just like going to church

Going to gay bingo is exactly like going to church. OK, maybe church doesn’t have as many drag queens, but they have ladies in way too much makeup and really big hair, so there’s no visible difference. The drag queens are good at tucking. There’s singing and clapping and waving your hands in the air, and standing up at the appointed times. Sure, at gay bingo, you yell “O-69!” when you stand up, which I haven’t heard a lot in church, but the sentiment is sort of like “amen”, in a way. Gay bingo even has nuns. And the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are there to provide support and comfort, and to make me very jealous of their jeweled eyelids. And church just about invented the idea of playing bingo on a Saturday night.

Just as in church, you hug and kiss everyone around you, even if they are all total strangers. And everyone is welcome at gay bingo, even straight people. This exactly like some churches, although others, not so much. Church tends to be a little more hardcore about its conversion attemps. At gay bingo, they tend to more have the attitude of “well, I don’t know the heck you’d want to be straight, but OK. Carry on then. We’re here if you need someone to talk to about giving up those odd straight ways.” Someone sent a note to Miss Glamazonia: “I’m a straight woman, but you turn me on. What does this mean?” She sent him over a calendar of gay men to keep things confusing.

The most frightening point of the evening came when Miss Intermission, looking deceptively harmless in her pink prom dress, started hurling candy in the crowd. Hard candy. Lollypops with sticks that could definitely poke someone’s eye out. It was like a scene from The Birds as everyone scattered for cover and tried protecting their heads with their hands. Fortunately, Miss Intermission can’t throw very far, and we were mostly safe. Although she came by later and handed me a button with a pin in the back that I put in my pocket and forgot about until later when I started wondering what it was that was causing my leg such great pain. Maybe they should call her Miss Bringer of Terror and Torture, although that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Gay bingo is more popular than church generally is. You have to reserve a table in advance if you want to be assured of a seat. We had a table of eight, and someone in our group even got a bingo. This someone was not me. No, I am not bitter even though my thong speedo-wearing construction worker dauber leaked blue ink all over my hand and I got it on my head and someone started talking about how hot someone was and I thought, hey, maybe my hair doesn’t look so bad after all. And then I realized he was talking about the dauber.

The girls at the next table leaned over. “You sound a little bitter.” They were smoking candy cigarettes. And probably laughing at the blue ink on my forehead. But they were really nice about it. My friend E. offered to spit-wipe it off for me. She’s just that good of a friend.

You’re supposed to dress in costume, although the theme was Freaky Friday, so we didn’t feel we had much to work with. We’re definitely dressing up for Reject Barbie Night though. With this big blue ink smear on my forehead, I’m already halfway there.

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