We are bad at bingo. That should not be possible, but somehow we swung it.
When a couple of our grungier Montreal friends invited us out for “Monday Night Drag Queen Bingo” we were obviously intrigued. Having no idea what to expect we hopped in an Uber and drove to Notre Dame Des Quilles, a dimly lit, slightly grubby bar/taco joint hybrid that looks 100% closed from the outside. Our friends canceled last minute, so we were left to enter the bar alone, squirming under the unabashed stares of the regular patrons. Seriously – everyone gawked at us. We’re not really sure why we received such attention. It’s like the mainstream radiates off of us in unforgivable, obtrusive waves. Is it really that obvious that we are super lame drag queen bingo virgins?
We shuffled over to a table, ordered some tacos, and tried to look inconspicuous, like we too were regular attendees. I’m pretty sure we failed, considering we were openly observing the room and discussing the various eccentricities (and I was taking pictures like a total tourist).
The place was fairly empty, the quiet hum of conversation dulled by intensely morose 40s jazz music that was drifting from a nearby vintage speaker (which was, upon further inspection, plugged into a Mac Air that was streaming a youtube playlist called “40s Jazz”). The host of bingo night, an outrageously-dressed drag queen named Connie, tottered around on sky-high heels, her long blond hair trailing behind her, selling the bingo cards. One card for $2, four for $3.
This is where it gets embarrassing. The bingo game began and we were immediately confused. We had spent the big bucks on four cards but were now faced with the dilemma of not knowing which cards we were supposed to mark. Or were we supposed to mark all of them? (I realize these questions sound ridiculously simple, but we were legitimately confused and Connie wasn’t forthcoming with the instructions as she assumed we didn’t need them. Well, we sure proved her wrong). We stumbled through the first round baffled by how complicated this game was (“which one do I blot? which one? which one??”), and decided to just mark every card at the same time, because why the hell not?
Suddenly, in a cinematic twist worthy of our night’s dramatic soundtrack, Connie called the final number we both needed! We both shouted bingo together and proudly presented our heavily blotted sheets, beaming that it had all worked out in the end and itching to collect our prizes. But, alas, bingo bested us again: we had both misheard the number called (en francais, so maybe we have a bit of an excuse?), and had actually not won. Connie handed us back our sheets with an apologetic smile, probably wondering if we are really that stupid.
Yes, Connie, I’m sad to say we really are. We’ll see ourselves out.
Lessons learned from Drag Queen Bingo Night:
(1) Bingo is complicated and should not be attempted by amateurs (aka Sam and Kelly). Let’s leave it to the masters at the senior homes, folks.
(2) We should probably get out more… Bingo night should definitely not be this stressful.
(3) Tacos make everything better.