FOR THE women and men of Kilkenny Bingo, it will be akin to the excitement of local children returning to school.
Yes, it promises to be that exhilarating as bingo at James Stephens GAA Club, Larchfield resumes on Monday next, January 31 after almost two years in isolation due to Covid-19.
Young boys and girls love returning to their classrooms, meeting chums again, learning with teacher, playing in the school yard.
Pupils are broken-hearted when schools close as Covid flares.
The same could be said of grown up bingo kids.
Local men and women have a love affair with a leisure evening that is colloquially referred to as ‘Eyes Down’.
EXCITEMENT CAN BE PALPABLE
It is a couple of hours of waiting, sweating and the magic of someone calling ‘check’.
Excitement can be palpable.
With 40 years experience, super caller Teresa Fitzpatrick relays the numbers and the focus turns to the winner of a single line, full house or, touch wood, the snowball.
Aficionados will tell you that there is much more to bingo than marking numbers on books.
At Kilkenny Press, we need no persuading as we have savoured the excitement of a night at the wonderfully comfortable and homely Village Club.
Banter with family members, neighbours and friends can be something else.
Devotees don’t like bingo.
They love it.
Inevitably, an amateur comedian, aka a heckler, may turn up.
‘EYES DOWN’ IS UP AND RUNNING
A welcome bonus is that money raised from Kilkenny Bingo goes to the Village Childcare and Community Services.
The dosh is well spent on St Patrick’s Parish facilities that are open to all age groups in the local community.
The enforced shutdown due to Covid restrictions hit hard. The bingo lost 94 nights, an estimated €100,000 that could have been a huge fillip to children and adults in The Village.
Bingo bosses are a resilient lot.
Regardless of pandemic losses, a small price to protect local families, they are really looking forward to welcoming old friends and meeting new ones.
From Monday ‘Eyes Down’ will be up and running again and every Monday after that.
Remember the drill: Doors open 7pm. First roll of the balls, 8pm.
Give your spheres a good shake John Joe.
Oh no, the comedian is in situ.