September 28, 2015

Hollywood Bunco

Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie, circa 1882, 
on Amelia Island, Florida

Chapter 11

     The following days aboard ship were full of activity. There were picnics on deck, shuffleboard, fishing tournaments, bingo, bunco, board games and card games from euchre to old sledge to poker. Amusement, proper and improper, was available, with one's degree of pleasure regulated only by one's conscience.  
Yes, folks, bunco (sometimes spelled bunko) has been around since Victorian times.  A roll of the dice, actually many rolls of the dice, is all the effort it takes.  It has turned into such a popular game today, there is an app on phones for said score keeping.

I've been playing bunco with the same group of 12 ladies for just about that many years.  Each month, one of us hosts the shindig in her home.  It includes a full dinner and gifts for every person, bought from the $5.00 fee paid by each player the previous month.  My month is always September and the last several years, I have asked the gals to dress in some sort of easy costume.  This year I suggested we dress up like any Hollywood star from any movie, male or female.  

After our cottage was clean for the party, lots of work, but so worth it, the smell of crock pot spaghetti was overpowering the scented plug-ins, the three four-top tables were set for the girls and I was dressed in costume, I realized I had no Hollywood-themed centerpiece!  Yikes!!!  Hmm, thought I.  I went around the room and extracted several Gone With The Wind (GWTW) books, an MGM book, added a few GWTW music boxes, GWTW nail polish and a GWTW bracelet, each decorated with pictures from the famous film,  and you can see the result in the photo above.  It took me all of ten minutes and cost me nothing extra.  (You know, if you step back and look around at the treasures you have in your own house, you would be surprised how easily creative you can be.)

We had one lady show up in jeans, a white blouse, denim jacket and cowboy boots.  Her lovely hair is white.  I couldn't begin to guess who she was supposed to be and was blown away when she told me, "Marilyn Monroe from the Misfits with Clark Gable."  It was the last movie for both of them and I know it well.  Great job, Emmie.  Another, in an wild orange fright wig and big hat, asked me to guess who she was and I said jokingly, "Bozo, the clown."  Yes, I knew she was the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.  I'm not sure she found my remark funny, but I did.  Then there was a mountain climber from a movie I don't know and another who tried on a wig, but it was too small, so she took it back to the store.  I know you're dying to hear who I dressed as.  I have to confess that the only reason I chose the costume I did was because of the black Snow White wig I got on sale the day after Halloween a few years back.  I removed the red bow, put on a white blouse, black pants, painted my nails a bright red, added red lipstick and lots of blush and eyeliner, borrowed a cigarette to hold from a friend,  and I was, wait for it...Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction.  I freely admit Pulp Fiction is not my kind of movie at all, but I had the wig, so, it worked. By the way, my husband, Bruce, said he would not have recognized me if he'd passed me on the street in the wig. 

So there you have it.  If you've never buncoed, it's mentally easy to play. Add food and chatter and  prizes and it, too, may become a part of your life as it has so many others. 

PS Just Google bunco for details on how to play the game.