- The glamazons of Drag Queen Bingo: (from left) J-me, Natasha and Nevi.
When I'm old with crazy white hair, I fully expect to continue knitting, dressing in eye-popping colors and scaring the bejesus out of neighborhood children. I also plan on spending a good amount of time haunting bingo halls.
But why wait? Bingo halls are plentiful here in Colorado Springs, with their denizens heady from the scent of bingo markers and triumph. And, should I prove to be really lazy, others can be eye-poppingly dressed for me.
Enter the perfect combo: Drag Queen Bingo.
Held every Monday night at Club Q, the event promises glamour, ribaldry and great music -- in short, everything a normal bingo hall doesn't offer. Club Q is a gay bar cleverly nestled behind a Chinese restaurant off Academy Boulevard, proving a little difficult to find at first. Inside, the Q is quite nice: spacious with plenty of seating, a big dance floor and the requisite pool table in the back.
Music videos are projected onto the wall, showing a confusing combo of Green Day and classic rock. Meatloaf is wailing "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," a song that normally people sing along to, but Q's populace is dumbfounded as the video shows him making out with a young woman. It's like watching a water buffalo go after a bunny.
My friends and I make up a contingent of four gals and one guy. Two in the group are lesbians, the rest of us are (rather painfully obviously) straight, but it doesn't seem to matter at all what we are or who we like.
First action: getting likker'd up. Q's drinks are quite pricey. There are happy hour specials available, but Bingo Night isn't covered, so we split $10.50 pitchers of Coors Light.
Next: getting set up. The bingo cards are $10 a packet, each containing six cards, with six games on each card. It's hard to find the Grinchiness to complain because the money goes to help out the Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Bingo markers are doled out (blue or pink, natch), giving the event authenticity.
Markers in hand, middle squares all marked in, we're still waiting. Finally, the stars of the show arrive: behold, our lovely queens. Strolling in on heels that make my arches hurt by proxy, the girls are fashionably late, greeting each other first with air kisses.
Nevi and J-me, two gorgeous Latinas done up in classic J. Lo style, are joined by Destiny, an African-American diva. Aloud, they wonder where their white drag sisters are. Later, I ask J-me how many drag queens they know in the Springs. She only knows about an "outed" dozen, it turns out, but overall finds the Springs a pretty cool place to be.
Without further ado, the girls are announcing the numbers. Our group hasn't played bingo since the fourth grade, so when we look thoroughly lost, Nevi struts over to explain the rules to us. The only tricky thing is to yell in ecstasy when "O-69" is called. Soon we're all following along, bingo-ing furiously with our markers making lipsticky blotches on the cards.
The queens are fantastically entertaining, tossing out bon mots and catty remarks. At one point, when someone offers one of the queens a bite of their food, she quips, "Ain't nothing prettier than a drag queen with meat in her mouth."
When someone wins, another round of games ensues, including hula-hooping and "Dick-tionary" (an erotic form of Pictionary). Audience members who guess correctly get their own prizes, usually drinks. Very quickly, the first of our group wins, getting a "golden shower" -- a yellow Pucker shot she's made to take from a big fake hypodermic needle. Administered by the bartender, it's taken from the hip, very literally.
The night continues. Our table is clearly awesome, with collective winnings of $25, a candle set and a whole lotta shots. Drama unfolds as a girl passes out on the floor, giving the evening a David Lynch quality as the queens calmly clear tables away from her.
With everyone's bellies full of bingo, the game cards are cleared away. With blown kisses and waves, the ladies exit to prepare for the post-bingo drag show. Soon, the lights are darkened, the disco ball is spinning, and part two of Drag Queen Bingo begins. The dance floor fills with smoke, and wolf whistles resound as the ladies work it. Destiny works a Whitney Houston vibe, tearing up the dance floor. Natasha has joined the queens by now, elegant in a gorgeous gown and well-turned heel.
The night was a little expensive, but entirely fabulous. The feeling of brother-, sister-, and whatever-hood was thick in the air, leaving me bewildered. How could anyone feel that a gay lifestyle is inherently negative? How can the world be filled with such judgment? And more importantly: How is it fair that men's legs look better in heels?
-- Kara Luger
Drag Queen Bingo
Club Q, 3430 N. Academy Blvd.
7 p.m., $10 to play (proceeds go to the Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Community Center)
Call 570-1429 for more info.