The Auction

He's talking so fast that it's hard to understand him. There is no way to slow him down. If you did, then he wouldn't be doing his job. However, if I listen closely, I can get the gist of what he is saying.

He is saying that you can have this slightly used set of racist salt shakers for a small bid of 10 bucks, that's all, only 10 bucks, do I hear 10 bucks, No? How about 5 bucks, 5 bucks for this set of classic example of Americana. 5 bucks will get you the Aunt Jemima salt and pepper shaker that may in 2011 be considered offensive. 5, 5, only 5, yours for 5. We got 5!

And the auction is on. But you have to listen carefully because what he really means is that you can have a chance, only a chance, of owning some American History. That chance rests on the possibility that no one else wants to give him more money for the very thing that you may have put 5 bucks on. Pretty soon, some dilhole down the way buys into this ponzi scheme and promises the auctioneer 10 bucks for the thing that he was about to give you for 5.

Now the auctioneer is looking back at you asking if you want to go in for 15. He stares at you and challenges you. He is saying that you are a pussy and how can you just stand there and be insulted by this other person who is now moving in on your action. He calls you out in front of everyone else so you got to go in for 15 and now you are 10 bucks more into what you didn't want in the first place but you can't back down now, what would your neighbors think? They would think you are a sucker because one of them just bid 20 and now they are going to steal your thunder.

In general, this is how auctions work, but not all the nuances can be seen here as I discovered since Papa Scrum did me the favor of taking me to an Estate Auction in a small town. I have learned that there are several types of auctions. High end art auctions where people sip on mimosas and then estate auctions where we all gather to pillage the last belongings of a poor departed sole who may have owned some really cool tools and farm equipment. As you can imagine, I was very excited to go. When people get rid of things that they have had for 50 years, it's a walk down the American Dream. And you can usually get it on the cheap. I also wanted to go, because let's be honest, this is blog gold.

Auction's are a microcosm of the have's vs. the have nots. In this case, the haves have overall's and the have nots have no teeth. But there is something that I learned at doing my first auction. A guy in overall's probably knows a shit more about tools than I do and that' s not the guy that you want to be going against. He's probably frugal and he surely understands what that specialty tool is that you have had your eye on, thus ruining your chance of getting that special wood working clamp on the cheap. Dick. Seriously, I waited for that thing all day on the thought that it's so unique and random, no one would really want it besides me. Mr. Overall's schooled me and I bow before him. They know what everything is when it comes to tools and I am only a rank amateur.

But I'm a quick learner. For example, I have picked up the auctioneer's lexicon and verbiage. I now know what it means when you buy things on choice. I know what 4 times the money means. And I have learned that an Alabama reach around is when one of those overall boys leans in real close and grabs your ass while pretending to look at something over your shoulder. No worries, I have a pretty mouth.

Now I want to point out that these people are good people, people of the earth type people. Honest as a hard day's work and who just enjoy the same thing I do--getting cheap quality tools because someone died, hopefully in their sleep. I promised Papa Scrum that I wouldn't be hard on them when I wrote about it later. Besides, it appears that meth has already been hard enough on some of the toothless ones. Sorry Papa Scrum, but you gotta admit that that joke pretty much writes itself.

The last item I wanted was a simple garden hose. There were two that would soon be coming up. I figured a buck or two at the most. After all, they are just ordinary garden hoses, not special in the least. There is no hidden value in them, none at all. They aren't unique and they are not rare. Since it was at the end of the auction and many people had already gone home, I figured no problem. Once again though I show my ignorance of the overall people.

People who wear overall's probably grow alot of stuff. That requires water. To transport water you need a hose.

The hose came up, I slapped a buck down daring anyone to defy me.

10 people decided I was a noob and did just that. Within 4 seconds the stupid 30 feet of garden hose was out of my suggested retail price range. There was part of me that wanted to say screw it and just throw my checkbook out there. Name your price sir, I will match it. But before I could make the dramatic gesture and silence the masses, the auction was over. The winner was a 70 year old man smoking a cigar. He smiled and took his stupid hose. I wouldn't be surprised to see him stroking a cat.

It turns out that I don't like losing auctions. I don't know why. It's a weird thing.

Next up on the auction block is my pride. I don't think I'm going to bid on this one. Better to just let the cigar smoking overall man take it with my hose.

No comments:

Post a Comment