The Dinosaur In The Room – And Bingo

March 27, 2015 11:48 am

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Image source: Enokson 

The news that scientists in Britain have dug up a giant prehistoric newt that was as big as a car and armed with hundreds of razor sharp teeth makes you realise that sometimes extinction has its plus points. No-one would want their picnic guests to end up as lunch for an eight-foot long monster with a head shaped like a toilet seat.

Happily, we have all been spared such an uncomfortable and unstylish fate by the passing of the dinosaurs – or at least most of them. There are still creatures that we live alongside today that are – to all intents and purposes – relics of the dinosaur era. Crocodiles and alligators are merely the narrow-nosed cousins of the giant salamander that made the headlines recently. There are also plenty of squidgy, wriggly things deep down in the ocean that are every bit as ancient. There is even a whole generation of never-say-die TV presenters who are somehow still with us today. Meanwhile, the game of bingo is also still going strong. Bingo is very old, apparently it dates from the leisure-scene era. The game has been a social setting for decades. People gather together, have a drink and let their hair down as they attempt to win some money. Although bingo halls are on the decline, they are still popular and people will even have more money to spend after a recent Budget which lowered the tax on alcohol (having a good time).

There are plenty of other nasties that Mother Nature has spared us. Sometimes it makes you wish that evolution had taken a different path, and brought certain designs for life to an abrupt halt. Personally, I can’t stand – in no particular order – spiders, snakes and Bruce Forsyth.

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Image source: ssoosay 

In fairness, I can see a place in the great scheme of things for spiders (since they eat flies) and to a degree snakes as well (since they eat spiders). Bruce Forsyth, I’m less inclined to forgive.

I’m not sure what it is about Brucie that gets my goat (I’ve no problems with goats). Maybe it’s the way he went about collecting Miss Worlds that upset my delicate sensibilities (I think it was three). Or maybe it was just the singing and dancing. The one ever-lasting oldie I have absolutely no objection to, though, is good, old-fashioned bingo.

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Image source: Gerry Dincher 

Everywhere you go, you’ll still find people happily playing bingo together. And they genuinely do all seem to be incredibly cheerful. I think that’s the difference. I can’t escape the notion that Brucie – like that giant newt – was the one having all the fun.

But bingo has been around just about for ever. Its survival is a historical marvel. By any proper standard of evolutionary logic it would have shuffled off its mortal coil alongside that giant bog-headed newt. But no. Bingo is one of the all-time great survivors. And, as we have said, that ‘let the good times roll’ budget could even see people returning to the bingo halls

Apparently, though, it has now colonised the internet and is flourishing as never before, so perhaps that counts as a form of evolution. As a result, it seems that bingo has a very bright future. Which raises a decidedly worrying question: Could it be me that’s the dinosaur in the room?

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