It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll, and it’s all bingo.
The popular numbers game is fun, but it’s even better when played in the spirit of true-blue Floridian tradition — which is the definitive version of the game played at the Prospect Heights watering hole Barnded Saloon, according to the host Tammy Wynette.
“Florida, as you know, is known for strip clubs, bikers, beaches, and bingo halls — they go hand-in-hand,” said Wynette, who’s not to be confused with her namesake, the late country singer.
“There really isn’t any other kind of bingo besides white trash, except for old granny bingo, which this isn’t.”
While “old granny bingo” is characterized by a sort of serenity, organization, and clarity of purpose, White Trash Bingo is distinguished by a great deal of hootin’ and hollorin’, free drinks — including some terrible concoction, called a Mountain Dew slushy — and, of course, the hypnotic personality of the lovely Miss Wynette herself.
“I’m like Miss Kitty from Gun Smoke,” she said, all matter-of-fact like. “My persona is the cross between a mechanical bull operator and a strip club announcer.”
Aside from all that, it’s just like regular bingo, and like regular bingo, there are prizes a plenty, including rolls of toilet paper, one ply only, and sometimes a free drink — not top shelf, of course.
“The stuff ranges, depending on who makes it rain, [Pabst Blue Ribbon] or Miller Light, as far what beer schwag we offer,” said Wynette.
It’s a handsome bar too, fit for a proper Florida-style party, with gators on the wall, 12 beers on tap, and a healthy variety of brews in the cooler.
And for the hungry, the Branded Saloon’s kitchen is open until 3 am, 365-and-a-quarter-days-per-year, and, it goes without saying, they smoke their own bacon.
And don’t forget, Wynette definitely mentioned free drinks, so if you do go to White Trash Bingo, make sure you hold her to it.
“We give out free shots,” she said, “because the more you drink, the more fun bingo is.”
White Trash Bingo at Branded Saloon [603 Vanderbilt Ave. between Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights, (718) 484–8704, brandedsaloon.com]. Every Tuesday, 8 pm. Free.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn