Since one of my New Year’s resolutions is to relax and be more social, I have made it a point to get out of the house more often. In the process, I have discovered that it is — gasp! — possible to go out, have fun and get home in time to tuck myself in at a reasonable hour. If your experience with Missoula’s nightlife is limited to Friday and Saturday nights, you’re totally missing out. Case in point: Hump Night Bingo at Sean Kelly’s.

When I walked into Missoula’s favorite Irish pub last Wednesday night, I was astonished at the event’s popularity. My date and I could barely find two open seats. I had no idea that there was such a loyal bingo following in this town.

I have to admit, I had my doubts about the entertainment value of listening to continuous announcements of letter-number combinations. As a former nursing-home activities aide, I am well acquainted with this popular game of chance. By the end of my tenure as the caller at the weekly bingo tournament, I could barely stand to listen to myself make one more cliché bingo joke or cheesy number rhyme. (“I-29. We’re feeling fine with I-29.”) Ugh.

But, when you’re on the other side of the equation — and beer and music are involved — the whole ordeal is somehow transformed into an atmosphere of excitement and friendly competition. And even though I went home empty-handed after coming thisclose to winning a pot of $86, it was an evening well spent. Plus, I was in bed by 10 p.m.

So if you find yourself having a boring Wednesday, head to SK’s at around 8 p.m. — or earlier if you want to fight off the bingo diehards for a good seat at the bar.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.