The World as We See It

Feature: Bingo Hall Melee Injures 37, 1 Dead

by Senior Seniors Correspondent Art Pepperdine.

The Sunshine Gardens Retirement Community collided with the Cedar Oaks Assisted Living Center in a knock-down drag-out brawl. Not since the Canasta incident of '94 - when three were slain over a skipped turn and an alleged pocketed ace - have we seen anything like this. It was wall-to-wall mayhem. “I just remember skin … so. much. loose. skin … how it stretched … like the tarp over a baseball diamond during a rain delay,” said one home aid who witnessed the massacre, “I can’t unsee that.” Another shell-shocked nurse had this to say in-between cigarette drags, “I think what’ll stay with me is the snap - that unmistakable brittle snap - like breaking off a Kit-Kat.”

Investigators are still taking testimony as to what started it all. As it stands, the catalyst appears to be a false BINGO call, when a B was mistaken for a G. Of the 37 injuries, there were 12 hip dislocations, 9 slipped discs, 7 full body bruises, 5 fractured ribs, 3 cracked pelvises, and 1 set of dentures reduced to dust. The fighting ceased when 91-year-old Kevin McDonald climbed on top of the scorers table and hurled himself at the sea of bodies below - onlookers said it was like watching a boat capsize in slow motion.

There’s a planned memorial service for the one fatality, Merv Anderson, this Friday. The question that remains to be answered is when exactly did his pace-maker give out, and who, if anyone, should be held responsible?

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Jamie Larson