Archived Story

Hope odds are in your favor for Bunco, Hunger Games

Published 12:31pm Monday, March 26, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor.

This slogan applies to the The Hunger Games as well as the game of Bunco.

Friday morning came hard and fast as I pounded black coffee and attempted to form complete sentences after attending the midnight showing of The Hunger Games at Playhouse Cinemas Thursday evening. Midnight showings are a fantastic concept, and Playhouse had a great turnout. The teenagers still on Spring Break were fortunate enough to sleep in while I was rudely reminded by my alarm clock that I am a working adult expected to be in the office at 8 a.m.

Prior to attending the movie, while the night was young and there was still traffic in the streets, I attended the River Oaks Neighborhood Bunco game hosted in the lovely lakeside home of Darlene Fields.  Darlene and her family have lived all over the country, but they fell in love with Alabama and Lake Martin once their children decided to attend Auburn University.  They have an entire game room dedicated to Auburn football memorabilia and a patio that reveals their Parrot Head status.  My kind of people!

Spotted:  Rhonda Watson, Fran Clayton, Carol Jackson, Sandra Landrum, Renie Sikes, Debbie Brewer (guest), Barbara Spivey, Diane Glisson, Amy Replogle (guest), Billie Cheek, and Pat HoganMarese Rayfield and Linda Jones were unable to attend.  Billie Cheek, not originally from the Lake Martin area, explained she would know only two people in Alex City if it were not for the warm friendship and inclusive nature of the River Oaks ladies.

We blessed the calories right out of the BBQ pork, potato salad and garden salad.  Everyone settled in around card tables topped with colorful bowls of jelly beans. Darlene insisted I play in her place, to which I happily obliged. I love a rowdy game of Bunco.  Soon the room was filled with loud victory cries as the odds played out in the favor of a select few.

Barbara had the most Wins, Amy placed second, Billie had the most Buncos, and Debbie won her money back because she had the most Losses. Barbara also clenched the title of Potholder, but with the knowledge of what the hostess gift was (she had one already), she decided there was to be a roll off.  Fran ultimately won the oversize sleep shirt that read “I’ll drink no wine…until its in my glass!”

In order to even stay up until midnight, I put the coffee on.  I still had three hours to kill.  I grabbed my mother’s latest copy of People magazine, with Jennifer Lawrence on the cover, to get me jazzed.

There are more than 26 million copies of the young adult trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, in print. It is the biggest pop culture phenomenon since the Twilight series, and its transition to the big screen has been highly anticipated. The first Twilight film grossed $69 million its opening weekend and The Hunger Games is anticipated to do at least $100 million this weekend.  In this first chapter, you are introduced to your protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, a teenager in the postapocalyptic country of Panem who must compete in a fight to the death in a televised blood bath against 23 of her peers. The games are designed for the amusement of the totalitarian government, and the viewer will think of reality television in a new light.

The theater was packed.  A vivacious reader, I usually find most movies lacking in comparison to the books they spring from.  However, Gary Ross directed an admiral adaptation, and I believe fans will be more than pleased. I encourage everyone to go out to Playhouse Cinema and experience it for yourself.

The Alexander City Arts Council held a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the upcoming collaborative performance of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Alabama composer Bobby Horton. It will be held April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Benjamin Russell High School auditorium. With 54 musicians taking the stage, this will NOT be something you want to miss! The theme is “The Year of Alabama Music,” in honor of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and will tell the stories of both Confederate and Union soldiers from Alabama through the music of their time.

Adult tickets cost $15 and children and student tickets cost $5. They may be bought at the door or in advance at Aliant Bank, Wells Fargo, A Second Act, Carlisle Drugs or the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce. Fliers will also be distributed through the schools to students. We are so blessed to have such a dedicated group of individuals committed to the arts serving our community. There will be patron information available the night of the performance if you are interested in becoming involved in our community arts.

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.