Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rusty Pails #4
Judge Redbone Holds Court

by Rocky Macy

Like flies, grasshoppers, and other onery pests, local politicians can be counted on to swarm into sales in the weeks prior to an election. In a flurry of free pens, emery boards, matchbooks, and enough hot air to float the dome off the Capitol Building, these perennial backslappers and baby kissers descend on America’s bargain hunters with a degree of precision and daring that would have astounded General Grant in his prime!

Judge Rufus T. Redbone, Grand High Road Commissioner of Sprung Hinge, is one of my personal favorites. He holds court at the local auctions with such enthusiasm that his antics have been known to eclipse those of the auctioneer. The Judge, never one to be hampered by the facts, can soak up a situation and spit out a popular response before most of us even understand the problem.

I ran into this political artisan at an estate sale just last week. As I stepped into his entourage, the Judge was busy blaming the previous evening’s thunderstorm of the bureaucrats in Washington. When the others had been sufficiently enlightened on the politics of weather, he turned to me.

“Mr. Pails, how’s my favorite man of letters?”

Unsure as to whether he mistook me for a college professor or the postman, I politely told him that except for the occasional bout with rheumatism that I was fine. The Judge assumed the role of doctor without missing a beat and prescribed a home remedy that “Mrs. Pails” could concoct. I listened politely, not wanting to burden the Judge with useless information - like the fact that I am still in the prime of my bachelorhood.

”And your Missus,” the Judge continued, “can fix that nagging pain in no time. Keep me in mind come election, you hear?”

“You bet, Judge,” I smiled. “You can count on my vote.”

Well – at least he can count on the vote of my “Missus”!

Auction Tip: Plug in those appliances before making a bid. Get to a sale early enough to try everything out before the bidding starts.

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