Raffle Gab or Prizing the “CH” Food Group

There was a message on the work voice mail: I’d won a prize in the Volunteer Services Association raffle and I could pick it up anytime at the admitting desk upstairs. It was a CHip and dip set, somehow fitting in this festive season.

I work in a hospital (but not for a hospital) which has an extended care unit (ECU). The Volunteer Services Association runs a small shop, manages the vendors who set up tables of merchandise outside of the cafeteria, and runs raffles and rummage sales, all in support of activities for the residents of ECU.  I buy things (mostly CHips and CHeezies and CHocolate) in the shop, I buy things (mostly socks) from the vendors, I buy cool things at their rummage sales, and, even though it sometimes seems to me that the raffle prizes and the rummage sale items are closely related (really I suspect that the raffle prizes are things that people did not buy during the rummage sale), I buy tickets to their raffles. I like to support the activities of the residents of ECU.

This is not the first prize I have won in Volunteer Services Association raffles. A few days after I’d bought the first raffle ticket there was a phone call from Sandy, my shuttle bus acquaintance who worked in ECU, telling me to come pick up my prize on the second floor of ECU. I went and discovered that my prize was a bunny bucket full of CHocolate. I did not expect it to be amazing Belgian CHocolate, but still, a bucket full of free CHocolate. I love CHocolate. I ran all the way back to my office carrying my booty and cackling. Yum! Yay!

The bunny bucket was one of those molded ceramic items sold fired-but-unglazed in craft stores. It had been brightly painted in pastel colours with a pearlescent luster. It had a handle made of wire and wood. It was wrapped in cellophane and numerous ribbons. It was full of CHocolate eggs brightly wrapped in pastel foil. Yay! Yum!

It took me more than five minutes to make my way through the three layers of cellophane and ribbons that the bunny bucket was wrapped up with, which only made me yearn for the CHocolate more. I took the first one, wrapped in turquoise foil, unwrapped it and put it in my mouth. I spit it out immediately – it tasted like gasoline or other solvent. Yuck! Boo!

I tried another, this one wrapped in pink foil, and it also tasted wrong. I gave some to my office mates (yes, I warned them), and they spit them out too. I threw the rest of the booty away. Bogus. I’d won a bucketful of uneatable CHocolate! Boo! Yuck!

The next time I saw Sandy on the shuttle bus, she asked if I’d enjoyed the prize, and I told her about the poisoned CHocolate. She looked mystified and told me that the CHocolate had been fine when she’d bought it. I didn’t disbelieve her, but still. Poisoned CHocolate. What could be more disappointing?

There was another phone call from Sandy to clear up the mystery: the volunteer who had put the bucket together had finished the point job the night before, then had packed the CHocolate as soon as the paint was dry to the touch, then she’d immediately wrapped the package up in its three layers of cellophane and ribbon, sealing the paint fumes in there with the CHocolate. Poisoning  them.

It’s probably better that the CHocolates were poisoned, after all I am diabetic and really should not be eating CHocolate at all. But still…

I went upstairs with no expectation that
the prize might be something that I would be able to love and prize, and it did
not disappoint. It is a large ceramic dish divided into 5 sections, the
center one round and the others arrayed around. It is glazed in indigo
(look out for that lead), rust and cream. It has a CHicken image in the
center section. It looks vaguely Portuguese. I love CHips and I love
CHicken, but I do not love my faux-tuguese dish. I may use it, I may regift it. The possibilities are endless.

~ by thiscassandra on Friday 21 December 2007.

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