Hit or Miss

No Bingo!

Jeff and I had very different upbringings. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s because of regional or class differences.

Tonight we saw a commercial for KMart tonight that referenced the “blue light special.” I asked Jeff if he remembered as a child hearing the KMart manager get on the loudspeaker to announce a Blue Light Special for the next 10 minutes. You’d search the store for the little cart with the flashing blue light on a pole. I’m pretty sure I remember the store manager being there and handing out lollipops to kids who found the blue light. Jeff said he never shopped at KMart growing up (but didn’t think there were any around him).

Anyway, we saw that commercial during the new National Bingo Night game show, which I made Jeff watch/play with me (I printed out a bunch of cards online). My mom used to be a huge bingo fanatic, and I went a couple of times with her after I turned 18 (the legal age for bingo players in Alabama). Jeff laughed at me as I folded the printouts over to consolidate my row of cards, Crayola marker at the ready as a makeshift dauber. The only thing I was missing was a line of troll dolls for good luck. I came pretty close, but “No Bingo!”

I love Jeff’s mom, but I know she’s never seen the inside of a Bingo hall…

9 responses so far (Respond)

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No Kmart in New York City until at LEAST the late 90’s therefore no blue light memories for me either.

…bingo?

Luke | 19 May 2007
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I always thought that bingo would be too kitsch for my taste, but the first time I went in Chicago, I loved it. Having it hosted by charity drag nuns here in SF is even better. 🙂

Jason | 20 May 2007
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I remember occasionally going as a child to bingo with my mother and her friend. In Buffalo, New York and the surrounding area bingo was an extremely common and popular game. Even though I was too young to play for money, I would get my own cards and play along. At the places we went, they had actual (i.e. non-paper) cards with little plastic sliders to cover the numbers.

David July | 20 May 2007
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I am obsessed with the ABC bingo night promo since they started showing it, and the “NO BINGO!” guy in particular. You’re the top Google hit for a search on the phrase “no bingo,” for which you can and should be proud.

My wife and I are transplants from Texas in California, and I like how this whole bingo theme that’s developed in my life the last few days is connecting up with people’s memories of bingo and Blue Light Special days gone by.

Dave | 21 May 2007
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I *loved* me some blue light specials growing up! (Although I don’t remember the lollipops at the various Tennessee K-Marts I frequented.) Southerners, represent!

Chris | 26 May 2007
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No K-Mart in Manhattan, maybe, but the Staten Island K-Mart was a regular fixture of my childhood years

Sparky | 30 May 2007
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It’s just occurred to me that there’s at least one K-Mart in Manhattan: at Penn Station. I haven’t checked them for blue light specials, though. 🙂

Chris | 30 May 2007
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Oh GAWD! Bingo was “de rigeur” at ALL the Catholic churches in NJ, and as far as I know still is. In HS my lesbo-jewish buddy kept trying to get me to go to bingo at our church everytime we’d get stoned and tooling around town in her little VW bug. It was mortifying, I would rather be caught wearing a brown belt with black shoes than venture into my own parish basement to play BINGO with the crazy, tackily attired old ladies who’d be staring at us like the couple of stoned queers we so obviously were.

Bill | 17 Aug 2007
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@Bill Ha! very true – There were no Kmarts in my town, the churches were the only places we could play bingo when we were growing up, it was never free though! I think all the funds went to paying for flowers and cleaning :s fun though!

Simon | 11 Mar 2011