Young Josie was a little girl of ten who loved bingo. Her parents had died in a car crash when she was just a baby, and she was left to her old aunt Maud, a tee totaling, no dancing, no drinking, and no gambling, strict Baptist preacher’s widow. Maud was nearly sixty seven when she inherited Josie, and although she was very strict with Josie, she was also very elderly and did not have the energy to watch Josie all the time.
Once Josie was about three and old enough not to need a nappy anymore, Maud would open the front door every morning after breakfast and unleash Josie on the world. Josie would wander around the yard, make mud pies, talk to trees, pretend she was a princess, and other normal activities of a young kid. One day when she was ten, she met a stray dog. Josie named him Loopy, and she followed Loopy into the town which was half a mile down a gravel road from Aunt Maud’s house. Once in town, Josie met a group of kids, and little did she know that their parents were bingo loving Catholics.
After that, every morning, Josie would go straight to town to play with her new Catholic friends. She could not believe that all six of them were brothers and sisters. Their parents loved to go to the church hall and play bingo, a game Josie had never heard of. The kids had made their own bingo set by painting numbers on rocks and drawing numbers on bingo cards. They taught Josie how to play, and many a fine afternoon was spent in the captivating embrace of bingo.
They kids knew their parents sometimes won money playing bingo, but they did not have any money so they pooled together all their buttons and marbles. Sometimes, they even bet with larger toys like dolls or little cars. The winner was able to pick a toy. Josie won a lot. She thought it was because she prayed every night that God would help her to win.
One night, Aunt Maud noticed all the extra toys that had been accumulating in Josie’s room. She asked Josie about them, and Josie replied honestly that she had won them playing bingo. “Bingo, bingo!” aunt Maud shouted so loud that the windows rattled. “Who taught you to play such a vile game?” Maud queried her young charge. Josie, inhaled, not knowing whether she should lie or tell the truth. She decided to tell the truth.
When Maud found out who had been corrupting her niece, she grabbed her bible and marched into town with Josie behind her. By the time she reached Josie’s friends front doors, she was exhausted. Huffing and puffing, she could not even speak so she just waved her arms and the bible with a terrible look of consternation on her face. The couple stood in their doorway utterly confused about who this woman was and what she wanted. Just then, Maud spied a bingo card on the floor, and she darted in and grabbed it. Realization washed over the couple, and they invited Maud to sit on their sofa. Once she had caught her breath and explained herself, the father of Josie’s friends handed his laptop to her. He had open several web pages that explained that one could both be a Baptist and enjoy a bit of gambling. Maud was intrigued by what she saw as her new freedom, and she tried a game of homemade bingo.
After that, Maud was hooked, and she and Josie forged a closer relationship due to their shared love of bingo. They played almost nightly, and every night before falling asleep, Maud, still feeling a little guilty, would pray, “please, forgive my bingo love because the alien robots made me do it.”