Winter and Bingo: A Match Made in Heaven

By Ben Hamill - November 09 2015

Winter and Bing

Winter fast approaches. The National Weather Service is predicting a mild start to winter but a true wintry period as 2015 gives way to 2016. Even a mild November and December will mean slippery driving. Although I can't encourage anyone to drive to a bingo centre, of all places, during the worst of winter weather, I also know that there are plenty of days when driving poses little extra risk. In between these extremes are days with a little precipitation, requiring all bingo players to decide whether to go out for the evening or stay in.

Preparedness Checklist

I have a few pointers for bingo enthusiasts who want to do their part for local charities but fear the cold, snow, and ice.

  • If you're over 55, it might be best to stay indoors unless all conditions are "go". This includes both road conditions and parking lot conditions. A fall on a small patch of ice in a parking lot will ruin more than an evening's bingo! If the centre has a web site, check conditions before going there. If you know people who also go to the centre, ask them how conditions were the last time they went.
  • Make absolutely sure that your car is in condition for the winter. This seems obvious because we all have to drive at some time in the winter so winterizing the car is a big must. Nevertheless, check everything that you may need in the winter. Let your mechanic help you get your car ready.
  • The forecast may call for heavy snow but, if the snow is expected to begin long after you would get home from your bingo centre, there may be no reason to stay in that evening.
  • Consider playing at a centre that isn't your favourite but is much closer than the one you usually go to.
  • Practice driving in winter conditions before those conditions arrive. It's worth paying a professional driving instructor for a couple of hours' instruction. Many people, especially older bingo players, forget from winter to winter how to drive, how to get out of a skid, how to brake, and more. There are many elements to driving in the winter that don't apply to summer driving so letting a pro assist you as you get yourself ready to drive in the winter, is a very good idea.
  • Drive routes you know very well. In the winter, you need to have your eyes on the road at all times. If you have to read street signs or see other "landmarks" you could lose control of your car.
  • Learn how to keep your windshield clear. Sound wiper blades are the first priority but you also need to know how to quickly remove fog from the windshield.
  • Go to a bingo centre that attracts a large crowd. Never linger afterwards to talk to other players. Instead, go to your car. That way you can get someone to help you if your car doesn't start or if you have some other problem.

The Truth about Canadian Winters

Canadian winters are long, cold, snowy, and icy. Every winter there are days when I simply am not willing to venture outdoors. This includes shopping and visiting friends and family. On these evenings, I have no compunction about playing a little online bingo.

Why Don't Online Bingo Sites Spoil Us More

Some online bingo sites that understand that winter has kept us indoors will offer Canadians a special bonus for playing on the worst winter nights. It's surprising to me that more sites don't spoil us a little. After all, bonuses are understood by all online gaming sites, be they bingo sites or general casinos, as a form of salesmanship, designed to attract us and keep us as happy gamers.

Nothing New about Canadian Winters

Having said all this about the difficulties of travelling to a bingo centre during the brutal Canadian winter, I have to backtrack a bit and say that anyone who has lived in Canada for many years really does know how to deal with winter. I'm really most concerned with older players who might fall, have car trouble when there's no one around, or have some driving mishap. If you fit this mold, maybe you should consider staying in when conditions get a bit nasty outside!

Personally, I hate to let winter keep me indoors. I dress for the occasion and walk very carefully. And I usually go out. I'm prepared, as the Boy Scouts might say. But I also face reality. If it's too cold or too icy or too just not comfortable, I stay home, make something hot to drink and either play a little online or, in the old-fashioned way, curl up with a good book!