LAFAYETTE, LA – Reports today suggest that a long-held tradition, and fun-yet-competitive past-time in Southern Louisiana has started to show its shady underbelly in the form of a gripping addiction among elderly residents.
‘Cake Bingo’ addiction has seen a 180% rise in the past 12-months across the Southern parishes, with 89% of those addicted in the age bracket of 65 and above – and in certain instances aggressive behavior towards area bingo callers.
Local psychiatrist Angelica Johnson explained that this addiction is cause for concern.
“The recent increase in cake bingo addictions is unprecedented”, said Johnston, “It isn’t really a ‘thing’ anywhere else but Southern Louisiana, but we’re seeing the pandemic slowly spread as more and more elderly people in nursing homes and at school fundraisers get wind of this addictive past-time.”
And Johnson urged carers and children to be aware of the typical symptoms and habits of a cake bingo addict.
“The first sign is that you’ll generally see is what we refer to as ‘ghost stamping'”, she said, “Where the person feels the need to stamp a bingo card when one isn’t there. Also be on the look out for names of cakes being randomly inserted into sentences. I had one patient a few weeks ago who, when asked the question “How are you Maureen?” she replied with “Red velvet”. And of course, be aware of the person randomly throwing their hands up into the air and shouting “full house!”, which is another dead giveaway.”
Rich Robinson, local bingo caller for a number of school fundraisers, explained how he has been attacked on numerous occasions as of late.
“It’s clear to see who the addicts are”, he explained, “Competition for certain cakes can get very heated, and I’ve had one or two instances of elderly people trying to attack me with cane’s and frames. “Give away the double chocolate cake will you?! We’ll see about that!” they would say. It can get scary, I’m not going to lie.”
And he went on to tell us that things would get even darker.
“There was an occasion where I’ve seen an elderly man cry as I’ve been packing my stuff away”, he said, “He literally begged me to keep on going. He had cake around his mouth, all over his fingers, pleading with me not to go. Desperately wanted me to keep the cake bingo going. At 11pm at night, after everyone else had gone. It was very sad to see.”
Kat Green, general manager at the Shady Tree Retirement Home in Crowley, explained the problems that she’s been having.
“It’s an issue that has caused us great concern”, she admitted, “Not too long ago we found a hidden room in the basement where numerous residents were congregating in the early hours, playing cake bingo. It was… it was definitely a — I don’t like to use the term, because I know these people are good at heart — but it was a gambling den. There, I said it. A shady, underground, cake bingo den. My God, there was cream cheese everywhere. We had to get the police involved unfortunately, and I hope they’re receiving the best help possible.”
But Kat thinks that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Help is the first step. Don’t be afraid of that”, she said, “The last thing I want to see is lines of frosting being snorted off of the arm of a recliner. It’s a terrible thing to see, but it can be turned around.”
If you or a loved one feel you need help when it comes to cake bingo, please contact the Cake Bingo Addiction Center free, at 1-500-RED-VLVT.