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Western Oz Words: Cherish Our Weaknesses

...A neat white van arrived in my driveway – Picasso Painting and Decorating – the logo on the side was a large paintbrush tipped with red paint...

And a deal involving a trip to Disneyland was soon done with Mr Picasso the painter.

Margaret Dunn tells a deliciously entertaining tale.

Being complex human beings, we all have weaknesses which we either try to control, or give in to without a fight. My personal weakness, which I give in to happily, is entering competitions – even the ones where you just send in an envelope with name and address on the back. Because I try so many, I do occasionally win a prize – often a totally useless item which I don’t want. Some of my fabulous prizes have been:
A giant pack of dog biscuits: (I don’t have a dog and my cat wouldn’t look at them).
A CD of German Lieder (can’t stand this kind of music).
Trendy fashion sunglasses ( I already have four pairs).
Three bottles of Gin (I only drink whisky).
A free one-week course on losing weight: (they would find a small skeleton at the end of the week)!

In my Homes Beautiful Magazine last month there was a competition for which the prize was a Trip for Two to Disneyland – valued at a vast sum of money, no doubt exaggerated! I sent in my entry – my choice of flowers/plants for a seaside garden - knowing thousands would enter and I’d never win. But – it’s what I do.

When a cheerful voice on the phone babbled that I had won this magnificent prize and told me where to apply for the tickets etc, I was horrified. I have never wanted to go to Disneyland and be loaded with junk food and shown around the place by a giant Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. I had to get rid of it. After I ascertained that the prize could be used by a family member (or in my case ‘friend/neighbour’ – who would know) I went down to my local newsagent where there is an Advert Board much used by local residents. I had printed out a large notice offering the prize for sale. The shop owner, Janice, said “Your phone will be running red hot with people after a cheap trip.

At my request, she agreed to deal with the enquiries and contact me. As I left the shop I noticed she was reaching for her phone...

Later in the day my telephone rang – a male voice told me that Janice had given him my number and he was enquiring about the advert on behalf of his family. How much did I want for the tickets? (I later found out he was Janice’s brother).

He agreed to come along and discuss terms. A neat white van arrived in my driveway – Picasso Painting and Decorating – the logo on the side was a large paintbrush tipped with red paint.

Mr Picasso was a tall friendly soul in white overalls. We had coffee, and he told me of his daughter’s troubled times as a single parent. She was determined to take her small son to Disneyland as a special treat after all the family problems they had come through, and he wanted to help with the costs. Always the one to seize an opportunity, I suggested he redecorate my bedroom in exchange for the tickets. He stared at me, a slow smile spread under his white moustache. His brown eyes gleamed.

So, we did a deal. He arrived with paint/ brushes/sheets on the day his family left for Disneyland. My bedroom is now a boudoir in pale lilac with a feature wall of soft trailing roses: the paintwork is white. This is the best prize I’ve ever won!
I have invited Mr Picasso to come again for coffee if he is working nearby....

Perhaps another deal might be possible!


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