Monday, November 29, 2004

"That'll be twenty-five pee please."

It seemed like reasonable value. I handed over my money and tucked into the fairy cake, which proved to be exceedingly good.

At the next stall, I was offered the chance to win a tin of Heinz chicken soup on the tombola. Mrs. Tall Alf then attempted to sell me a Soda Stream machine (original seventies vintage, unused), and pointed out that I was entitled to a cup of tea and mince pie included in the admission charge.

I explained that I'd had a cup of tea and a mince pie before I came out, in addition to my fairy cake, but thanked her for the offer, thus neatly side-stepping the Soda Stream pitch. Ironically enough, I'll probably find that original Soda Streams now change hands on Ebay for hundreds of pounds with international soft-drink enthusiasts desperate to get their hands on stock.

On the way out of the hall I passed the vicar. I imagine that he would have cannily not eaten that day so as to take full advantage of the free refreshments. I dare say he'd negotiated cheap entry as well.

In fact, thinking about it, I should have asked them for a discount as a non pie-eater or tea-drinker, although they might then have whacked on a premium for a non church-goer. I'd have then pointed out the vast quantity of raffle tickets I'd sold, but they'd have countered with the fact that I'm a non-pensioner unlike most other attendees. I'd have then played my trump card - my generosity in leaving them with a valuable and desirable soft-drink machine asset.

For the sake of the 30p entrance fee it didn't seem worth getting lawyers involved. But one has to look after the pennies.