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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Childhood stuff #8 - Tele Bingo

I have writers' block today. I've been occupied with work/website related stuff, and in my spare time have been busy being far too hot.

When I was a kid (hang on, why do all my posts begin with me sounding like an old dear in a care home?) Now I've forgotten what I was going to sodding write.

When I was a kid, a hefty amount of my time was spent crossing numbers off a little plastic board -

This glamour encrusted spectacle was known as Tele Bingo, or Telly Bingo (which I think sounds like a dodgy used car salesman) or Colour Bingo. I was nearly an expert at this game, sometimes only being too slow to miss four or five numbers in an entire game. The Tele Bingo we frequented most was here, at BJ's amusement centre in Ingoldmells, sadly closed now -

Tele Bingo was ace because it only cost 10 or 20p a game, and you could win tokens which were saved up and exchanged for prizes. And everyone knows how much I love tokens.

It was pretty much a standard game of bingo. The numbers were called out, and also displayed on little television screens throughout the room. Each set of 20 numbers was given a corresponding colour (on the left was red, in case you were wondering). When your number was called, you crossed it off. This, I guess, is why kids were allowed, even welcomed - no messing about with bingo markers.

If you got a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line, or the four corners, you won. Sorry, let me rephrase that - YOU WON! 

Sometimes you had to press the 'claim' button when you won, and sometimes it was automatic, all done by computers and magic and shit. I much preferred the automatic versions - manual claiming could be damn tricky - you had to realise you'd won quickly enough. If you didn't, and you missed your win, the world was not big enough to hold your sorrow.

Mostly this was a 'me and my mum' activity, although my dad sometimes played too. However, even at casual seaside bingo the unwritten bingo rule applies - men are looked at a bit strange if they dare enter.

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