This past weekend the San Carlos Rotary held their annual Cow Plop Bingo event to raise money for facility and equipment needs at the primary and secondary Ranchitos schools in San Carlos. True, I am a midwest girl, and Indiana does have a lot of farms. But the state rates in the top five nationally for production of corn and soybeans. And animals raised include swine, poultry, and, recently, fish. So, Bingo with cows was not something I had experienced before. While the name is somewhat self explanatory, I was very eager to see how exactly this would work.
The very first thing I observed when we arrived was the Bingo board. It was painted on a large, open tract of land in the desert. There were so many squares! I thought I had purchased plenty of tickets, but after seeing the board, I knew this was going to be a crapshoot. (Pardon my pun.) The board was marked off with yellow police tape. Hmmm. I hoped the cows understood what the tape meant. Just in case they did not, there were vaqueros mounted on horseback; their lassos at the ready.
About every hour or so, a cow was led onto the playing field to wander around. He was surrounded by cowboys, who apparently knew the police tape was just for show. The idea was that the cow would poo, and the person whose ticket matched the square the poo landed in would win part of the day’s jackpot. Well, going to the bathroom in front of a large crowd, whether you are a human or a cow, can be a tad intimidating. So, sometimes it took a while.
While the crowd waited for the action, they danced and sang to the festive music blasting from speakers. Horses even got into the celebration, showing off their fancy footwork. There were ribs, hot dogs, and elote, slathered with mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, and tajín to snack on. Beer, water, and soft drinks were sold. Pickup trucks were parked along the sides of the Bingo board. Families sat in the beds enjoying the picnics they had packed and sharing coolers of Tecate.
One women became so impatient with the cow, she charged up on stage, grabbed the mike from the emcee, and began demanding that the cow “go”. The crowd joined in, chanting with her. Other observers waved their arms over their heads to get the cow’s attention and then pointed at their squares. Yes, watching Cow Plop Bingo was a bit like watching golf. After about forty-five minutes, we had a winner! Well, several winners. Nervous cows do not plop, they spray!
Needless to say, I did not win one of the three jackpots. I will bring my Troll dolls next time or find a lucky cowboy hat! It was a wonderful day of community and strong show of support for our youngest members. And truly, that is the best prize.