I took a quick detour to the garage shop on my way home from Church. My mission: the purchase of a packet of Warburton's crumpets for Mr B's delectation. I know how to keep my fella satisfied...
Just inside the door I came face to face with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Yes, I admit, I did a double take. As in, I took in Mickey, and then I took in Minnie. It really was them. You could tell on account of the ears. They were a bit
of a giveaway.
It is rare, indeed, to meet up with both Mickey and Minnie at the same time. Mr B and I sussed out this phenomenon on our first visit to Disney Florida in 1992. We went on our own, without children,
ours all having grown up and flown the nest by then. However we found we could easily share in the delicious delight of Other People's Children. I will always remember, travelling in by land train to the Magic Kingdom, hearing a Little One's sharp intake of
breath at his / her first sight of the magic ahead and the mother breathlessly exclaiming: "Yes, we're REALLY here!"
Over our week in various Disney theme parks, we met up with both Mickey and Minnie on many
occasions. Those mice get everywhere. But never, never together. It was not until we were flying out of Orlando airport (after a week on the Gulf Coast recovering from All Things Disney) that we happened upon the pair of them. Together.
Mr B immediately thrust me between the two of them so that he could snap the photo he had been longing to take ever since we embarked on our holiday. Me and the Mice. I have a horrible feeling that several small children may well have
been pushed out of the way and trampled upon in his excitement. As soon as the photo was taken, Mickey strolled off in one direction and Minnie in the other. It was the Photo Opportunity of a Lifetime, as Mr B is prone to boast.
Obviously it would have been much easier this morning in the garage shop. There they were, the pair of them, grinning hugely at me and offering me the choice of a cupcake - at 50p apiece - or a chance to win on the tombola. Once I had recovered from
my surprise, I soon realised that this was a fundraising exercise on behalf of the Red Cross.
I made a brief inspection of the cupcakes to ascertain whether they were worth the money. This is not an example
of mean-spiritedness on my part, the whole object of the exercise being to raise money for a good cause. It was more a case of market research, being as the cakes I made for yesterday's Coffee Morning were priced at just 25p and - even at that knock-down price
- a few were still inexplicably left unsold at the end of the morning, so facing the ignominy of being offered up for anything anyone was prepared to donate as we cleared up.
Now here's the heart of the matter:
had my cupcakes been priced at 50p each would we have made twice as much from my culinary efforts for the Children's Society? Or would kind donors have decided that just one cupcake would do? Would my creations have been viewed more critically had they been
twice the price? Or would buyers have assumed that price = quality? I guess I will never know.
Given the unsolvability of the Cupcake Dilemma, I opted to buy tombola tickets. My first ticket, number 14, didn't
win me a sausage. Or anything else, for that matter. My next ticket was number 5 - it was a winner! You cannot imagine my excitement - I never, ever win at tombola. My delight at being presented with a six-pack of Walkers Ready Salted Crisps knew no bounds.
Mickey and Minnie were applauding for all they were worth.
Then - and this was really, really disconcerting - Minnie took her head off. I kid you not. Underneath that mousey exterior was a small, bald
man, very red in the face, who offered the opinion that it was "hot in there!" I am only thankful that there were no Littl'uns around at the time to witness this unveiling. We might have had to call out the emergency services. The Red Cross comes to mind...
I remember reading once that at every Disney theme park, the moment any character finds him or herself "on stage" they must be instantly and constantly in, well, character. As they emerge from the Underworld which is
backstage, they become Mickey, or Goofy, or Pluto or whoever.
Clearly such rules did not apply in the garage shop this morning but I am prepared to forgive a momentary lapse.
It was, remember, All In A Good Cause.