Tuesday, April 8, 2008

And Bingo was his name-O

My good friend and fellow slave driver ~A~ and I are taking another Carriage Tribe Field Trip. Once again we are heading north to the Potato Curtain because it’s time to visit Wease. The last visit was the “Canoe Trip from Hell” on the Bear River. That’s where I messed up my finger.

Crap. I forgot that I’m supposed to say it happened in a bar fight. Oh well, cats out of the bag.

(For those of you trying to pinpoint the Potato Curtain on a map here’s a hint: It’s the Idaho/Utah border.)

Wease moved north to the Cache Valley to fulfill her life’s ambition of taking large chunks of cheese and cutting them into small chunks of cheese then wrapping them in various brand name packages. Wease is livin’ the dream.

Actually, the Cache Valley, and specifically the view from Wease’s front porch, is breath taking. I have done some of my best writer-thinkin’ on her porch. Some of my best drinkin’, too. The most magical moment of the day begins on that porch, wrapped in a sleeping bag, drinking coffee, and watching the sun come up. Something in your soul warms and blooms.

Several years ago, after Stace left our tribe to fulfill her dream of joining the circus Air Force, Wease moved 110 miles north, found a cute old house, and a job. Five months or so after she left we decided it was time for a visit. She is, after all, still a member of our tribe. Wease, like Stace, is just on walkabout right now. Just like in the Godfather: Every time they get out we pull them back in again…

Anyway we went for a social call, five of us girls. ~A~, Oli, Shel, Me, and Bill. Bill is an honorary one of the girls. After we had a few cocktails we moved on to the Elks Lodge in Preston, Idaho. Including Wease, we were a party of six. We effectively doubled the population in the Bingo hall upon arrival.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about the bingo players at the Elks Lodge in Preston, Idaho. Our first clue should have been the “Rascals” lined up like Harleys in front of the entrance. These folks are as serious as a heart attack when it comes to Bingo. Jumping into that hot spring bingo pond is like jumping into a tank of ravenous, gray haired sharks armed with ink daubers. Watch the board and your card like a hawk, because if you call a false “Bingo!” in this crowd you can expect to be dragged ‘round back, beaten and slashed within an inch of your life by thugs using canes and AARP cards.

They do, however, love us because we have no idea what we’re doing and are usually too lit up to care. We buy full packets of cards ($15.00, thank you) rounds of drinks, order Pizza’s to be delivered, and tip very well. We spend a lot of money to support their organization and the most we’ve won was $8.00 and a coffee cup with a dauber inside. ~A~, of course, won that. She wins everywhere.

The last time we went, when it was just Wease, ~A~ & myself, it was a player’s birthday. She got to sit in a chair that looked like a throne and eat cake; I wish I could say I was kidding. Another woman sat between ~A~ and me. She offered to help us, and she was a tremendous help even as she spent the night passing loud and noxious gas continously.

Wease was the winner that night. She sat on the opposite end of the table.

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