Gather around, all ye lads and lasses, while I tell you the glorious tale o’ Cis4Connie and her adventures into the Irish County o’ Milwaukee to attend a festival o’ the Irish and how she triumphed miraculously in the yearly tradition o’ the BINGO.
(I’ll quit it with the o’s if you keep reading, promise.)
So, every year my family makes the great trek up to Milwaukee for the GREATEST fest known to man, also known as Irish Fest. We’ve been going since I was born and if you ask my parents they’ll tell you the story of how when I was two they dragged me up there and a horrific flood occurred and apparently I floated away on an arc or something. Having attended the Fest 20 something years in a row, you’d THINK we’d make it there, oh, I don’t know, say before 4:21 pm? But no, we didn’t. That’s ok though b/c we wanted to stay til the 10pm concert and I learned my lesson last year that drinking from noon til 10 with a million Irish people around you is quite tiring. Anywho, it was awesome. Why? Because the Irish beat everyone in music, tradition, stories, merchandise, and beer (notice, I didn’t say food, I loves me some corned beef but other than that it’s just potatoes and stew). Ohhh, the beer. If it wasn’t for the fact that sister is in charge of my beer coupons (pronounced ‘couppin’s’, like ‘toppin’s’) I’d be crawling around the grounds in search of my lost golden tickets. We have our trip down pat and it starts out as follows:
1. Enter fairgrounds (preferably before dinnertime?)
2. Buy lots of couppins (and note where the stand is so we can go back and get more)
3. BINGO tent!
Which is where my tale begins. For the past couple of years we’ve been frequenting this tent because, well because its freakin’ BINGO and who doesn’t love the game? But every year we waste most of our money to no avail and then have to console ourselves with beer. (well, I do, sister watches idly by dreaming of Fest 2010 when she’ll be of age).
But because we are Irish and love the misery, we follow the plan again in hopes that this year will be the year. There were sets of 6 games and we made it just in time to the LAST session. The tent was packed with people and next to us were these ANNOYING girls who every time they got a number shouted “BAM!” (It’s a Hannah Montana thing, don’t ask me how I know). But that wasn’t even the worst of it. Their guardian, who probably wasn’t even playing right, kept shouting BOO-YA. Now, let me explain. Out of all the horrific catch phrases that have come from the American culture, “Boo-ya” is by far thee WORST. It sends a thousands shivers down my spine and makes me want to throw the nearest object at hand towards the offender. I want to vomit just thinking about it but I will carry on.
So we kept getting close calls and almost making it when someone would shout out Bingo, leaving us in tears and clutching our bottles. But alas, game 4 approaches. Now the games we were playing were not simple “straight across” or “diagonal” OH NO, game 4 consisted of “crazy arrow” in which you had to make the shape of an arrow pointing to one of the corners of the board. My top board was going strong, but I didn’t want to say anything for fear of the inevitable jinx (most sacred in the Bingo world). I tried not to think to much of it until I saw only 2 remained- B6 and I20. Then, all of a sudden, a quiet murmur was heard from among the crowd… and Bingo was called.
My heart sank, I wanted to cry, or at least punch one of the Miley Cyrus wanna bes next to me. Were all my prayers to the Bingo gods for nothing? I began to lose faith. But then! A light opened in the sky and the caller declared NO BINGO. My faith was restored.
We went on, and the rest I can only recall as a distant memory. My final two were called as I clenched onto sister’s arm and I lept for joy, tearing the dreams of the annoying kids and their idiot guardian aside, crushing their spirits and insuring even more so that they wouldn’t be able to shout “Boo-ya” supported with a clear tone of victory. I was asked my name and a check was promptly assigned to me, and I briefly recall the faint sound of St. Patrick calling from the heavens to declare this as the day that would live on for the ages, a story that grandchildren would tell their grandchildren, of the 2009 Irish Fest when Cis4Connie said the one phrase that could be heard clear through to Chicago…