I was happily writing out the names from the comments screen of my Giveaway post, on neat little strips of paper, when L'Usband poked his head round the door.
"How many?" he asked.
"Ten comments," I said proudly.
"Only ten?!" Clearly he had hoped for hundreds of entrants, so that he could (behind my back, no doubt) give away all the STUFF that I have been collecting over the years.
"Oh, well," he said, bravely hiding his disappointment, "good for you, dear," and tootled off to drown his sorrows in a can of Hansa.
A moment later Ms Mirabelle peeked around the door. I had booked her specially to do the draw, and even made her a beautiful big new hat for the occasion.
"How many?" she asked, patting her hair and pulling at the hem of her dress.
"Ten comments," I said proudly.
"Only ten???!!" There was no mistaking the tone of her voice.
"Well," I said, "that is pretty good, don't you think?"
"Mmmmmm," she sniffed. "What's this?" She poked her little paper finger at the screen.
"Oh, that is L'Usband's comment," I answered, a bit nervously.
"So!" she said, narrowing her eyes."So, ACTUALLY, what you MEAN to say is, you only have NINE entrants..."
"Yes, but ..."
"No buts!" she said. "That is pretty pathetic!"
"No, it's not," I said, feeling my face getting hot. "Look, this one's from the UK! And this one too! This one is anonymous - it may be from anywhere - Russia, perhaps! And this one from the States, up north! This one is from Durban and this one from Cape Town! And this one is from Spain, Bilbao! And this one from Andalusia in Spain! And look, look, this one is from Finland! I'm known all over the world! In fact, you could say I am world-famous!!"
"HaHaHa!" she shrieked with laughter. "Oh dear!" she cackled rather unattractively, clutching her sides, her little paper-body bent over, shaking with mirth. Finally she stopped, and wiped the tears from her eyes.
"Well," she said, taking off her new hat, "there is no way I'm associating myself with such a small-scale event, Anairam. Anyway," she added, "I'm quite busy with my memoirs, and now I have another little something to write about." She sniggered. "Perhaps," she flung over her shoulder, as she stomped away on her little paper legs, "perhaps you should have taken a bit more trouble over the prize, put a bit more effort into it," and she cast a withering look in the direction of my three little Paper Birds.
I tell you, Ms Mirabelle may look all charming and sweet, but she has a mean mouth on her. I'm simply not going to let her put me off.
So, let me just shuffle them all around ... and pick one ... and the WINNER ... is ... LINDA SUE!!
Congratulations, Linda Sue, please send your postal address to anairamtraws at hotmail dot com and three little birds will be winging their way northwards!"Ummm, ummm, Anairam ...." a tiny little voice said. (Ha! She's back - can't bear the thought of a party going on without her, of course ...)
"What is it?" I said curtly.
"Well, I was thinking, maybe I'll do the draw after all ... and then you can publish a photo of me on your blog again, with my new hat ..."
"Sorry, no can do, Mirabelle," I replied nastily. "It's all done. Finished. We did it all without you."
"Well, can't we maybe ... perhaps ... just this once ... do a runner-up?" her voice quivered.
Oh, my goodness, who can resist her when she asks so sweetly, and when you can see a big wobbly paper tear just ready to drop?
She closed her eyes, shuffled the remaining slips around, and ....
"The SECOND WINNER is .... ESTI!!" she shouted excitedly and clapped her little hands.
Congratulations, Esti, please send your postal address to anairamtraws at hotmail dot com and three little birds will be winging their way to Spain!