While we were traveling in Austin during our BBQ crawl, which I will be writing about in my next Travelogue post, we discovered a quirky bar game called Chicken Shit Bingo, in polite company it is called Chicken Poop Bingo. Its origin is thought have started in New Orleans in the 1980s and has become very popular in small town venues across America.
We witnessed this famous Austin event at Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon which is only played on Sundays. Starting at 4:00 pm, players buy a $2.00 ticket and they get a random number to place a bet on a 54-number grid. One number per player. Once all tickets are bought, Ginny fetches a chicken from an outside pen and places it in a cage sitting on top of a plywood-covered table with 54 numbers on it. The grid is covered with a light scattering of chicken feed and Ginny and others throw pieces of bread into the cage. Everyone gathers around the cage and yells out their number to the chicken and waits for nature to happen which could be up to an hour.
Whoever’s number the chicken poops on gets a portion of the total kitty. It was a total blast. This goes on every hour for 4 hours and in between games, everyone drinks beer, dances and listens to live music.
Of course this game of chance has come under scrutiny by PETA and some state’s Gambling Control Boards although the Texas Lottery Commission doesn’t bother to supervise it because it doesn’t meet their definition of bingo. PETA believes it is an exploitative form of entertainment and a crowded bar filled with a screaming audience is not a proper place for a chicken. Give me a break! The chicken is not being harmed in anyway and is only doing what comes naturally. We had so much fun at this bingo spectacle, we thought it might be a hoot to reproduce in Lone Pine someday.