Upon booking our trip to Fargo, one of the first things we noticed was that we were gonna be there the same time as a “lingerie meat raffle.” Neither of us really knew what this meant, but we knew we needed to be there — how many people out there can legitimately say they’ve experienced a “lingerie meat raffle?” Probably not too many.
The raffle was being held at a place called “The Hub,” Fargo’s premier destination for drink specials that are borderline dangerous. By borderline dangerous, I mean that the happy hour special came in the form of .10 cent beers. I’ll say that again, and I’ll bold it again.
.10 cent beers (!!!???)
Suffice to say, we didn’t drive.
A great move, too. Our cab driver, a lifelong Fargoan, was the sort of guy we’d been pining to meet the entire time we’ve been in the city. He didn’t need much prompting; once we said we were from out of town, he treated us to endless tales of “weird Fargo” — stories of hanging out with Aerosmith roadies, watching the same guy get beat up in his cab three different times, and a particularly funny story of a very angry bride unloading on her new spouse, still in her wedding dress.
“Lotta odd stuff going on,” he kept saying.
Upon arriving at the Hub, we got right down to work. The bar we were in, “The Wild Vine,” made it nearly impossible not to drink a large quantity of alcohol. In addition to the aforementioned special, they also offered $2 “Rockstar Bomb Shots” — which we soon discovered were a bit more ambitious than your run-of-the-mill shot. We had a few each.
Finally, the events began. Rob, myself, and about 15-20 other people — ranging from the flannel dude who kept talking about his fiancé, to the quiet guy across the bar whose incredible flat-brim hat game commanded nearly all the attention of the female bartenders — were treated to the stylings of a few hostesses (the lingerie part), and the charismatic master of ceremonies — a sort of poor man’s Rob Dyrdek. That sounds like a dig, but the guy did an excellent job — and would definitely do a great job hosting some MTV show about the dark underbelly of skate culture.
Like any great meat raffle host, he began with an enthusiastic intro of our first event –a little game called Adult Bingo.
As fate would have it, my bingo game proved to be on point. I won the first round, and was treated to a nice, adult surprise. I’ll let the picture do the talking:
Finally, the raffle began. The way it worked, you got one raffle ticket for any drink you bought that wasn’t a .10 cent beer. (Since we got all those shots, we had a solid amount of tickets). Numbers were picked at random, and the winner was to be awarded a bunch of meat — from where and what kind of meat it actually was, we didn’t exactly know. Probably a good thing.
Clearly destined for meat raffle greatness, I won the very first drawing. Having just won the bingo, I was greeted with a few playful jeers as I walked up to the makeshift podium to claim my prize. I was the New York Yankees of the meat raffle. It felt pretty great.
When you win the raffle, Rob Dyrdek offers you one of two options; you could either take the bag of ambiguous patty-looking things and go, or test your luck by spinning the wheel — in which you could win double meat, free drinks, or even a jar of pickles. Since that first option is about as exciting as your friend who never goes out anymore, I went with the wheel.
It turned out to be a bad choice. I landed on the slot that read, in barely legible writing “You get nothing, motherf*cker!”
Meatless, but proud of my valiant effort, I returned back to my post. The full experience was captured here, via this grainy video. Skip to the end for some commentary:
We hung out for a bit longer, but were unable to replicate our luck in the subsequent rounds of bingo + raffling. As the night went on, we were continually surprised at the level of camaraderie — we learned that this raffle was a weekly thing, and a number of the participants were zealous regulars. And while the whole concept seemed odd from an outsider’s perspective, we totally understood why it commanded a small, yet devoted audience. This was the type of thing that you don’t get anywhere else — the type of thing that was admirably engrossed in a commitment and enthusiasm for the process. Just like any game or event, it was made a lot more fun because everybody there was very much into it — not so much in an uber-competitive way, but in a “this is our thing” sort of way. It made the raffle not only enjoyable, but oddly exceptional.
Our beer guts ever-expanding, we decided to pass on the male stripper event (going on next door) and head home. We may have come up empty on the meat front, but the memory is certainly non-perishable.
This post brought to you by ‘Fargo’ – An FX Original Series.
‘Fargo’ premieres April 15 | 10ET/PT – Only on FX.