I went to an Xmas fair on Saturday, at St Martins in Ealing and manned, if that is the word, the tombola. There is a first for everything!
The tombola barrel was an old thing with peeling paint. Fr. Bill said it had been around since the war, and it did look as if it might have fallen off the side of a Spitfire.
It wouldn't spin properly and the door kept coming off, letting the tickets flutter out. I spent hours on Friday night cutting up cloak room tickets and folding them, and sticking labels on bottled and horrible objects, 0 - 5. It was hard work, and I had two problems, the tickets and the children.
Winning tickets kept getting back into the barrel, so they would come up again, some how, don't know why as there were so many other tickets in there, and there would be no prize for them. So I had to take a prize number off an object and give it to them, which meant another rogue number was still in side.
The children were rather trying too. They had to have free gifts if they didn't win anything and I gave away stuff right at the end, but they never seem to say "Thank you." When I said the word to them rather pointedly they would give me a killer stare that clearly said I'd over stepped the mark and forgotten the deference owed to them.
One little girl in glasses, who had her face painted like a cat, but looked like an owl, couldn't leave the barrel alone and kept spinning it, sending tickets flying out, and her sister, painted to look like a butterfly, wanted to put her rubber ball into the thing, she did this several time and eventually went off and left it in there.
The other problem was that all the stuff donated by Fr. Bill, endless tins of fruit and veg, and bottles of pasta sauce and dried pasta from the back of his cupboards. They turned out to be over their sell-by date and people kept bringing them back and crossly demanding something else - so more rogue tickets. A lot of young children won bottles of wine. I was handing one over when this officious woman who was supposed to be busy selling pork buns, came over and told me I wasn't allowed to give alcohol to children! I kept on giving it to them as I was too confused already to work out any alternative, telling them to hide bottles under their clothes. One little girl burst into tears and didn't want to take the bottle, I forced her to, and ordered her to give it to her mother. Her mother came up later, really pleased, the girl was baffled, obviously not a wine drinker, yet.
There was a good outcome - I made £60 or more on the stall, the event made £2,204. The vicar got all his old food back, and went I home with home made ginger mulled-wine mix and fairy cakes.