Wednesday, November 23, 2011

But what it don't get I can't use

“If I had a little money, it’s a rich man’s world,” sang Grange Girl, dancing into my kitchen waving a ten pound note. She essayed a soft shoe shuffle round the Brabantia bin, and without changing key, or indeed, tune, segued straight into “If I were a rich man, yabba dabba dabba doo.”
I sipped my tea thoughtfully and watched her, waiting for the financial medley to come to a halt. This happened sooner than I’d hoped; for, slipping on a stray tea-bag, to the melody of Forever in Blue Jeans (apparently money talks, but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk. Who knew?), Grange Girl sat heavily on the floor and silence ensued.
“Explain,” I said.
“I’ve only gone and won the Lottery!” she cried.
“Well why didn’t you say so?” I helped her to her feet and offered her a biscuit from my secret tin. She took a chunky chocolate cookie and dunked it messily in my tea but I said nothing.
“What are we, uh, you, going to buy first?” I gabbled excitedly. “We need champagne!” I checked the rack but there was only a dusty bottle of blackberry wine someone had brought to a dinner party four years ago, the swine. I made fresh tea instead.
“Ooh Grangey! New house? Lamborghini? iPads for all your friends?”
Grangey nibbled her biscuit. “I thought I might buy a new Scrabble dictionary,” she said.
“That’s oddly modest; you could buy a solid gold Scrabble set.”
“Yes, I’m thinking a dictionary. Or I might buy breakdown cover for my car.” Her hand snaked towards the biscuit tin, clearly heading for a foil-wrapped one, but I quickly hid the tin behind my back. “Did you say OR, Grangey? That sounds as if you’re planning just ONE purchase with your mighty win.”
Grange Girl sighed. “I’ve won the Lewes Lottery,” she said.
I narrowed my eyes. “And how much, exactly, is your win?”
“Must I assume that £52 is not being used as a shorthand here for, say, £52,000?”
She nodded. “It’s better than a slap in the face with a soggy biscuit! I was really pleased!”
“Yes please.”
“Pour it yourself.”
“Oh, don’t be like that. It’s a really nice thing. Half the pot goes to local good causes, and half to a winner. You could tell Viva Lewes readers that the more people who play, the bigger the prize I can win next time.”
“I’ll do that. Cos frankly, this win’s a bit pitiful.”
“It’s like the song says,” and Grangey broke into tunelessness once more, “Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can’t buy.”
“I’ll tell you that,” I said, putting the biscuit tin on the high shelf, and opening the Rich Teas instead, “when you tell me you’re just as happy with these cheap biccies.”
“Course I am.” Grange Girl took one and dipped it triumphantly into her tea. “These are miles better for dunking.”

Read about the Lewes Lottery here

Beth Miller, 16th November 2011

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