Saturday, May 1, 2010


Have you ever played BUNCO? Some of the teachers at my school host a BUNCO night and tonight was supposed to be my second time in attendance. Unfortunately it was cancelled but I'm sure we'll find another night to have it soon. I am not sure BUNCO needs to be in caps but when you play with my group of teachers, it does. Here is the long story of my first time at BUNCO and why it will forever be in caps in my mind.

Before the first time I played, I asked a few people what BUNCO was and if they thought I would like it. Someone suggested I look it up online and then decide. My summation of the online descriptions:

"Bunco is a mindless dice game that is really an excuse for drinking and gossip."

Well I didn't want them gossiping without or about me! So I was in. I signed up and offered to make cookies (a decision that while I don't regret, has designated me the cookie bringer ever since!)

BUNCO was supposed to start at 6:00. I was advised by several people, including the host, to arrive at 5:30 for dinner. Knowing that I live in an area where "fashionably late" is 15-20min late, I arrived at 5:50. I was the 4th person there. Everyone else arrived around 6:15. I was mortified. In a group that can tell the difference between a 13 minute lesson and a 15 minute lesson, timing is everything.

Luckily people started trickling in and drinking (though I should say guzzling) their wine. Before long the tables were set up and pencils were handed out. I still, mind you, had absolutely no idea how to play. By the luck of the draw, I got seated across from my pal, the principal. Also, even though everyone else was sloshed, I was not drinking anything because 1) I was driving and 2) I didn't want to embarrass myself on the very first time I hung out with coworkers outside of work.

Finally I decided I had better speak up. I called over to the host and said "um, Mrs. Host, I have never played before!" and then even though I was uncharacteristically nervous to shout out in a group, it turned out to be a good thing I did so. Because of the 20 people there, 16 others called out "YEAH, me neither!"

Oh good gracious. After much shouting and gesturing, someone finally stood on a chair and tried to give a lesson on how to play BUNCO. If you've ever played BUNCO you know the game is very simple but might be a little tricky to explain. Especially if everyone in the room (except the newbie who apparently only likes water and root beer) has had two or three glasses of wine.

Have you ever tried to give a lesson to a room full of teachers? If you have then you know that teachers are the worst students, and more so after a few glasses of grown up grape juice. We shout about how we want the lesson differentiated or we need individual learning plans before we can continue. Someone asks if this will be on the state test or if she is wasting instructional minutes. We interrupt without raising our hands, we talk with the people at our tables then ask questions that were just answered, and we tap our pencils and fidget our feet until someone notices us. In short, we regurgitate the behaviors of our students.

Eventually we figured it out though and the game got going. It turns out that you just have to roll the dice and shout a lot. There is lots of shouting. I can't emphasize this point enough. If you get lost just roll the dice and shout. And then when you roll the correct combo of dice, you shout BUNCO! And with this particular group, someone comes and puts a giant green cape around you which you have to wear until the next person shouts BUNCO.

We all shouted and rolled dice and shouted until some lost voices. Everyone else finished all the wine in the house and I drank water and people gave me a hard time for it. Finally the game ended, prizes were given out, and amused husbands arrived to take home their less-than-graceful spouses. I waited to make sure everyone had a safe ride home (I'm like that) then drove myself home, laughing a little at the thought of my principal shouting severely inappropriate curse words at the table when she didn't roll the right numbers.

Now, I have played my fair share of shouting games involving grown up drinks before. I did, after all, go to college. I have also been to Vegas and played craps which also employs the use of shouting and dice as well as people bringing me complimentary drinks. All I can say is those experiences have nothing on playing BUNCO sober with a bunch of inebriated teachers. That was awesome.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really fun! I wish I could get hammered with my boss (or watch them get hammered while storing little nuggets of gossipy goodness in my brain)!