I am sure that the organisation of the BBC Red Nose Day event was of epic proportions but here at Pavers Place we were not far behind.It started with Rafe who does seem to have a very charitable disposition, albeit one that never comes to fruition, his dry January was a complete wash out (pardon the pun) and I can’t see this week being much better. He has come up with the idea of sitting in a bath of baked beans for the day and expecting to be sponsored for it.
I was completely in agreement with Ian when he asked the question, ‘Why?’
Rafe assured him that it was funny and that people would pay to see it, but the next question, that I also predicted, was, ‘Where?’
That was when the argument truly began, Ian wasn’t having any old Tom, Dick and Harry traipsing through his house to look at his partner in a bath of beans, and that was another thing, where were the beans coming from? Who would clear up afterwards and could the beans be reused, because if not it was clearly just a waste.
The idea to hold the event in the house was quickly dropped as was Tom’s offer to take the beans after the event (that man will eat anything). As it turns out the wholesaler where Gary and Harry get their stock were donating some out of date beans, on the strict condition that they were not to be used for human consumption, the company clearly valuing its reputation more than Tom did his stomach.
Gary and Harry had also offered the use of their yard for Rafe to sit in for the day, it was partly covered and they would rig up some outside heating, although the vessel in which he would sit had yet to be decided. Gary had also decided to get in on the charitable act, he had trained his girlfriend’s dog to jump through a hoop and his idea was to encourage people to make a donation in order to witness this act, personally I thought it sounded a tad dull but each to their own.
On Red Nose day most of the children walking to school were dressed in red. Jacinta’s youngest daughter cried all the way, exclaiming, between sobs, that everyone would know that the red skirt she was wearing was the red cape she had worn when dressed as Little Red Riding Hood at World Book Day, the previous week. Jacinta was distinctly unimpressed, having sewn it back together the night before, but she pacified her daughter by the promise of seeing Gary’s dog act later in the day.
I did venture to the Spar and there was quite a sight to see; for some reason Mand had encouraged Garth to dress up as a Yeti, I have no idea why, he was not collecting money and did not look that comical, although his flip flops did look a little out of place, but no more than usual. He was standing next to Gary who was encouraging a very smug looking dog to jump through a hoop every time someone dropped some money into the bucket. There was a small supporting crowd, including Mand and Catherine and as someone had made cakes the event did have a friendly feel. I didn’t stay long and it wasn’t until I got through the front door that I realized that I had not seen the baked bean spectacular, the idea that had initiated the street activity in the first place.
Later that evening an unhappy looking Rafe was led along the road by Ian, who was walking at a slightly faster rate than his glum looking partner. Rafe had a large beach towel wrapped around him and wore sandals, the skin that could be seen had an orange hue and there were a number of beans stuck to his chest hair and several more on his straggly beard.
‘I accepted the child’s paddling pool, it wasn’t quite the bath that I was looking for but at least they provided something, I even understood the reason behind closing the door to the yard, but not to mention it to anyone, no sign or anything…well, that’s just…mean’.
It was clear that Ian was suppressing the need to giggle. ‘Did you raise any money?’
‘40p, from the lorry driver, who was making his delivery. By the time he had finished stacking the boxes nobody would have seen me, even if they had ventured through the back door, which they didn’t’.
Realizing that Rafe was on the verge of tears Ian struggled to find something positive to say.
‘Try to look on the bright side, Mand did say she thought the beans had done wonders for your skin, given it a lovely healthy glow she said and, after all, orange has always been your colour.’
Rafe did not look convinced.