Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boy was it Windy

The title is the under statement of the week. We had sustained winds at more than 50 mph yesterday and overnight. Not as bad as Illinois or Indiana, but a bitter, cold, blowing sort of night. So what did I do? I went to an auction.

The auction was about 50 miles from my house at a place that I go almost every week. I have been eyeing three chairs that were in storage at one end of the auction house. They were there for an upcoming auction, but no one could tell exactly which auction that would be. Well the bill for last night's auction didn't specifically identify those chairs but had "chairs" listed. So I had to attend.

Now the run to the auction house was directly into the wind. My truck bucked and bumped and shuddered all the way there. I am pretty certain that it took an extra quarter tank of gas to get there.

I walked into the auction house, arriving my normal 3/4 hour late. I looked around, not much of interest. And then, there were the chairs. They looked OK, but it was hard to get too close to them with the other attendees plopping their butts into MY chairs. Someone said that they were from a hospital and another said that they folded down into a single bed. I talked to one of my friendly competitors and told him that all I was there for was the chairs. He said no problem, he wouldn't bid on them if I wanted them.

Then came the wait. Usually even a crappy auction will generate a couple of items of interest, or something that is worth bidding on just because it was soooooo cheap. Nothing at this auction. I had a bag of popcorn and a Diet Coke. No bids. I had a crappy turkey sandwich and another Diet Coke. And still no bids.

The entire new steel panel building was shuddering. I was watching a mirror that was hung on the wall swaying above the head of someone who was sitting in another of MY chairs. There was no window there and no air leakage at the center of the insulated steel panel, just the entire building swaying in the wind. The wind was picking up.

At about 7:00 PM (three hours after the auction started) I yelled at the auctioneer: "when are you going to sell the furniture"? Now this auctioneer is notoriously slow and some of us regulars have taken to not so gently prodding him to finish his auctions before breakfast. (In fact he is so slow that I stated, only half jokingly, that by being 45 minutes late I missed the first 10 items). He says "I guess that we can start mixing in some furniture right now". And the ringman grabbed one of MY chairs.

So here we go, after a month of anticipation and 3 hours of waiting they were UP. "Choice, take one or all three". "$500, who'll bid $400?" One of my friends laughed. Finally I open the bidding at $2.50. The bidding moves up, but I hang in there. Then "SOLD, to the guy who hasn't bid on anything all night". I was pleased. And then the attendees plopped their butts back down into MY chairs.

I waited to bid on a few other pieces of furniture, four fancy wrought iron backed, orange seated bar stools (they too are now mine). Soooo very 1970's. And a nice round table that my friend bid on so I skipped.

Now it was time to check out. Not too much of an addition problem in adding up both of my items. And on to loading.

Here's a hint for truck packing affectionados: NEVER TRY TO DEPLOY a TARP in a 50 MPH GALE. I thought that I was headed over the rainbow without Toto or my house. (I would have aimed for Nancy Pelosi for my landing). Nearly full flight without any vehicle. I decided to forego the tarp. Even though I am sure that with some clever rigging I could have made up my gasoline deficit on the return trip.

I pulled into my driveway and there was a huge limb across the road. I tried to push it with the truck and that worked for a little while but I ultimately had to get out and move it enough to squeeze the truck between the garage and the limb. I then moved two trash cans that had blown across the yard and tripped over another smaller limb that I didn't see in the pitch black. Into the house and to hell with unloading.

In the morning, I found another bigger limb had fallen on the driveway after I drove through there and the yard was littered with branches. I played lumberjack. I cut up the bigger limbs into manageable pieces and pulled them out of the way with my truck.

I brought the chairs to Gypsy Lea's for the November sale. Gypsy was very pleased with them. I showed her the fold out bed and she was enthralled. I folded it out and she gave it a try. (She had been moving and painting furniture all morning and thought a short nap would be useful). She was then really enthralled. The chairs will be available after November 11th.

Mr. Flannery


Charlene said...

I would love to see pictures of these 3 chairs and the way they become a bed? Perhaps I misunderstood?

I love auctions. It's amazing the things I've bought.

red.neck chic said...

I'm sorry... but I am sitting here giggling... I SO have a mental picture of you wielding the chainsaw above your head - just 100% lumberjack-like. LOL

I'm glad the limbs were in your driveway and not in your HOUSE!

I wanna see the chairs!!! Heck, I even wanna see the orange ones!

Do you think Nancy wears really pointy shoes?

;-D robelyn

Linda K. said...

I think you missed your calling - should've been a writer!! Your story reminded me of several "loading" situations we've been in at times after auctions.....glad you finally got your chairs....

karen said...

love your stories....would love to meet you in person some day. AND...the laugh that I needed this morning-Nancy Pelosi reference.