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7.15.2013

"Twenty dolla-bid-now-fi-woulda-bidda-fi-who-bidda-fi-bidda-fi-anywhere"


Though I like a bargain, I can only search for one so long.  I have a bit of shopping ADD.  I also have a bit of an intolerance for waiting, period.  You can take that into just about any arena and I just don't have the stones for it.  Freely do I admit that my intolerance and hatred for waiting is not the better pieces of my personality.

My hunt for a bargain and my intolerance of shopping and waiting though can be managed by quickly perusing resale shops, Goodwill, etc.  Like the old super hero, Flash Gordon, I am in and out in minutes. I though don't do well at garage sales.  Pretty much I hate garage sales. There just isn't enough stuff at a garage sale, and unless you are first in line at 8:00 a.m., the good stuff is already gone.  Then there is that awkwardness when I, as a prospective buyer, slink away without buying a single thing after being initially greeted by the homeowner of the garage sale.  It's as if I am silently telling them their stuff is shit.

Now I will blast through store after store in a flurry looking to garner a good deal, the best price or even locate something I am in search of.  I am though, not much of a window shopper.  Just looking to look is like fingernails on a chalkboard, like a big bowl of raisins, having to scrapbook with a group of women, or sitting in a sauna in a wool turtleneck - all things I do not want to do!

Some new friends of ours asked us to an auction and then out to dinner recently. Auctions to me are all about waiting.  And, since the best of my best can't be seen while I wait, I really wasn't too awful keen about a couple of hours at an auction.  I am not one to buy something spur of the moment or just because I want to buy something.  We went just to spend time with these new friends who had graciously invited us into their love - going to auctions!   

They are regulars at this little poe-dunk auction.  So much so, that the auctioneer and staff know them by name and vice versa.  We got there before the auction to case the joint - check out all the items that would soon be auctioned off.  I did not see one thing there that was anything I wanted, needed or even thought was valuable enough to buy and resale.  Even the auctioneer stated at the start of the auction that the inventory for auction that particular night was poor.

There were two strikes now against my tolerance and patience; the length of time required to sit while things were auctioned off [I saw nothing I was interested in], and the volume of pure crap that was going to be auctioned off before I could leave for dinner. I could feel my annoyance level rise.

Our friends, long time auction goers, wanted to sit in the front row - right in front of the auctioneer.  It felt similar to sitting in the front row of church.  I didn't want to be at attention the whole time.  I know myself, my tendency to be sarcastic, to sling humor like Mel used to flip burgers at Mel's Diner.  Sitting front and center was going to impede my ways!  This was brutal.

My friend Christine and I seem to operate in similar zones - talking, laughing, generally making fun of most things.  I found myself both disturbed and mesmerized by the auctioneer's un-auctioneering voice, his missing voice cadence, and the not to be heard dolla, who give me ten dolla phrases.  Not only did his lack of an auctioneer's tone and rhythm cause me to laugh, but his outrageous lies about each object he held up was obscenely humorous.

The combination of events, people, the setting, and my impatient ways were not a good concoction.  Christine and I had our shtick going in the front row.   I thought we were being as reverent as one can be at a hokey auction.  Evidently I was totally unaware of the "rules" of a two bit auction until the auctioneer stopped the auction, walked to my chair and told me to "Shhhh!" 

I was both taken back and yet familiar with that sort of public scolding.  There were a handful of times in school growing up that I had been scolded or marked on my conduct for talking and laughing too much.  It was not the first time, nor would it probably be the last.  I have a running commentary of funny, sarcastic and irreverent things to say most days.  Quirky situations and auctions are like gasoline on my fire.

My friend Christine, who had invited us to the auction, was mortified.  I was a combination of angry and incredulous that this two-bit lying C-rated auctioneer had ssshed me.  He later ssshed my friend Christine and then blew a whistle at the entire crowd demanding silence much like a judge's gavel.  If he only knew he was the subject of a blog read by readers in the U.S., 6 from Canada, 5 from Denmark, 3 from Japan and a reader in the Philippines. 

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