THE WRONG MAN By Patricia Jay

All the invitations had been sent out, the hall was booked, refreshments were all under way. The work top was laden with vol- a- vonts of all shapes and fillings, both sweet and savoury. There was an abundance of ready made sweet meats, for those with a sweet tooth. And enough drink to sink a battle ship, both alcoholic, and soft drinks for the non drinkers. All the cups and glasses were polished to within an inch of their lives,

Any accompanying animals, should they come, were not forgotten, because this was a charity that encompassed animals, dishes holding doggy type morsels were to be placed in corners of the room, and will be pointed out to anyone requiring them.

I think that every thing has been arranged. I’ve been over it time after time, I do so want everything to go well. And the piece de resistance will be a demonstration on flower arranging in the grand style, by a well known demonstrator, I was very lucky, and quite surprised, to be able to obtain his service so easily, at such short notice.

It was a very bad line when I telephoned him. But we sorted the time and place out in the end. He didn’t sound a all snooty for ail his up – market write ups, quite youngish in fact. I do hope that I have got the right person. We talked about the show, and he seemed quite enthusiastic, for all the bad line. I asked him if there was anything that I could have ready for him, like voorses vases or varses. I do not think that he got the joke, but it was a bad line, so I let it pass. He said it was alright, he would bring all the stands, and I think he said blooms that he needed. At this point the phone line gave up altogether. So it was left at that.

The big day dawned, I was so excited and nervous, we had sold a lot of tickets. I was so hopeful of making a good amount of money for the special charity. l got to the hall early, hoping to calm my nerves. All was ready, I need not have worried. Time both dragged, and rushed by. At last people started to arrive, first in dribs and drabs, and then in a steady stream. The hall filled up nicely. And came the time for the guest demonstrator to make his appearance.

The stage curtains were still closed, which was just as well. It saved the audience from seeing me have a fit of the vapors, when on stage bounced a young man with a box full of,—- not blooms, but balloons, thanks to the faulty telephone line we had got on cross purposes. I had misheard balloons for blooms. He made all sorts of animals and shapes with balloons. If ever a floor was needed to open up, it was now. What could l do‘? Cancelling was not an option, All the supporting demonstrators were here and waiting, so all I could do was to throw myself on the mercy of the audience, explain what had happened, and go on with the show.

Happily the audience had a good sense of humour and settled down for an interesting, if different, evening. The balloon man received a rousing reception, along with every body else. The evening was rounded off with refreshment and drinks, and a goodly sum was collected for the charity. And I am sure it was because we had the “wrong man.”




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