Legendary Bingo!

On Wednesday, I partook in my second night ever of Legendary Bingo. Every year in spring quarter, the tour guides go as a group to Hamburger Mary’s, a super duper fun drag joint located on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. There are mediocre fries, huge milkshakes serves in margarita glasses, and lots of people in drag.

Every Wednesday, Hamburger Mary’s has a charity bingo night where folks come and can purchase a bingo set for a suggested donation of twenty bucks. It’s a different charity every week and it’s fun to play bingo when you know your money is going to a good cause.

They have two rounds, and we opted for the later 9 o’ clock bingo sesh, so we all got there around 8:45. Street parking was a little tricky, but we all figured it out and had a little wait time before we could take our seats inside, so everyone had plenty of time to regroup after driving to WeHo separately.

Because we had such a big group (around fifty!), we took up half of the restaurant and produced about 90% of the noise. As we played more bingo games, we got more and more rowdy – it was hard not to! After every game when someone got a bingo, they would have to run a lap around the restaurant while people shouted “pelt them!” and hurled wadded up bingo sheets at their heads. The winners received fun prizes like  DVD sets and fake bunny ears.

Perhaps the best part of the night was when some of our own people went up on stage to call out the bingo numbers. Normally, two hosts would read numbers off of the bingo balls – one was a man who worked at the restaurant and the other was a guest dressed in drag. Our guest for the night was named Bel Air, and two of our tour guide friends were asked up to call numbers with her – one was asked up because she made our fifty-person reservation and the other was asked up because he was dressed in drag.

Because we had such a big group, we definitely got a lot of bingo winners. I didn’t get to check out everyone’s prizes, but I saw that one of our friends ended up taking home a prize package that included the movies Hugo, Tintin, and Puss in Boots.

There were quite a few bingo games, but eventually the night came to an end. My small table of five had gone through two plates of fries – one regular and one sweet potato – and about four strawberry lemonades. It was a fabulous time and definitely reminded me that I need to venture into West Hollywood more often. But if I don’t, I know that I can keep coming back to Hamburger Mary’s for Legendary Bingo year after year.

Charley Guptill