Not Your Grandmother’s Bingo Game

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If you’ve ever been told your own crazy story by someone you’ve never met, or had a friend of a friend find out the guy you’re seeing is going to break things off before you do, you might be a Muhlenberg student. It’s no secret that this campus is small, but the fact that information spreads faster than frat flu can make it downright claustrophobic. But, you have to admit the constant stream of gossip can be fun—at least when it isn’t about you. So, why not make the best of it? 

The saying, “this was not on my 2022 bingo card,” became increasingly popular during the last few months of the year, but for 2023, the saying has made the jump from metaphor to reality. TikTok is full of people walking us through their actual physical 2023 bingo cards, mostly consisting of possible political and pop-culture events that match the ludicrous energy of the past few years. There are also some people making predictions about the people in their day-to-day lives. These are not nearly as publicized, usually kept between a small circle of friends or roommates, and predict everything from new aesthetics, to friend drama, to devastating breakups.

  As we all know, ‘Berg loves bingo. And really, in a place like Muhlenberg, where truly nothing is private, it’d be a wasted opportunity not to make one. So, consider this your guide to crafting your own game of Muhlenberg Bingo.

The first step to a good spring semester bingo card is the group of friends you make it with, and the more the merrier. You also have to choose where to display it—because a Muhlenberg Bingo Card demands to be seen (although you might want to hide it when certain people come over, depending on its content). If you’ve been blessed with artistic talent, then the sky’s the limit when it comes to design, but the rest of us can get by perfectly fine with sticky notes and Sharpies. A bingo card traditionally has 24 numbered spaces, and the all-important “Free Space” in the center. Now, you could just label it “Free Space,” but where’s the fun in that? Instead, pick something you’re one-hundred percent sure will happen. These might be specific planned events, such as sack day or something involving stuff-a-plush, or just things that happen a lot here, like the internet going out or getting an email reminder to use the lockers in the DST.

Once you have your group, your materials, and your “Free Space” decided, the options are endless. The trick is to have an even distribution of: things you want to happen, crazy things that probably won’t happen but technically could, and thinly veiled insults. There’s nothing wrong with a little manifesting when making your bingo card, but self awareness is so important, so don’t put down “hook up in the Fahy Commons” if you know you can’t be bothered to walk there. You have to remember that this is real-life bingo, a ruthless game of chance, manipulation and audacity—not a vision board. You also don’t want to include too many wildly unlikely events if you actually want to have a chance of winning, but as Nude Slobs and the Benfer column incident taught us, anything can happen. 

Depending on who’s involved in your game, or who frequently visits the place you’ve chosen to display it, you may want to veil some insults more thickly than others. For example, Muhlenberg Alumna, and former columnist for The Weekly Paige Weisburg ‘23 coined the phrase “I hope they get married” as a means of insulting couples you don’t like (in her case, Matt and Rachel from the 2020 season of The Bachelor). Phrases like this that have meaning to your circle, but not outside of it, can be particularly useful if your bingo card is displayed in a high traffic area.

Once you’ve picked your content, get to work! It’s up to you to decide if you want to let chance do the work, or if you want to make things happen yourself, but either way you’ve got some serious work to do. Whether it’s conscious or not, some of us have a tendency to use full government names in the dining hall, or other very public places, at this school. Use this to your advantage, especially if there are people or situations on your bingo card that you aren’t directly involved in. As far as your participation goes, the only thing you need is the audacity; it all depends on how hard you’re willing to go. Of course an op-ed article in The Weekly would never condone potentially harmful or illegal behavior, but let your own moral compass (or lack thereof) be your guide. 

One final warning: a Muhlenberg bingo board is not for you if you’re hoping for a lowkey semester. This activity demands you to be a witness to, if not a direct participant in, campus and community drama, which can have unintended consequences. But, if you’re looking to spice up The Plot™ a little, it might be worth a try!

Lily Magoon '24 is an English major who, in addition to working on the Weekly, serves as co-editor-in-chief of the Muhlenberg Academic Review through the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. She has the passionate belief that storytelling, in all its forms, is our most valuable asset--as a tool for sharing knowledge, bringing people together, creating change, and exploring what’s possible.

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Lily Magoon
Lily Magoon '24 is an English major who, in addition to working on the Weekly, serves as co-editor-in-chief of the Muhlenberg Academic Review through the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. She has the passionate belief that storytelling, in all its forms, is our most valuable asset--as a tool for sharing knowledge, bringing people together, creating change, and exploring what’s possible.

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