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Posts Tagged ‘fundraising’

Last Saturday, my friend Uncle B lost his Quiz Night virginity. In the lead up, he was understandably very excited.

“Obviously, film is my strongest category,” he told one of his work mates the day beforehand. “But I like to think I have a broad grasp of general knowledge… except for maybe history, politics… sport… oh, and literature.”

“So, just films then?” his work friend remarked.

“Yes, just films,” he admitted.

Still, Uncle B was lucky on the night that there was a whole section devoted to films – which our table got a perfect score for. That’s ten-out-of-ten, people!

However, on reflection, there was not a single literary question – which is my personal quiz night superpower. Most certainly, there was not a single question on feminist performance theory in the 1980s – the topic of my honours dissertation. Sheesh! (That sheesh was directed at the lack of 80s feminist performance theory questions but could equally be applied to the fact I once wrote twelve thousand words on the topic.)

And since at least three of our party were self-professed experts in the area of Politics and World Events, it was disappointing that the only vaguely related question was a close-up of [Australian Opposition Leader] Tony Abbott’s lycra-clad cock in a ‘Guess the famous person’ section. (For our sins, we got the question right).

Anyway, no wonder our team came second. It’s clear they just asked us the wrong questions. Yeah, that must be it.

Of course, the Mild-Mannered Lawyer tried to blame our loss on my “slow writing”, which, quite frankly, I found discriminatory. For reasons unknown, the person designated to write down the answers in the ‘Speed Round’ was the one person at the table with osteoarthritis. OSTEOARTHRITIS, PEOPLE! And the fact that I wrote down ‘Flemington’ instead of ‘Lamington’ was neither here nor there and most certainly not alcohol-related. Anyone – even the most sober person in the world – could make that mistake. Anyone. I dare the MML to go up to ten random people on the street and ask them to write ‘Lamington’ and I’ll guarantee that at least half will write ‘Flemington’. And by ‘half’, I mean ‘one’. And by ‘one’, I mean ‘me’. Especially if I’m completely rat-arsed.

In any case, it should be stated for the record that I wrote down 12 answers while the MML, who, having commandeered someone else’s pen so she could compile an alternate list, wrote down a grand total of ZERO. That’s possibly because she was too busy shouting “Flemington!” at me.

Anyway, there was a point when someone looked around our table and realised, of our nine team mates, only Uncle B and KT actually had a child at the kindergarten which the quiz night was raising funds for. And even then, they were both eleventh hour additions to our table.

“Uh, so why are we here?” someone asked the MML, who had arranged the whole evening.

I think her (drunken) reply was something along the lines of “QUIZZZZZZZZZZ NIGGGHHHHHHHHHHT!” which, to be quite honest, still sounded a lot like “Flemington” to me.

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Let it be known that I love a good quiz night as much as the next person. As long as that next person is not my husband, of course, who doesn’t like them much at all.

But I have to admit I was just a little bit worried when I bought ten tickets for the Teeny Tots Jazz Ballet Fundraiser for a Mothers Group Night Out. As I handed over my money, one of the organisers rushed forward to hug me and, with tears in her eyes, told me she loved me. 

My train of thought went something like this: Oh shit…We might be the only table there… But then at least we’ll win… Unless, of course, we begin competing with each other… In which case it will get pretty damn nasty… And will probably end in some spontaneous naked jelly wrestling. 

Actually that last thought was my husband’s. Stupid husband thoughts. 

On the morning of the quiz night, I confessed my fears of a Dud Night to the Mild-Mannered Lawyer.

“Whatever happens, we’ll have good food and cheap fizz,” I philosophised. “It will be what it will be…”

“… and that is rowdy,” the MML concluded and I agreed. And we may even have then both punched the air and shouted “QUIIIZZZZZZZZ NIIIIGGGGGGHHHHHHHTTT!!!” in a spontaneous expression of our sheer excitement.

But when the MML and I first arrived at the quiz night that evening, our rowdy excitement was somewhat quelled. Something about the flourescent lighting in the cold Scouts hall and the family groups sitting around eating bowls of Cheesels and drinking soft drinks that made us both nervous.

“Do you think we can open our champagne?” the MML whispered, ever-so-slightly panicked. “Nobody else looks like they’re drinking…”

“Oh god, there are small children present!” I whispered back.

Luckily the rest of our table arrived, as did other people, and soon the hall was buzzing with conversation and our (numerous) bottles of wine weren’t quite so conspicuous.

