Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My assistance was required: there was to be a raffle draw at the museum during the hour of lunch, and my fellow volunteers would be obliged, they said, if my fingers were to pluck a name from the canister.
It was explained to me with an amount of eye-rolling that one board member- not present that day- had insisted that at least four persons observe the event so the drawing of the ticket could be considered wholly legitimate.
"I'll do it," I said.
One of the ladies held the container so that I could reach inside. My hand fumbled among the tickets, grazing the papers as they crackled and rustled like feet skittering easily through layers of fallen leaves. Folded, fallen leaves emblazoned with the names of winners and not-winners.
"But tell me," I said, suddenly, "who should I be hoping for?"
I saw six raised eyebrows and realised that I would have to clarify my question.
"I have to think of someone in particular. Someone you'd like to see winning this. Who should I have in mind?"
All three ladies considered for a moment before echoing a name- "Paula"- in unison.
"Right," I said. "I just wanted to know."
I extracted a single ticket and handed it over.
Paula's name reverberated once more around the room but this time with a hint of disbelief.
As demonstrated, one must have something or someone to hope for, otherwise the simple action of withdrawing a piece of paper would be rendered, if not meaningless, then dull.
Wholly legitimate? Certainly it was; still, I wonder what the absent board member would have thought of my methods.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 4:12 PM