Friday, February 17, 2006

Playing DAISY

We played DAISY at the P.E.O. meeting today. It's like BINGO, but about twenty times harder.
Each person has a printed sheet with five columns and five rows, as in a Bingo game.
But in each square there is a sentence of 8-27 words or a phrase such as "One of the seven founders: Alice Coffin."
The president pulls a slip of paper out of a container and reads aloud each sentence, announcing that it is in column D or perhaps column S. Each person looks to see if she has that sentence.
Since there are seven founders, finding a square that begins "One of the seven founders" is not good enough. You have to distinguish it from the other six squares that begin that way.
Likewise, if the president reads, "Suela Pearson used a large wooden crochet hook as a gavel," you have to make sure you don't cross off a square just because it begins with "Suele Pearson...." Suela did five or six other things that each earns a different square.
This is fine if you are just managing one sheet of paper, but I was trying to monitor Mom's paper as well as mine.
She was listening and eagerly crossing off a square each time anything was said. I didn't want her to cry "Daisy!" long before anyone else and then argue over whether her sheet actually warranted her claim, so I was checking her sheet and putting my mark in any square that could legitimately be crossed off.
If she actually got a Daisy, I thought I would know, but in fact I couldn't keep track of her sheet and mine and my Xs vs. her Xs on her sheet.
To add to the confusion, several times the president pulled out a piece of paper and started reading it: "Suela Pearson was--" or "Alice Bird wrote--" but then discarded it, announcing "We already had that one."
There were a few cries of "Are you sure? Are there duplicates in that box?"
I was pretty sure these only seemed to be duplicates. I wanted to hear the rest of the sentence in order to get a Daisy, but not at the cost of challenging the president's competence.
At one point Mom claimed, "We've got a Daisy--that's a Daisy," but I was able to convince her we hadn't actually won.
Finally one P.E.O. got a Daisy, and then another, until there were four winners (each earning a pencil).
With relief, I stopped searching and began to enjoy some of the interesting facts on the sheet:
* P.E.O. started on Jan. 21, 1869.
* One girl didn't get to be invited to a Sorority, so she founded P.E.O.
* The founders got in trouble with the president of Iowa Wesleyan College for wearing pins.
* Self-improvement is a form of education and thus must be called P.E.O.'s first project.
* Mary Allen shared 57 years of ministry with her husband.

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