“Of course, it will be a different story at the end of the night when we have to sneak out all the empties,” I observed quietly to the MML. “But by then, we will probably be too drunk to care.”

And sure enough, that “Beyond Care” moment came, but quite possibly a little sooner than I would have liked. I knew it was upon me the moment I accidentally tripped over something and, so that people didn’t think I was drunk, I just kept on walking. Of course a sober person might turn around to look at what they’ve tripped over. Or, arguably, not have tripped over at all.

But listen, in my defence, it was The Night After The Day Before (see “A Normal Person“) and I had just a little bit of unwinding to do.

And no, I’m not proud of my behaviour. I’m not proud that I tried to bribe the quiz night judges by giving them cupcakes. Nor that I manually altered the results on the whiteboard by adding a digit to my team’s score. Nor that I ended up screaming “Luscious Lushes!” repeatedly in the Quiz Master’s face while my stockings fell down. Nor am I proud that I texted the lyrics of The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” to my husband – although, admittedly, that was the MML who did that and I’m actually proud of her for doing it and quite possibly would have done it myself had I not been so bloody drunk.

The next day, my husband looked at me nursing my aching head and asked: “Do you think they’ll ever let you attend one of those quiz nights again?”

“Why of course they will! Everyone in that room would have regarded me as a bon vivant of the best kind…” I replied confidently, before adding: “As long as they were as drunk as me.”

Unlikely.

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I was bitching to my friend Jacquie the other day about how much the School Carnival was costing me financially, mentally and time-ily (not a real word but I thought I’d try it out anyway). First of all, I had to bake cupcakes for the cake stall  – okay, so that’s hardly a chore considering my track record (see “Cupcaking“), but still, a cupcake baked under duress is a little like sex for money (and not love). Okay, so not really, but you get the idea, right? But get this, as well as the loveless cupcakes, I also had to sell tickets to the raffle, bring in items to be raffled off and volunteer my time for manning one of the stalls. And then I found out that there were going to be rides at the carnival, which at $3 a pop or $25 for an “unlimited pass” per child, could easily send me into remortgaging-the-house territory at this time of year. I mean, how many pounds of my ample flesh did this School Carnival Committee want from me???

“Like, duh, [NDM]. It’s, like, called fund-raising?” Jacquie said. Not quite like that, but I really do enjoy portraying my sophisticated friends as gum-crackin’ wise-ass teenage girls. 

Of course she was right. It’s all in good fun for a good cause, I thought to myself. But little did I know how wrong I was… and now, a few days after the event, I would like to share a little of the “fun” the School Carnival had in store for me.

After baking, decorating and labeling cupcakes at dawn (adhering to the complex WHO Guidelines on labeling food for consumption at school fairs), I drove my cupcakes and my children to the carnival to find everyone else had driven and I ended up having to park the Love Bus closer to my house than the school. I then went on to stand around in the burning sun for four long hours to:

a) lose my children almost as often as I lost my patience with them;

b) join long queues for food and drink, clutching my precious “food tickets” in my hand like it was War Time Britain;

c) serve my obligatory 45 minutes hard labour, hawking second hand plastic crap to people who already had Quite Enough At Home, Thank You Very Much;

d) watch my son and friends go up and down and up and down (and up and down) the Giant Slide and round and round and round and round (and round and round) on the tea cup ride (my son is to an unlimited rides pass as Homer Simpson is to an “all-you-can-eat” seafood buffet) all with the expectation that I would wave with equal enthusiasm *every* *single* *time*;

e) get snarled at by ill-tempered carnies for my equally ill-behaved children, whose ability to queue patiently in an orderly fashion for the jumping castle was somewhat hampered by the fact they were high on adrenalin and fairy floss; 

and finally

e) enjoy the climactic finale where Mr Justice projectile vomited in front of a large crowd of parents and children into my (thankfully empty) cake container. Lovely!

So yes, good cause and all, but can someone please tell me where the fun was in all that? And don’t go telling me it’s in watching my children having the Best Time Ever because it’s *not* about them, it’s about *me*. Me! ME! MEEEEEEE!!

My husband didn’t need to ask me how the school carnival was. I walked in, sunburnt, with the frazzled air of someone who has left their house with the iron still on, something boiling on the stove and the front door wide open but hasn’t quite realised it yet. It was only a few hours later that it all hit me like a tonne of lego bricks – and I swore then and there that next year, come School Carnival time, I was going to place everyone in the family under house arrest and send my apologies to the school along with a $100 cheque. Now, I don’t know or care what anyone else thinks, but as far as I’m concerned, *that’s* the way to fundraise.

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