Monday, March 25, 2013


Austin Whaley  an 18-year-old Kentuckian has been banned from saying the word “BINGO” for six months.

The former security guard at the Covington Bingo Hall wascharged with second-degree disorderly conduct after he falsely shouted out Bingo. Not only did he incur the wrath of the police and loose his job…he pissed off a building full of elderly women who turned on him.

In his defense, he said the bingo hall was a public place and he could yell out anything he wanted.

People take their Bingo very seriously, as I Learned in 1987, while calling a game of Mariner’s Radio Bingo from the studios of CFGN in Port Aux Basque. A ball had dropped on the floor, I placed it on the rack without calling it.  I learned a lesson in focus that afternoon when the Jackpot went. I thought half the people populations was  going to take me out.

As a young fella, my neighbor Edith was a Bingo addict. She never missed a game, always wore the same lucky hat and was deadly serious about her game. One evening she asked if I wanted to tag along. She instructed me to pay attention, stay focused and not to shout Bingo unless I was absolutely sure I had one.

In those days Bingo was played in the old school auditorium. You could hear a pin drop as the balls bounced around, blown by the air in the bingo machine. The cards were heavy with shutters – no dabbers in those days. Edith allowed me three cards. That was enough for me to manage, she had twelve!

I won that night, a postage stamp! The elderly ladies grumbled and groaned about it. It seemed everyone begrudged everyone else’s winnings.

I never went back, the pressure was too much. The fear of making a mistake made me way too anxious. 

Austin might have made it out alive had he pulled that stunt in our old school auditorium

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