A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 121: The Auctioneers Song

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Edited: nnpdad 3 May 2021

There was a boy in Arkansas
who wouldn’t listen to his ma
when she told him he should go to school.
He’d sneak away in the afternoon,
take a little walk then pretty soon,
you’d find him at the local auction barn.

He’d stand and listen carefully.
Then pretty soon he began to see
how the auctioneer could talk so rapidly.
He said, “Oh my, it’s do or die.
I’ve got to learn that auction cry.
Gotta make my mark and be an auctioneer.”

25 dollar bid it now, 30 dollar 30
Will you gimmie 30 make it 30
Bid it on a 30 dollar will you gimmie 30.
Who’ll bid a 30 dollar bid?
30 dollar bid it now, 35, will you gimmie 35
to make it 35 to bid at 35.
Who would a-bid it at a 35 dollar bid?

- Lee Roy van Dyke

*Authors note: You have to listen to understand the speed of the Cadence. ()

Time Stitches. The quickest way to blow up a childhood memory was to even think about harboring those expectations now. Frankly, this 1822 auctioneer sucked, stunk, lacked charisma. In other words, he had absolutely zero stage presence and the auction moved along at a crawl.

First up was housewares. It appeared that some people had sold out in entirety in the crash that followed the Panic. It looked like they were just taking whatever cash they could raise and heading home. On the third, mostly kitchen goods, Amos grabbed my arm. I looked at him and then bought it. It was easy. Mostly a couple of general stores were buying and they were getting them at bid minimum. I surprised everyone and simply outbid them. I paid $4.50 for the lot, basically a bad cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. It took us almost an hour to get there; the auctioneer was that awful. There was no way I was going to stand there for three days. We needed to get this thing moving and for that, we needed a new auctioneer.

I decided to intervene. I couldn’t bid if I were doing the calling, so I handed my lot list to Timmons and told him which lots I absolutely wanted. For the other lots, I listed my max bid, but hoped to get them much cheaper. Then I went and sought out the supposed auctioneer. I sent Amos to bring me a strong coffee with lots of sugar; I’d need to be revved up for this.

He was in his mid-40s, wearing a cheap suit, hung-over, and desperately in need of a haircut. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I simply introduced myself and told him that I’d spell him for an hour. That earned me a dubious look until I held out my hand with two $10 silver eagles. I knew that was probably more money than he had hoped to clear for the entire auction. It didn’t take him long to figure that out himself. He grabbed the coins and told me he’d be right back after he had some breakfast. I simply smiled, turned away, and began practicing my stage voice and cadence on my way back to the stage. I sat down on the makeshift steps and smoked a cigarette while I waited for my coffee. I rehearsed the words in my head, always echoing the same cadence I wanted to sing out of my mouth.

I realized it was time to go on, so I went up the steps to the block, drank down the last of my coffee, and began to cast my voice out over the crowd. Casting was a learned skill that I was first introduced to while listening to my Drill Instructors throughout boot camp and trainings. Without electronics, you had to do it with your voice alone. It was something you learned.

“Well, there, folks the auctioneer has taken a break and I am filling in.” I said to the image of my friend and business partner, who stood just beyond the back edge of the crowd. I didn’t shout or raise my voice. I merely cast it, putting a different emphasis on the sound waves.

 
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