It was Saturday night, and again, my wife dragged me to... okay, I'll be honest. She didn't drag me, in fact, I drove her and her sister to what they call "A Feather Party" in this neck of the woods aka NW Ohio.
What is a feather party? It's a night of bingo with the chance of winning either a frozen turkey or a frozen chicken. It works like this: You win a bingo and are the only person to have a bingo - you get a turkey. But, if more than one person yells bingo, then all the winners get chickens.
Now, we're not talking about a 30 pound turkey or 12 pound chickens. We're talking the little ones. You know, where the turkey is a whopping 12 to 14 pounds and the chickens are killers at 5 pounds.
It's for charity. The Lion's Club in West Unity, Ohio (and several other nearby communities) have this event to raise funds. One year I think three or four of the clubs all had it on the same night - and nobody but the players won. Each club had just a few players. Nowadays the clubs coordinate with each other and decide which day they will have their feather party. There were probably close to 300 people there on Saturday night.
So, why do I go? I normally play one board of bingo... BUT they have great food. Sandwiches, soups, chips, crackers, pop or water and oooooh, such a selection of desserts.
Bingo starts at 6pm. If you're not there by 4:30pm, seating can get a little gamey. We arrived 4:35pm and was able to find an open cluster of empty chairs for the group to sit. GROUP? Yes, this is a family affair. My mother-in-law has attended this function since its inception except for the last two years. When you consider she is 102 yrs old, that woman has been going to this for a long time. They miss her. But, a couple of her daughters (my wife is one of them), a couple of my sons, some of my grandchildren, some nieces and nephews -- we can go from 10 to as high as 25 or 30, depending on who shows. Last night was a slow night, only 11 people.
Now, why the title of "The $62 Turkey" and what does it mean?
Last year, the caller's wife participated as a bingo player. She had a couple of her grandchildren and was paying for their games. You can play more than one board but each board costs $.25 each per game. She finally won a turkey but as he admitted, it cost $62 for that 12 pound, 11 ounce turkey. He could have bought that same turkey for under $15 or gotten a really big one for about $27.
Last night, my wife and I spent a whopping $35 and won -- Nada! Nothing! No turkey or chicken. As a consolation, we did, indeed, win door prizes. My wife got a red platter, 4 stone coasters and a bag of Dum Dum lollipops. My son won something and a bag of candy circus peanuts which he gave to me. I won a glamour Barbee doll and a bag of Dum Dum lollipops. The guy sitting next to me left early and gave me his door prize number and if he'd had stayed, would have won a child's plastic golf bag w/ a putter, 2 clubs, and 3 golf balls. Also, a glow-in-the-dark child's fishing rod and fishes. I got to claim them. Did we win the big door prize. Yeah, right. Like I'd have a chance of winning the robotic vacuum, the solid cherry wood book shelf unit, the proof set of silver coins or the weekend stay at the local Holiday Inn. Remember me? The guy would couldn't win a bingo game?
Overall, it was a fun night, met some new people and had a great time. Can't say I didn't win anything but then again, EVERYONE won a door prize of some sort.
Sometimes Lady Luck is standing behind you and whispering in your ear. Other times, she has just finished beating the crap out of you and is sitting on you. I guess I could have tried for that $62 turkey but would it have tasted that much better? I doubt it and I'm not spouting sour grapes.
I guess I should take the opportunity of spending an evening with the family and friends together as a good thing and forgetting the idea of losing money. Plus, I was able to outline more of a novel, and get most of this written, too. I spent $35 and had a blast - I'd call that an even return... maybe even a better deal.
Until next I ramble on...