After the concert we hurried over to the Brass Rail for Bango, the gay bingo night hosted by Mother Pearl, who reader Cody described as “a dirty old guy dressed up as a pink nun.” After meeting her, we found the description pretty accurate, but Mother also was very friendly and loved a good Scotch.
She has been hosting the bingo night every Tuesday for six years now, and in doing so has raised more than $23,000 for the Aliveness Project, which is a community center here in Minneapolis that provides services for people living with HIV.
Read her full interview after the jump. There are some great stories.
Queerty: Which of the holy vows do you take most seriously?
Mother Pearl: The vow of the penis, honey. The POWER of the penis. That is why I wear this penis rosary that was given to me by two boys from the Iowa State Fair. They were sweet boys, but I haven’t seen them since.
Q: We hear that sometimes you will spank bingo participants with a big paddle. Does it hurt you more than it hurts them?
MP: Oh no, honey. I make it hurt. They must pay for their sins when they call false bingo. My paddle, just so you’ll know, is called “Mother Pearl’s butt basher.”
Q: Do you find that people call false bingo on purpose just to get a taste?
MP: I think quite a few of these boys like to get spanked.
Q: Does anyone ever bring their mom to bingo night?
MP: Yes they have, actually. It was winter, and there was a mother and son, and they won identical outfits, which I think were a shirt and stocking cap, since it was winter. And it was so sad, the mother actually died three weeks later of an aneurysm. The next week the son brought his mom back to bingo since they had had such a fun time together. He brought her ashes back, honey, in an urn, and it sat right on that table over there for the whole night.
Q: Wow, that is such a touching story.
MP: She loved him very much, you could tell. And they had such a great time that night.
Q: Other than Bango, what does Minneapolis have to offer the gays that other cities do not?
MP: People here love the theater. There is the brand new Guthrie theater being built, and there is also the Orpheum and the state theater where the Broadway shows are performed.
Q: What is the wildest thing that has ever happened here on bingo night?
MP: That one is easy. Mardi Gras bingo this year. There were beads and and dubloons everywhere and I was wearing my flying nun hat. This guy came in and offered to take off one piece of clothing for every $100 donated to the Aliveness Project. Well let me tell you, we had him down to his cockring. He was standing on this stage wearing nothing but a cockring. What a night.
The Aliveness Project [Official Site]
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