by Rocky Macy
You can tell it’s Gladys Clench by her distinctive aroma – a tart little fragrance called ‘Last Mango in Paris.’ Unfortunately, the sudden breeze of the incoming storm caused me to miss the scent.
It happened at an estate sale late one afternoon just last week. The clouds in the southwest had begun to mass and darken, pulling the temperature noticeably downward. The auctioneer was rushing his show along in anticipation of the storm. As I sat in my lawn chair watching the activity and timing my exit for the last possible dry moment, I suddenly felt the hot hand of fate grab my wrist and bond it securely to the arm of the chair.
“Why, Russell,” my captor cooed, “what a wonderful surprise finding you here.”
Survival instinct pulled me to my feet, but the pain caused by the grip of Gladys soon settled my brittle bones back down into the lawn chair. Brawn was out…maybe brains would work!
“I’m certainly surprised, Gladys. I figured you’d have the depression glass staked out.”
“Depression glass is so depressing. I’d much rather stand here and chat with my favorite lonely bachelor.”
“Have you seen the books?” I was trying desperately to bait a hook and cast it to the far side of the crowd. “I understand there’s a table loaded with romance novels over by the Weenie Wagon.”
“I’m not much into fiction,” she said, smiling coyly. “My interests run more toward real life adventure.” Gladys gave a lusty laugh as she pulled me, chair and all, up to her.
There we stood - eyeball to eyeball. Just as I was contemplating chewing off my hand like a crazed animal caught in a trap, a wonderful thing happened. A peel of thunder, glorious thunder, roared through the valley and bounced from the hills. As the sound grew, Gladys, displaying the mentality of a box turtle, looked to the skies and released her grip!
I was halfway back to Sprung Hinge before the chair hit the ground!
Auction Tip: If you’re unsure as to what something ought to be worth, ask several regulars before the item is put on the block. People who go to auctions regularly have an uncanny sense of value.