In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, Joel McCain, left, reacts to winning a letter bingo game with a "W" as Christopher Larry, Jr., looks on in their kindergarten classroom at Campbell Hill Elementary in Renton, Wash. Credit: AP
There's the famous scenario cited in free speech discussions: You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater and expect no repercussions. Well, apparently you can't yell "Bingo!" in a crowded game room if you don't, in fact, have a full card.
How do we know? One prankster in Covington, KY, was just sentenced to one of the most bizarre punishments we've heard of for barging into a Bingo hall with some friends and shouting the word, WLWT-TV reports. He didn't really have a Bingo, but the game ground to a halt while organizers tried to figure it out.
"This caused the hall to quit operating since they thought someone had won," Sgt. Richard Webster wrote on the disorderly conduct citation for 18-year-old Austin Whaley on February 9. "This delayed the game by several minutes and caused alarm to patrons."
When Whaley showed up for court, he faced 90 days in jail and a $250 fine. Instead, the judge decided to delay the full force of the law if Whaley complies with a simpler sentence: Don't say the word "Bingo" for 6 months.
It's unclear if Whaley is allowed to spell it out while singing the children's "B-I-N-G-O" song, should he so choose.