We attend the village fete.

‘We’ being I, JonnyB, the LTLP, Big A and Big A’s brother, Little A.

We also take a small child, as insurance against people thinking that we’re a bit sad turning up in order to take part in Heath Robinson-style sideshow games.

It was all very enjoyable. Far more real than the too-good-to-be-true events they have on Midsomer Murders, and with a lower body count, the horizontal driving rain served to generate a good old-fashioned British stiff-upper-lip stoicism amongst the faithful.

And, I’ll have you know, you are now reading the village champion of the knocking the skittles down with a cricket ball game! (Adults division).

And the raffle…

You will recall that many of you purchased raffle tickets, donating money to a charity box local to you in lieu of payment. I told you that I’d know if you hadn’t contributed, using my Derren Brown-like powers. So before I get on to the results, I have a small confession to make:

I do not have Derren Brown-like powers at all!

I was making that bit up! See – you could have got away with it all the time! I’m afraid my Derren Brown-like powers only extended to making you totally and utterly believe that I did have Derren Brown-like powers, and thus forcing you to pay up in fear of exposure.

You are like putty in my hands.

Anyway. The raffle went a bit like this:

Village Dignitary: (drawing ticket from big drum) And prize number one goes to… Fred!

Crowd Hubbub: Oh, Fred! Good old Fred! He got a prize two years ago as well! (etc, applause, nods of appreciation)

VD: And prize number two… Mabel, care of Doris!

CH: Mabel! Doris! (more nods, delighted laughter, ‘well deserved’s etc)

And the longer it went on like this (and there were a LOT of prizes), the more I really, really didn’t want to get to the following:

VD: And the next prize goes to…

(Pause, frown, peer over glasses incredulously)

…a Mr. ‘Cheeky Squirrel’, care of the ‘I don’t believe it’ blog.

(Embarrassed coughs).

(Angry murmurs).

Villager 1: What sort of a name’s that?!

Villager 2: Never heard of him.

Villager 3: What’s this blarg thing? (grabs pitchfork).

I exaggerate, of course. But I think it fair and just that none of you won. I’m sorry. But your charities have benefited and the village fete funds were boosted.

It leaves me with a problem, however. Because the deal was that I’d pay for your tickets at this end and then deduct the total sum from the first prize, before sending it on.

And since eleven of you entered at 20p a head, I’ve ended up quite substantially out of pocket.

It is often a mistake getting involved in financial transactions with friends, and I have lost out through basically subsidising your greed. We need to sort this out.

What do we do?