Friday, November 2, 2012

Post 2 NaNoWriMo for November 2012

Post 2

Now walk-in bingo parlors are a fixture in certain areas, usually cropping up along low level strip malls or struggling old business districts. They occupy former auto parts stores or Lane Bryant shops. Owners are former cops, or city employees. the law says the gotta give a certain percentage of the take to a predetermined charity. Sounds alright. But in some cases that 'take' is hard to pin down. A lot of this is anecdotal, still you hear it all over the place. Bingo hall operators got three sets of books. One for the IRS. One for the charity. And one for the boss. Look, who's gonna know? It's all cash. No checks. No cards. No records. They make a big show of running up and down the aisles 'tabulating' the number of cards played and the pile of quarters grabbed. In some places it's legit. In some places it's not. 

Boss usually got a big, late model Caddy parked out back. Maybe a little ways off, so disgruntled losers don't see it. You know, 'car keyin'' is a big hobby 'round here. Everybody gotta have a hobby. 

Marty used to work in the Register of Wills office in City Hall. You know, one a those grimy rooms with the worn counter and ink stained floors and walls. Like an ever-so-slightly updated version of something from Dicken's time. Was it a political pay-off job? Yeah, sure it was. Wife's people had ties to City Council. Money changed hands. Not, strictly speaking, a bribe. They got ways. You can give it to an election fund, or whatever they want a call it and it's OK.  Then, when he retired this 'bingo scam' looked good. You know, Steve Wynn's people came up this way too. But they did it in Nevada. More rules. More eyes. More people looking. Philly was different. Que sera, sera. Oh, not official. Not on the books. And most of the operations are primarily honest. But accidents do happen, if you know what I mean.

Life is good now, for Marty anyway. Got a nice house Huntington Valley, a big updated split level. Got a leather sectional sofa, a bichon frisse. The whole thing. Wife's a real loud mouth, bitch on wheels. But he manages to survive. Not like he's gonna do anything else......

Know what they call running a bingo parlor in the trade? They call it 'running a dairy farm,' 'cause all you gotta do is milk them friggin' 'Bossies' (those idiot players, I mean) and the cream comes rollin' in.

Know what else? A walk-in bingo hall is one place where them what got shaky records can grab a few bucks, 'cause it all flows under the table. Nobody sees. Dopes give 'em tips. Ten dollar pay out gets a one dollar tip. Give 'em a coffee, or a doughnut from the fingered up doughnut display, get a tip. Like an extra level a welfare for roughie-toughie, where the daddy, mammas. 

Sad thing is some a the regular players got nowhere else to go. They even waddle in on Thanksgiving. Christmas too. Place gives out little gifts. Not like dollar store gifts. A little better than that, but not by much. Coffee mugs, cheap, leather wallets, picture frames, crap like that. Got a kitchen in the back. Keeps it clean enough. Roaches move in sometimes, but he sprays. You know, some a that bug juice don't smell so bad. Cooks food in there. Simple shit. Hot dogs for lunch. Chicken patties and spaghetti for dinner. Rolls it out on a cart. Everybody gets a little platter, maybe like with a roll and butter too. You gotta see 'em eat it with them black, dirty, greasy fingers. Bingo chips get nasty. Some care. They waddle off and wash their hands in the bathrooms. Got two of 'em. But some don't. They still livin' though. So who knows.

Oh, and I am not Mister Never-You-Mind. I'm just one a the other ghosts runnin' up and down the avenue. Frankford Avenue, 'case you don't know. That's all I wanna tell you now. So shut up and don't bother me.


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