Saturday, May 11, 2002

Auction Fever



Well, my laptop is fixed, so I'm posting again from the comfort of the couch.

Christina and I went to an auction today with Martin and Jeanene. Martin's boss had suggested it as a good place to get furniture deals. Martin and Jeanene need furniture for the house they're planning to purchase, and Christina likes a good auction. Me? I thought it would be fun to take the excursion.

Christina required more convincing to go along that I expected. After a very confusing conversation, we determined that I had forwarded her a message that contained two very different discussions. Martin's message about the auction was preceded by a note from Ben lamenting the departure of Ron Wilson, hockey coach. If you read the message without context (as Christina did), it sounded a lot like we were heading to Ron Wilson's estate sale. Christina was less than enthused about bidding on a bunch of sports memorabilia. Once we cleared that up, she was 100% on board.

We met Martin and Jeanene this morning at Dunkin' Donuts and followed them to Northern Virginia, where the auction house was located. There was a brief preview period where we wandered around and looked at stuff before the auction proper began. I was a little surprised to hear the traditional auctioneer 200-word-a-minute style used, but after a while I got used to it.

The strategy they used here was to auction off only furniture (to make room for more stuff) or items people requested to bid on (which made sure that nothing went without bids). Martin and Jeanene ended up with a 1920s-era bedroom suite and a grandfather-type clock. Christina asked for bidding on some carnival glass and a nice wooden box, but bidding on that quickly went beyond what she was willing to pay (although she said the winning bidders still got very good deals). I had the honor of having my request be the last item of the auction -- once the auction assistant realized that I was asking to bid on some old beer bottles, not trying to order a beer from him. The auctioneer held up the beer, asked for a $1 bid, got mine, and then yelled "sold" without taking any more bids. Well, I'm happy.

Martin and Jeanene needed a couple of trips to get all their new furniture home. We helped by transporting a nightstand (or end table or something), which Martin'll pick up later. I put it away in my dining room. Christina put a towel over it to protect it -- ostensibly from spills, but actually if it sits there too long, I might get used to how nice it looks.

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