Ever been to bingo at a church hall with mean old ladies who bring their own ink blotters? It’s intense. There are barely any voices or sounds heard—just the emotionless drone of the caller, the spinning of the ball cage, and the shuffle of tennis-ball-bottomed walkers on the wood floors. That’s not what it’s like at Murray Hill and Linda Simpson’s long-running Monday Night Bingo. This downtown comic duo is one of a handful of gamers who have tapped into a young, fabulous, and mostly gay collective desire for this game of chance in recent years. Simpson has extended her reign to the occasional Eastern-European-themed Bingo-ski at the Ukrainian National Home, drag restaurant Lips regularly hosts Bitchy Bingo, and West Village restaurant Paradou is home to Dirty Bingo. But Monday Night Bingo is a particularly successful—and somewhat surreal—event, packing Bowery Poetry Club each week to capacity with young’uns hoping to collect on some of the weirdest swag imaginable. Does a ceramic zebra-printed platform shoe with fake flowers growing from it, as one regular recently scored, tickle your fancy? Old ladies wouldn’t know what hit ’em. Mondays at 7:30.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 21, 2009
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