On Sunday Baz held the normal monthly meat raffle at the Short and Curlies, I use the term normal with some trepidation as this month it did have a slight twist.All money raised in the raffle goes to a local cause and Jacinta, who rarely goes in the pub anyway, decided that certain people were being denied the opportunity to give to local charities, as the prizes were unattractive to vegetarians. As you can imagine this caused quite a lot of indignation from some other people in the street, Reg for one. ‘It’s simple, she only eats vegetables, it only has meat prizes, therefore don’t enter and give your money to the charity anyway, why cause the fuss?’
This seemed a perfectly reasonable response to me (a rare event, I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with anything Reg has said before), however this still didn’t pacify Jacinta, she felt that this was contrary to an inclusive community spirit, the very thing that the raffle was there to promote. Reg had not exhausted his views on the matter, ‘Anyway those sausages are practically vegetarian, mainly breadcrumbs, husk and a lump of lard, that’s what you get from that butcher’.The butcher in question was Micky the Meat from the market, he always provided the meat raffle prizes to Baz. I’ve never heard any complaints about his meat, however there is history between Reg and Micky. When he was in business Reg had won many prizes for his Cumberland ring and Micky had been the young whippersnapper who had taken his crown. Reg had been adamant for years that Micky had stolen his recipe, not helped by the fact that Reg’s daughter Emily had dated him for a few months. As Reg has stated quite openly, ‘There’s not much you can tell me about pillow talk, I myself came up with the idea for the Paprika Pork Pattie after a romantic session with my Marg, and I told her about it right there and then’.
Anyway, all this aside, Baz, being the sort of person who wants to include everyone did take Jacinta’s issues into account and pledged to provide one vegetarian prize.Inspired by this Jacinta went all out to sell tickets for the raffle, I know she sold quite a few to the mums at the school gate and a few more to the people in her cookery class, she was even at the door of number 11 trying to sell to Mrs Misery, who as usual looked tired and unhappy. ‘I’m not really sure, Roger and I don’t ever go to the pub, we could win and not know it.’
Jacinta was having none of it, I’m not saying she bullied but she came away with a number of tickets sold at number 11.
On Sunday the turnout for the raffle looked to be promising, Jacinta had arranged to leave the children with her mother so that she and Prithpal could go along and Margaret and Reg were in attendance, even though on the way there he was still stating that the sausages in the raffle would be ‘nothing to write home about.’ The biggest surprise to me was that Mr Misery, who we now know to be called Roger, also walked along to the pub.
With two prizes left the sausages and the vegetarian option were last to go. Baz pulled the raffle ticket from the ice bucket, ‘Number 62, 6 and 2, 62, hang on, there’s a name on the back, Roger and Suzy from number 11.’ Apparently Roger went bright red as he went up to the collect the prize, and everyone else went bright red when he chose the sausages. Jacinta was the first to pipe up, ‘I thought you were a vegetarian?’
‘No, not me, that’s Suzy.’
Of course this only left the vegetarian prize and Jacinta had her fingers crossed as the number was called, ‘152, 1, 5, 2 …152.’
Reg being quite a mean man did not suggest redrawing the ticket but instead looked shameful as he went up to receive the prize which was wrapped in a paper carrier bag.
‘This is against all my principles, a vegetarian prize in a meat raffle, hang on, it’s not even food, '100 Things to do with a carrot', what am I supposed to with this?’
Baz looked embarrassed, ‘Yes sorry, I don’t know anything about vegetarian food, so I bought a book, it’s beautifully illustrated though and there’s a great sausage recipe in it’.