n A funny experience or cruelty?
I’m still trying to decide if the following experience is funny or cruel. Between you and me and your thousands of readers, I’m leaning toward funny.
There is a man at Bingo who is famous (maybe infamous is a better word) for taking his shoes off while he plays. He has been doing this for a while…and certainly long enough that other players began to notice and decided they were going to make a “thing” about it.
At first it was just one or two players making critical remarks to each other. Then the drama spread and the gossip got louder. Then people began criticizing him directly. They even said he was dirty and they could smell him, which was not true.
Through it all, this man just shrugged it off and every time he showed up would continue kicking off his shoes and putting them back on when it was time to leave.
One night as the games were ending, the man went to put on his shoes but could only find one of them. He pulled out his chair and searched under the table—no shoe. He asked other people to look under their chairs—no shoe. He waited for the hall to clear out and searched all around and under the table again—still no shoe. Finally, he went to one of the workers and explained that his shoe had gone missing and would they keep a lookout for it. He then left the hall in his stocking feet with his single shoe in his hand.
The following week he went back to Bingo and was greeted by one of the workers who said they had found his shoe in one of the trash bags taped to the tables for people to throw away their used Bingo paper.
It was obvious that someone had done this intentionally. It was a good thing it was found because these weren’t cheap shoes. So the guy decided not to tempt trouble further and he now keeps his shoes on throughout the games.
He also has a new hobby—swiping sweaters and jackets and good luck charms from the people who used to complain about his shoes and tossing them in the Bingo paper bags. Let’s see how they like it. —Shoeless Joe, via email
I got the feeling about halfway through your letter that you might be talking about yourself. There was a little too much detail for a casual observer. I’m glad you got your shoe back; now please stop throwing other people’s belongings away! You may toss something valuable or get caught and banned from Bingo. I doubt you want either of those events to occur.
And here’s an idea…if you don’t want to wear your shoes during the games, why don’t you bring a pair of slippers to put on instead? That way you’ll be comfy and the crowd won’t get all bent out of shape. Think about it. —Guy
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