BINGO

I once did community service at a retirement home. It was one hell of an experience. There were a few moments that really stood out to me that I will never forget. Some people I will also never forget. For example, I remember when I was designated to run the BINGO game. A job I was not ready to handle. You’d think, “announce the numbers for a Bingo game, that’s not so bad.” WRONG. These old people wanted nothing to do with me. You would have thought I was the grim reaper. I remember starting off with, “hello everyone, my name’s Ryan.” No one acknowledged a word I said. They just stared at me. I continued with, “haha is this thing on?” Someone in the back who wasn’t even looking at me said, “what’d he say?” I repeated, “I said is this thing on, am I right?” Someone in the front replied, “make sure it’s plugged in.” The whole point of my joke was completely lost. I went on to start announcing the numbers. I called out 10 different combinations of letters and numbers. More than enough for someone out there to have a Bingo card filled out. No one said anything. I asked, “no one here has Bingo?” WHAT’D HE SAY.

After that I was asked to never do Bingo again. Instead they promoted/downgraded me to Bowling. That’s right. Bowling. I was in charge of setting up the bowling pins and creating a makeshift bowling lane. Let me tell you, whoever decided that bowling was a good exercise for the elderly is an absolute lunatic. Even though these bowling balls are basically rubber dodge-balls,  these people have no strength. I watched as person after person rolled up in their wheelchair and hurled their bowling ball down the lane. Every time the ball would slowly roll up to the pins and stop. Eventually  I started waiting at the end of the lane and would exaggeratedly knock the pins over when the ball rolled into them. I would yell BOOM! and knock all the pins over by sliding across the floor into them. One old man would throw the ball, get the strike, and then pump his fist. The older crowd loved it.  The administration,  however, did not. They asked, “you’re telling me that every one of these people rolled a perfect game?” I informed them that this was correct and that every one of them must have been Roy Munson back in their day. I was downgraded again. Keep in mind, this was volunteer work. Now I was in charge of delivering gold fish crackers to people. As I gave the crackers to one woman she asked, “Justin, why wasn’t I invited to the wedding?” I didn’t know what to say. She just stared at me. Prior to this the administration told me that if a person starts telling you a story just go along with it. This is what I told. “I’m sorry mom. We actually called the wedding off. It wasn’t working out.” She smiled, “I never liked her anyway.” We both laughed. To the right a female voice said, “WHAT’D SHE SAY!?” We both turned to see her son Justin and his wife. Someone from the other room yells, “BINGO!”

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