It’s what television was made for.

If you’re still with us, you might wonder what’s going on, or be concerned we’re experiencing a delusion of some sort. Well, you’d be right, but it’s all for show. We’re just keeping in character you see, and acting like we imagine someone with an addiction might because, of course, we’re a long way off being hooked on bingo. Oh no, not us. We can take it or leave it. However, there are some dead giveaways that mean you’re playing too much bingo. Alas, such a thing is possible, so let us avert that danger by introducing you to them.

#1 – You call your children Legs Eleven and Four Corners.

I mean, who would do such a thing? Perhaps you wouldn’t, but there’s nothing stopping anyone from legally changing their name, once they reach the age of consent, to anything they like – just look here for some examples.  But there are less engineered but no less unlikely names, such as the father of footballers Phil and Gary Neville having the dubious honour of being so good they named him twice, given that his own parents opted for the only name they should have avoided. That’s right, he’s called Neville Neville. Or how about North West, progeny of Kanye and Kim, who takes after a compass point? Here’s hoping she makes friends with South East at kindergarten, or doesn’t once in her life ask for directions from a stranger.

#2 – You eat nothing but bingo related food.

Gala bingo have an enviable menu of old favourites, so you won’t realise if you’re in the local Harvester or down the bingo hall again. That sounds like a good ruse to us, one not too dissimilar to the techniques Las Vegas casinos have to make you stay in one for as long as possible. So long as there’s cheesecake involved though, we’re not too bothered where we are, or how long we’ve been there. The same can’t be said for poor old Traction Man though. He was so turned off by the hospital food he was served as a result of suffering a rare bone infection that he resorted to playing Hospital Food Bingo with the indistinguishable dishes served to him. He’d have been better off spending all that time down the bingo hall, eating great food and having fun, but being unable to walk for a while put paid to that.

#3 – You say only the word 'bingo'.

A bit far fetched even for us this one, as life would become impossible really quite quickly. Let us set the scene. One morning you run out of milk, so wander down to your local shop, like you’ve done countless times before. The shopkeeper enquires: ‘Ah, Mrs. Farnsworth, how nice to see you. What can I do for you?’ To which you reply: ‘Bingo bingo bingo bingo bingo bingo bingo’, which in your mind sounds just like ‘I’d like a pint of milk please’. The transaction cannot continue, and you cannot moisten your cereal, for there is more at play here than mere crossed wires. Actually, this phenomena has happened before, but in the no less strange world of make believe. In 1969, Eric Sykes and Harry Secombe starred in a short film called Rhubarb, in which only the title word was spoken. Think we’re pulling your leg? Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb (Just go and watch it then).

#4 – You use old bingo cards as wallpaper.

Ever wondered why your favourite neighbours suddenly stopped coming round for tea, and seem unwilling to even wave at you anymore? You’re not imagining them giving you funny looks, as they really are looking at you funny. They think you deserve it, but we don’t. The last time they were round, having a nice Gala bingo inspired dinner before relaxing with a game of Hospital Food Bingo to unwind afterwards, their eye caught sight of something it cannot forget. No, not your sofa, but your wallpaper choice. It’s bad enough you’ve held on to all those cards from all those games in all those different places, but did you really have to plaster them on all your walls? It’s hardly going to get Grand Designs round, is it? But nevermind that, at least you’re happy, and as wrapped up in bingo as it’s possible to me, for reminders of it surround you. Just don’t expect an invite to the Neighbourhood Watch committee, for they’re all too busy watching what you’ll get up to next.

#5 – You call Christmas Day 'Bingo Day'.

Now, December 25th is a day quite apart from any other, unless you eat too much and fall asleep on the sofa, half drunk and fully stuffed, before 5pm every day. We’d know nothing about that of course, but ordinary behaviour is supposed to go out the window on Christmas Day. But for a bingo obsessive like you and, let’s face it, us as well, we turn our noses up at any gift that’s not bingo related. Socks? Fine, so long as they’ve got the word ‘bingo’ stitched in them. Another wallet? That’s fine too, so long as it’s got the word ‘bingo’ stitched into it. Another pet rabbit? That’s fine, so long as it’s got the word ‘bingo’ sewn into it. You get the picture. The gifts must be bingo related, and the conversation must be centred around bingo. There will be no playing charades, as it gets in the way of another round of bingo. Pause for the Queen’s speech? So long as it doesn’t take too long, but we’ll forgive her if she’s playing bingo as well, or looks like she might be thinking about bingo. Don't forget to stuff the turkey with bingo either. It tastes much better that way.

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