Day 86. Burt Machowski Would Approve

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I used to host Bingo. It was a joint venture between the Skinny Improv and other various places. We called it Skingo. I did not host this Bingo as myself, rather, I hosted it as my alter ego, Burt Machowski. 

Burt Machowski is an old man who has been calling Bingo on the circuit for 30 years. Born to a longshoreman and her husband, Burt had been through a lot in his life from the Bingo halls of Tuscaloosa, to the trenches of WW1 (In fairness, Burt was not old enough to fight in WW1. However, he went to France with his wife, Linda in ’72. Rather than stay in a hotel, Burt insisted on staying in a German WW1 trench for the week. They left on day 3 when Linda threw an old mustard gas container at him. Burt survived). Linda soon became his ex, and Burt hasn’t stopped talking about her since.

Burt has a never admired, never imitated style of calling Bingo. Each letter and number combination remind him of a historical fact, quality of Linda, or something entirely random altogether.

Here are some examples:

B9–“Good news, it’s not malignant.”

G56–“1956. The year the Interstate Highway System was begun. Thank you very much Eisenhower, we could be riding in flying trains by now.”

B12–“Steroids. Right, Palmeiro?”

I39–“Look out Poland! German just pulled out of the driveway.”

N36–“As in, N 36 years, God willing, Linda will be dead, but you can be damn sure she will still haunt me.”

069–“Grow up.”

N33–“Larry Bird numerical palindrome.”

I am now a numerical palindrome. Today was my birthday. There is no good way to announce it to people (outside of Facebook). Me, I chose, to go with the tell the biography of a fictitious Bingo caller method. Let’s face it though, there is no good way. It either sounds like you are announcing it in hopes of a big reaction, or it just sounds really sad that you have to tell people.

How do you celebrate if you’re Jeff Houghton in a new environment?

Go to the Beautiful Starbucks.

The unreal beauty helped to remind me of my youth that is passing me by.

After that, I went for a quick run, and then I met up with a few friends at Shakey’s of course. We sat down in Shakey’s only to realize that it is not a buffet at all hours as it was in my childhood, and that the wait staff aren’t concerned with approaching your table. We moved on to a place called Go Burger, which was very good. From there, we went to a bar where we were promised that a friend of a friend was spinning ’90s hip hop. They weren’t playing anything I was hoping for so we left and hung out at a couple other places.

I’m going home on Friday! For 10 days. I can’t wait. It’s kind of put my job search/acting search on hold since I won’t be able to audition or interview for anything. It’s worth it though, I’m really excited.

I wanted to get home B4 it was too late. I O74 people a Mystery Hour…this is proving too difficult


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