Monday, 1 February 2010

Bingo! (part 2 and last)

For part 1 of this thrilling story click here.
The yearly Loto is over again! We had, as good citizens, flogged off all our 20 Loto cards to friends and relatives, and handed over proceeds and cards to the responsible authorities. Last Saturday it was our turn, together with other volunteers, to play an hour of Bingo for those who had been conned into buying those cards. The following day, a Sunday, was the day of the “Cormatin open”. On both days however it happened several times that the prize fell on more than one card at the same time.
Contrary to what is normal in the Netherlands, the prize was not given to the first “Quinne” shouter, whilst the second winner would get the next official prize, etc. No; in one case there were actually three people who claimed a prize simultaneously. Lots were drawn between the three of them, and the winner got the proper prize. The other two won a consolation prize, in this case a bottle of wine respectively a can of pâté. And after this the Loto went on with a new round for the next proper prize. The rules in France are rather French; whether you shout Quinne, Bingo or just Oui does not really matter. As long as you shout something, everybody is happy. In the Netherlands a simple “Yes” disqualifies the “winner” in many bingo halls.
We did not have to play in the real Loto, because we were on bar duty. Hence we did not have to break our heads about French counting. Our basic mathematical skills, used in sums like “Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf = 4 times 20 + 10 + 9 = 99” were not required that day. Bar duty in France without having something to scoff is unheard of. Hence we were flogging off small containers of “Bugnes” as well as wine, beer, coffee, tea and soft drinks. Of course we did not have a clue what bugnes were, but all was revealed once we were on duty.
They resemble small donuts, although they are not necessarily circular with a hole in the middle, and are deep fried with icing sugar sprinkled over them. Although served cold, they sold like hot cakes. At the end of the day we had sold almost all soft drinks, most of the beer and all bugnes to those who needed a break in between straining Bingo sessions. This was not only because we were such excellent sales persons; the number of participants was exceptionally high compared to other years, and before the Loto started we actually had to put up more tables and chairs, although there was hardly any space left to put them. Apart from the usual crowd from Cormatin, there were people from other villages in the neighbourhood, and of course the mayor and his deputy, the honorable member of the Conseil Général of Saône-et-Loire Monsieur Jean-Paul C. and the star-reporter of the Journal de Saône-et-Loire Michèle E.-D. were all there and played Loto like their lives depended on it. Very soon this event will be head-line news in our local paper; however readers of this Blog definitely have a scoop on this one!

The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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