Pamplin Media Group – RURAL REFLECTIONS: All about B-I-N-G-O

Pamela Loxley Drake marvels at the endurance and versatility of a simple game.

WITH KIND PHOTOS - Pamela Loxley DrakeA children’s song became a song. Most of us learned to spell bingo before we could spell anything else. I mean who didn’t love a song about a dog!? And one with a funny name.

It’s a bit like Mr. Bojangles. Well, maybe not. My head sometimes puts together things that work in my head but not on paper. So back to the dog.

Have you ever wondered what color the dog might be? I envisioned a white one with one black eye and tail. And again I get lost. Bingo.

The song started with a mug of grog – maybe. A drinking song that began in the 17th century. At the end of each verse there was a drink. I guess quite a few singers ended up in their cups before the song was over.

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Ah, then it became a children’s song. Perhaps “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” will become popular as a children’s counting song.

However, I seem to be wandering off topic, which is not unusual for me. This is really about the game of bingo. A game we learn as children. A game that seems to captivate many adults, taking them to the dens of bingo parlors and numerous cards. BA = bingoaholics.

i love bingo June and I talked about how much we loved playing it when we were kids on the farm.

The old fat cards were very simple. My husband, Loren, asked if we would use paste. A blank expression covered my face, as did my sister’s who was on Skype with me. hmm Dauber.

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June answered and said we used corn, a memory that had escaped me. I guess we had a lot of those, so why not?

It seems that now you can play Small Time Bingo and win $50 to $300. In some places, including Vegas, you can win $1,000 to $10,000.

If I remember correctly, I only played in an arena once and won a prize: a giant green sponge. Honestly, an oversized green sponge. Ah, that was my victory.

The advances in bingo have been exceptional. Now you can pull a small plastic tab over the number instead of putting a token on the spot.

The twins are playing auto bingo. They look for signs and other miscellaneous things as we drive down the road. There are many variations. I prefer playing with them.

It’s time to get back to the fun of bingo. If you sing along, you can also have a drinking game. Cards can be printed from the web, and then come with your own tokens.

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I refuse to use the dauber. You cannot reuse the card!

Corn. Yes, I choose corn.

There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name – oh yes.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and describes herself as a lifelong “farm girl”. You can reach them at This email address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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