This past Saturday night my wife and I were excited to share with some friends a guilty pleasure of ours: Cosmic Bingo at Casino del Sol. And not because of the chance to win $100 in a cramped, smoky bingo hall.
No, the real reason to go to this event — at least until now — had been the MC of the event, noted Tucson drag queen Lucinda Holliday (aka Larry Moore). Lucinda, complete with fuzzy penis-shaped microphone cover and an oversized knockoff Coach bag of double entendres and non sequiturs, made Cosmic Bingo what it was.
Whether it was getting the crowd to moan 'Ohhhhhhh, Sixtyyyyyyy Niiiiiiiiiiine' whenever that ball popped up on screen (and then forcing some unsuspecting and often intimidated young man to individually utter that, right into the aforementioned phallic mic) or urging everyone to refer to someone who falsely called Bingo a 'stupid bitch,' Lucinda provided just enough flair and spunk to make you forget you were spending your Saturday night, well ... playing Bingo.
But apparently, according to a high-ranking casino official I spoke to that night, Lucinda's act had become 'stale' and s/he was shown the door in an effort to mix things up.
More like (bleep) things up.
There's still black lights, spinning disco balls, eclectic music and plenty of chances to win money. Actually, more than before, at least in the form of lame between-Bingo games that essentially give you cash to look silly in front of the crowd.
But other than that, Cosmic Bingo is nothing more than a regular session of Bingo in the dark, with the music too loud, a DJ that hasn't figured out not to put the microphone ON HIS LIPS when he talks and an MC that either got asked to do the gig at the last minute (my guess, or at least my hope) or is a testament to the sad level of in-house talent Casino del Sol has on hand.
A bit of advice to this new MC: when you've got a contestant participating in a game with a 1-minute time limit, and you're supposed to be there to provide instructions to the contestant, it's not wise to then step away and answer some random person's question in mid-contest. Just sayin'.
And I haven't even gotten to the woefully run actual Bingo games, which along with being in a completely different order and format than before it involved numerous errors — compliments of a error-filled flier that was misleading, confusing and, frankly, listed the wrong games at some points.
The only part of the new Cosmic Bingo that has any potential: the name of the final game of the night, which is called the Big Unit. And yes, it means getting a pattern of numbers that can either be interpreted as a 'T' or a ... well ...
If Lucinda were there, you'd certainly know what it looked like.