Friday, March 28, 2008

Rusty Pails #27
One More Trophy

by Rocky Macy

Not every nut stays on the tree – that’s for sure. Occasionally one falls off and lands at an auction.

It happened just last week. The auctioneer was still working through the things that the sale bill referred to as “other items too numerous to mention.” One of these was a corroded old cast-iron skillet missing its handle. Even the auctioneer had to smile as he vainly asked the crowd for a two dollar opening bid. As he prepared to “sweeten the deal” by adding something almost as worthless to the lot, an out-of-towner stepped forward and announced that he would give five dollars for the skillet.

Any fella that doubts the power of money should have been there to see the calming effect that just the mention of that five dollars had on the crowd. Why even the babies stopped squalling so their folks could study the durn fool. As the dumbfounded auctioneer started to hand over the purchase, another fool with money spoke up.

“Five and a quarter,” I heard myself say. Maybe there was more in this relic that met the eye. Anyways, I wanted to find out what kinds of money this stranger was willing to pay. I learned soon enough.

The crowd was now staring at me in disbelief. The auctioneer had regained his composure and was barking for five and a quarter, and he and I and everyone else looked to the stranger for his bid. It didn’t come. Instead he smiled at me and said, “Five and a quarter – for that!” His laugh spread to the auctioneer, the crowd, and finally even to me. It ain’t often that I’m had, but when it happens I can summon the strength to laugh as loud as the next guy.

Now my problem is what to do with this prize. The only way I can save face is to show that it really was a smart buy. Esther Pearl, when she quit laughing, suggested that I send to Rambo for a frisbee. Shadetree Mike said that it might make a sensible hat for some of the “airheads” that come by his place. But I’ll probably just take it home and put it on the mantle over the fireplace – just one more trophy in my complicated life!

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