"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Sunday, 2 March 2014

New Experience Challenge Week 8: Bogan Bingo

I had two new experiences this week - both on Tuesday. The Adelaide Fringe Festival is on in our city at the moment and I've been looking at new shows to see. I settled on this show called Bogan Bingo. It had been a show at the Fringe for the past seven years and I'd never gone to see it. I figured bingo was something I'd never tried before and what better way to get into it than doing it in bogan form?

For people outside of Australia, a bogan (bow-gun) is kind of equivalent to an American redneck or a Brittish chav - a crude lower-class person who tends to live off unemployment cheques. Australian bogans will always have a beer in hand, dress in flannelette shirts, own mullets and listen to a lot of 80s rock.

I went to this show with Jerida, Jason and Brooke. Jason put on his best flannelette shirt and somehow still looked awesome. We went into the function room and were immediately hit by the blasted sounds of Livin' On a Prayer. There was a big banner up the front of the room saying "Fuckin' Bingo!" on it and everyone in the room seemed to have dressed the part. I cursed myself for not bringing my Jimmy Barnes curly-mullet wig and tried to figure out how to look more bogan. Here's what I eventually came to - 'I know, I'll turn my cap backwards!' Nailed it.

We were given these sheets full of numbers and I had no idea what to do with them. Yes, I know that you just cross one off when it gets called out, but they seemed to be organized into six boxes and we were given more sheets than what we needed. All of them were different colours and each one was labelled as such.

Just cross them off and don't embarrass yourself.

The two hosts came out to the tune of Welcome to the Jungle and strutted around the stage in their mullets and flannies. One of them was a comedian I know called Seb Carboncini, although tonight he was going by the name Gazza or Dazza or Bazza or something. They introduced the night and got started while blasting out some Alice Cooper. They called the first number and I got excited because I had it on my sheet. Then they called the second number and I had that too. Then they called the third number and I had THAT too. That's when I realized how to play - all the numbers between 1 and 90 were on each sheet, but in different orders. As each number is called, you cross it off and if you manage to cross out all 15 numbers in any one box, you win. The colours were redundant.

The hosts went through each number, and a lot of them had jokes attached to them - when sixteen came out, the host would call 'Sixteen, never been kissed!' and the crowd would have to shout 'Pig's ass!' 88 was 'Two fat ladies,' and we'd have to yell 'Wobble wobble!' 87 was 'A fat lady with a walking stick,' and we'd yell 'Wobble hobble!' 85 was a fat lady in a wheelchair and the host made us yell 'Lazy bitch!' There were a couple of numbers where once they were pulled out the hosts would stop the music and perform a "bogan tribute". Like when number 5 came out, they paid tribute to the passing of the greatest number 5 in history, V8 race-car driver Peter Brock. They'd say his name and then play a piece of music corresponding to that person. I don't remember what Brock's was, but when they payed tribute to Steve Irwin, over the speakers came "Shot through the heart! And you're to blame..."

About halfway through the game we stopped to play a game they called Bogan Idol. The hosts brought out four inflatable guitars and asked for four volunteers to take them Jason and I looked at each other and in the bogan accents we'd been hacking out all night we said 'Let's do it fucken'!' We ran up and grabbed two of them and two middle-aged women grabbed the other two. The hosts put on Sweet Child O' Mine and we all had to muck around, having a little air guitar battle.

Now when I'm given a spotlight, I make good use of it. I have a natural ability to showboat. So I was taking up the whole dance floor, interacting with the other players... At one point I jumped up on the hosts' stage and started shredding away there, much to the delight of the crowd. When the song finished I did the whole rock star jump-of-the-stage-and-strum-the-final-note-as-you-hit-the-ground thing and the crowd applauded. One of the hosts came up and said 'Alright alright, don't get too excited. That was just the warm up.' And he made us all sit to the side and brought us out one by one to play for a prize. The host pointed to the the first lady to come up and she rocked out to Kiss' I Was Made for Loving You. Then the other host up on the stage held up five fingers, indicating a five out of ten. Then Jason was called out and he did his number to the last half of Stairway to Heaven. He also got a five. As the host pointed to the second lady and she rocked out to Van Halen's Panama, I thought to myself "Michael, don't you dare worry about the score. I know how competitive you are, I know you'll get upset if you're not judged the winner. But nobody cares what the score is or who wins and loses. They just want to be entertained." And so as the lady finished jiggling to the song and was scored an 8, I came out ready to just put on a good show. It was the first song I'd heard that night that I'd never heard before in my life. It was full of distortion and I couldn't tell where the extended first note ended and the rest of it began. I made the best of it and I think I still delivered on expectations (I feel like being picked last was a deliberate move by Seb), it wasn't as good as I wanted. I finished the song by lifting the guitar over my head and smashing it on the stage in an impression of rock stars after their concerts. It made a pathetic muffled pop sound and the audience laughed. I was given a 7.

That was all as far as excitement went for the rest of the game. They got us to stand up and yell "Come On!" like Lleyton Hewitt when we only had one number left in a given box and when we got it we had to put up the devil-horn salute and yell "Fuckin' bingo!" In the end it was the first lady that had gone up to play air guitar that won. I'd gotten as close as two or three numbers left. We were to go on a ten-minute break and then come back for another game, which promised to hold even more excitement. And it delivered. Trust me.


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