Bill Brown bio photo

Bill Brown

A complicated man.

Twitter Github

Just got back from a midnight bingo session. Yes, it really is this late. I’ll use this entry to reflect on what bingo means to me. Umm, absolutely nothing!

The wife loves it, so I—being a good husband—go ahead and play the mindless game with her. I will grant that it’s cheaper than slots, lasts a lot longer, and provides a fixed amount that you’ll lose—all features that I like in any gambling I do. However, it’s still gambling and I don’t like gambling because the odds are so heavily stacked against you.

Stacked odds are no big thing. We opened a pottery studio with the odds stacked against us. I got married at 18 and clawed my way up my particular corporate ladder against substantial obstacles. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge.

But bingo and the gambling games like it are designed for most players to lose consistently and they provide no real way to change the odds. You get a fixed card and the only skill required is to keep up with the caller. Slot machines take your money, spin some dials, and you win or lose based on where those dials stop. Can you pull the lever differently to affect the outcome? Nope, it’s all chance. Those are the sorts of games I can’t stand. Poker and blackjack at least allow you to use strategy to plan your moves and actions. Not that I’d ever play either because you can also lose really big.

So I play it reluctantly, only for the experience of being with my wife and watching her enjoy herself. Oh, and I like to crack jokes while I’m there. Oh, and there’s free soda. I try to drink back my losses, but I’m afraid that I’m still not breaking even on that front.