Written By: Blythe Freshwater / Photos By: Sarah Hajdukovich
Midterm week takes its toll on people in different ways. Some people cope by drinking way too much coffee, and other people go home to ugly-cry in their closet. But on October 5th, about 25 OKWU students, haggard and worn out from too many tests, tottered and wheezed their way into the room in upper MSC for some much-needed study relief. The lines in their faces were quite pronounced, and most of their heads had turned gray. Most of them looked like they had aged 50 or 60 years since the week started. Elevator music from their youthful eras played in the background, but apparently everyone’s hearing aids malfunctioned, so no one could hear it. Coffee and doughnuts abounded, but a lot of people complained that they couldn’t find their dentures. All the students’ cares and worries were quickly forgotten, however, as they joined their friends to play some good old-fashioned bingo.
The event lasted for about an hour, and the elderly students played six rounds of bingo. Freshman Andrew Smith won the first round, Jake Campbell won twice, Kat Walls (“Estelle”) and Sydney Patterson won one each, and senior Annie Heck (“Bertha”) finished out the night. Annie says, “I love to play bingo, even though I rarely win. As for the Monsters [I won], I’m probably going to try my first ever energy drink, and then share the rest. I really don’t think I need that much caffeine…”
Senior bingo is one of students’ favorite campus-sponsored events, and everyone enjoys the chance to channel their cantankerous alter-egos. Kameron Mendes, the student mentor host of the night, says, “I signed up to host it because it was my favorite event last year. I thought it was so fun to dress up as old people and see how well everyone else dressed up, and if they were able to keep up with their character.”
Larissa Hale says, “I love being able to dress up and be silly with friends. It’s always fun to just goof off and make jokes all night.” Her husband Anthony (married “67” years) agrees and claims that his favorite part is “how creative the students get with their costumes.” Everyone who dresses up is entered into a costume competition, with prizes for the best-dressed gal and best-dressed man. Cross-dressers, although they bring a hilarious element to the night, cannot participate in the competition.
Such was the case for Spenser White, who role-played as everyone’s favorite omelette cook in the cafeteria, Roylene Baxter. Spenser came armed with a frying pan and spatula, garbed in the proper cafeteria uniform, and he greeted everyone who came in with, “Good morning, I’m Roylene! Do you want an omelette?” He also gave out omelette menus for his fellow bingo-players to fill out. He enjoyed acting as Roylene, and wasn’t upset that he couldn’t participate in the contest.
The “Best-Dressed Man” award went to seasoned bingo veteran Ben Staggs (“Dick”), who came dressed in a classic Hawaiian shirt and hiked up shorts. The “Best-Dressed Gal” award went to junior Blythe Freshwater, who came in all-black. She said, “I was in mourning. See, senior bingo is my boyfriend’s favorite event. Kody and I were super excited to go this year, especially since he is a senior, but then a ministry opportunity came up this weekend. So, I went as his widow and brought a Styrofoam tombstone with his name engraved in it, and apparently his absence was what won me the prize!”
For Kat Walls, her favorite part was “Whenever the computer would call out ‘B-4,’ we’d all yell ‘Before what?!’” For Alison Theis (“Mugsy”), hers was “seeing Spenser make an appearance as our dearly loved Roylene. It was also interesting to see my friends assume how they will age and how their behavior will change within the next 60-70 years.” We’ll have to see if their costumes are accurate.
Overall, Senior Bingo was a great night of relaxing, aching, complaining, and laughing. It was just the right solution to recover from a difficult week of midterms