bartop bingo

Our inaugural bingo night was a blast. OK, so we ran out of cards at 6:40 and markers long before that — an unfortunate oversight that had me scrambling for pennies, lapel pins, goldfish crackers, bottlecaps, and just about anything else that would sit on a card. Some enterprising gamers improvised their own markers out of ripped-up scraps of napkin, a strategy that proved unstable when the A/C kicked in and left the back room looking like the aftermath of a mildly raucous confetti party.

back room bingo

Also, I understand (after the fact) that the promised veggie dogs failed to materialize. Apparently they don’t sell them at Restaurant Depot. We will do some more research and try our best to provide some sort of tubular vegetarian grillable next week.

Henry wins again!

Still, despite such challenges, everyone was in high spirits. Especially our winners young Henry– who hit it big with a plain old line and, later, both an “H”  and an “I” in the “crazy H” round — and Jen, who bingo-ed on the blackout round, after winning TWO earlier games to boot, and took home the grand prize of one big ol’ bag of produce from lovely Irv and Shelly. I swear, it wasn’t rigged. 

Lawrence and Jen check the winning card.

Henry, Jen, and our third winner, whose name I missed, also took home bars of chocolate, jars of honey from City Hall’s rooftop apiary, bottles of hot sauce made from Humboldt Park peppers, a superpretty jar of pickles from the Hull-House Kitchen, and a plant of indeterminate species. All of the above came courtesy of our partners at NeighborSpace. We raised $250 on Wednesday so that they can help you, the citizens of Chicago!, preserve and cultivate your neighborhood gardens. (Insert exhortatory soliloquy on civic pride and community investment and planting the seeds of democracy here. Where the hell is Tim when you need him?)


Our caller Lawrence Peters worked the mic like the pro he is, especially as he was also, it turns out, a bingo virgin. Thanks Lawrence! You are the best. And a virgin no more.

Also, a loud shout-out to the fab Sheila Sachs, who graciously loaned us her classy bingo rig for the duration. Who else would have bingo cards apparently stolen from Hatch Show Print? Thanks, She!

happy bingo girls

Next week: More cards! More markers! More vegetarian food!

And, stepping up to the bingo mic–allegedly straight from O’Hare, which is already making me anxious–the lovely and talented Amy Lombardi.

We will see you there, then.

Jennifer and Irma


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