There was a farmer who had a dog and she sang karaoke … (Photo: Lakanuki) Here is one popular way of trying to influence Diesel (left), the bingo-caller.
“Loser takes a paddle up the … “
-Todd Wolfhouse, Beerfest
If you don’t want the above to happen to you (or at least have it happen less frequently), read this story.
This summer, many local bars here in Mammoth Lakes have been offering a slew of stellar late night activities (or “bar-tivities”).
For the uninitiated, some of these bar-tivities may seem a bit arcane. So I’ve decided to serve a few tips over the next few weeks to help you thrive.
In our first installment of our “Bartivities” series we discuss some of the games played at the world famous Lakanuki in The Village. They’ve got a Sunday bingo night and a Thursday karaoke night.
Before I go into any tips about increasing your chances of winning at bingo, you need to realize that this game is about as complex as Snooki from Jersey Shore. So don’t go into Lakanuki on Sunday nights assuming that you’re the Bill Belichick of the number balls. Lets face it, there will never be a scene in an Ocean’s 11 sequel featuring bingo. Regardless, like all games of chance it’s fun to assume that you’re the master of your own domain, so here’s how to achieve it.
1. Less players = better odds. Just like playing the lottery, this is basic math. The less people in the game, the better the chance you have at winning the cash. However, the downside to less people in attendance is that the winner’s pot is also diminished. If you’re a hyper competitive win-at-all-cost bingo junkie, than you should only try your luck on bingo nights that have crowds similar in size to the number of Jews in the Mel Gibson fan club.
2. Work more than one card. In today’s modern age, multitasking is both a gift and a curse and in terms of bingo this is no exception. The more cards you have in front of you per round, the better your odds. But be warned, the bingo caller (Diesel) can rattle out numbers pretty fast. Last week, I had three cards in front of me and I blacked out from the stress. So unless you have a beautiful mind like John Nash, don’t brain your damage with too many bingo cards.
3. Count those balls. If you’re one of those kids from MIT that got busted for counting cards in Vegas, than this should be easy. But if you’re like the rest of us who struggle to fill out a W2, then stop reading this paragraph right now.
Okay, bingo is played with 75 balls, which means there’s a 1 in 75 chance of a particular number being called. Based on the laws of probability, there will be an almost equal number of odd and even numbered balls, as well as a (near) equal number of high and low balls. This means if you can stay in the game long enough, eventually your balls will be chosen, just like a nerd at a sorority party.
4. Tippett’s Theory. There once was a British statistician named L.H.C. Tippett, who invented a complex theory on randomness. The theory says that the more numbers that are pulled, the more likely the median number will be called. Therefore if you’re playing a short game, and can pick out your own cards then naturally you should pick a card that has numbers closer to 1 or 75. Conversely, if you’re playing a longer game then you should pick a card that has numbers closer to the median number. Tippett’s Theory has never been proven, but it’s comforting to think that an award-winning statistician was so passionate about bingo.
5. Bribe the dealer. This is a risky maneuver that is both dubious and deplorable. Diesel already gives out free shots and tons of bar swag throughout the night, but if you really have to win, no matter what, you can go for the under-the-table handshake. Just make sure you’re actually shaking his hand.
The only thing I remember learning in college is that alcohol makes a lot of things tolerable, and even enjoyable (Beer + X = Awesome). Activities like frisbee, weddings, biathlons and certainly karaoke can definitely benefit from the sauce. That’s why karaoke at Laka is accompanied by a ton of free drink giveaways just for stepping up and getting William Hung on the mic. Not everyone can be the next Clay Aiken, but nonetheless, here are 5 ways to dominate the mic.
1. Pick a song you already know. Have you ever been in a car with someone you’re trying to impress and a song comes on the radio and you don’t know all the words but you pretend like you do? You wish you’d never started, but it’s too late. You’re committed. It starts getting a little embarrassing so you resort to muttering a bunch of nonsense just to make it through the song, “Say, Candie and Ronnie check a moody lit, but they’re blah doo eee eee owww. B-B-B Bennie and Jets.” Yeah, imagine that but with a microphone, plus the car has a bunch of strangers in it. Just because it’s a song you’ve heard a few times and you really like it doesn’t mean it’s the right karaoke song for you.
2. Avoid rap songs. One thing will always be an indisputable hard fact; no one is cooler than P-Diddy. At some point in everyone’s life we have to realize that we may never rock a mohawk as good as Diddy’s. Consequently busting out a Diddy song at karaoke night, or any rap song for that matter, will not get us any closer to that goal. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hip hop, but rapping is hard. And after a couple of beers, it’s really hard. So don’t pick “Getting Jiggy With It” just because you want to repeatedly say “Getting Jiggy With It.” There’s a whole bunch of other words in that song, and you have to read ‘em really fast.
3. Use the microphone. So you’ve picked the perfect song and you’ve even practiced it in the shower before going out. Now you’re up onstage and you’re slaying it. But the only problem is that no one can hear you. You realize that you’re holding the microphone as if your crotch is the one that’s killing the bridge in “Don’t Stop Believing.” What a waste. If you want to be heard you gotta grip that microphone like it’s a Shake Weight with an attached Gatorade nipple.
4. Talk the talk. Walk the walk. A surefire way to earn an awkward applause at the end of your song is to sing it with perfection but with no emotion on your face and while standing perfectly still. Now commence slow clap. Lets be honest, more than likely you’ll never sing the song as good as the original, and you’ll never be able to move like J.T. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t throw in a couple fist pumps or the occasional power stance. Be sure to take some notes at next weekend’s Mammoth Rocks Festival. I’ll be there with pad in hand.
5. Commit to it. Internal thought while doing a karaoke song: “Man, ‘Just a Friend (You Got What I Need)’ is really, really long … Where is everybody? I got onstage with a bunch of my friends and now they’re all gone. Sh*t, now I’m all alone and this song is killing me! I gotta get out of here!”
Don’t be that guy. You chose the song, so YOU RIDE IT OUT TO THE END! If your jackaloon friends leave you onstage, then it’s up to you to be a hero … finish the Biz Markie song with finesse. It’ll probably win you some free sympathy and a free drink.