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Pamela Loxley Drake marvels at the endurance and versatility of a simple game.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeA nursery rhyme turned into a song. Most of us learned to spell bingo before we could spell anything else. I mean, who didn't love a song about a dog!? And one with a fun name.

It's sort of like Mr. Bojangles. Well, maybe not. My head sometimes puts things together that work in my head but not on paper. So, back to the dog.

Ever wonder what color the dog might be? I envisioned a white one with a black eye and tail. And, once more I stray. Bingo.

The song began with a tankard of grog — maybe. A drinking song that began in the 1700s. At the end of each verse, a drink was taken. I figure that many a singer ended up in his cups before the song ended.

Ah, then it became a nursery rhyme song. Perhaps "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" will become known as a counting song for children.

However, I seem to wander away from the topic, which is not unusual for me. This is really about the game Bingo. A game that we learn as children. A game that seems to capture many adults leading them into the dens of Bingo parlors and numerous cards. BA = Bingoaholics.

I love Bingo. June and I were talking about how we loved to play it when we were kids on the farm.

The old thick cards were very simple. My husband, Loren, asked if we used daubers. A blank look was on my face, as well as that of my sister who was on Skype with me. Hmm. Daubers.

June piped up and said that we used corn, a memory that had escaped me. I guess we had a lot of it, so why not?

It seems that now you can play small time Bingo and win $50 to $300. Some places, including Vegas, you can win $1,000 to $10,000.

If memory serves me correctly, I only played in a hall once and won a prize: a huge green sponge. Honest, an oversized green sponge. Ah, such was my victory.

The advancements to Bingo have been extraordinary. Now you can pull a little plastic tab across the number instead of placing a token on the spot.

The twins play car Bingo. They look for signs and other miscellaneous things as we drive down the road. There are many variations. I rather like playing it with them.

It's time to get back to the fun of Bingo. If you sing along with it, you can have a drinking game as well. Cards can be printed from the internet, and then you come up with your own tokens.

I refuse to use the dauber. You can't reuse the card!

Corn. Yep, I vote for corn.

There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name — oh, yeah.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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