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Piece of Mind: He takes the prize for hanging in at fundraiser

May 02, 2012|By Carol Cormaci

Sizing up the competition, it occurs to me that one possible way to increase my chances of taking home a prize is to buy more bingo cards.

I flag down Sharlyn French. She's been roaming the aisles at the fundraiser for the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., which puts on this “Bingo BBQ” every year.

The basket she's lugging about the Thursday Club is heavy with game cards. We make a quick deal. For five bucks, I secure five extra bingo cards to monitor alongside the two we received when we walked in the door.

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If only my husband weren't so reluctant a player. He makes it clear he'd rather be at home on this Saturday night, nodding off on the couch. And he'd prefer I not buy extra bingo cards. He doesn't say as much, but a woman knows these things about her man.

She also knows when to overrule him. Our city's Rose Parade float is something worthy of whatever support we can manage to eke out, right?

Gil didn't specifically tell me not to spend any money on raffle tickets, but he has a way of wincing when he sees me engaged in the practice that lessens the thrill.

Nonetheless, I'm on a mission. I send him to the clubhouse patio to buy us beverages from the bar set up there, track his moves to make sure he doesn't see what I'm up to, then pounce on one of the volunteers selling raffle tickets. She's all too happy to sell me 18 tickets.

By the time Gil returns to the table with our drinks, I have our bingo cards lined up and raffle tickets piled high.

Oh, and the door prize tickets we received when we arrived are there too, just waiting for their numbers to be called. Gil has a pained looked in his eyes, but still says nothing.

He perks up when dinner is called, and loads his plate at the buffet table that's laden with barbecued goodness.

The meal may have redeemed me for having dragged him out of the comfort of home, I think to myself. But no sooner is his plate empty than I see him checking his watch. How much longer does he have to stick it out?

Finally, the main event gets underway. In between games, raffle and door prizes are awarded, none of them to us. About 90 minutes later, one of our lucky seven cards hits bingo.

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