Saturday, July 16, 2005

Worst Auction in years?

I haven't been to an auction in several months so this morning I set out to correct that situation. John Pait (local auctioneer) was having a sale in Reidsville, about 10 miles away. The ad listed some restaurant equipment that I thought we could use and the usual tools, etc.
I parked on the street and walked down the drive to the auction site. It turned out to be about a 1/4 mile walk to an old house in the woods. Good thing I left my truck at the street, a Humvee would have had trouble negotiating that road. Anyway, after my invigorating walk, I arrived at the dump. A house with plastic sheeting over missing and broken windows and chunks of missing bricks. The bricks weren't missing, they were strewn about the yard. There were pieces of restaurant equipment scattered about the property. Also about a dozen late model cars in various states of disrepair. They were all Nissans, Mazdas, Toyatas, and other assorted rice burners. The "sale" had started a few minutes early and was in progress when I got there. They were attempting to auction some tools but Mario, the property owner, stopped a couple of sales by claiming the bids weren't high enough. John Pait finally told Mario that if he had a "reserve price", he needed to know BEFORE they started taking bids. They then went inside to sell a collection of out of date food, half empty boxes of restaurant supplies, and household furniture. Mario, the psycho property owner, kept telling everyone that he would burn everything before he would sell it cheaply. I told Mario that I had a can of gas in the truck and I was sure someone else had matches. He walked off to complain to John.
I went outside to view the items that I had come to see, a few flour and sugar bins. They were outside between an old pizza oven and a big chicken house made of sheet metal and chicken wire. The house was filled with chickens, guineas, and pigeons that were in and around it.Mario came up and offered to sell the bins to me for $50 before they were auctioned. I told him that his price was more that I wanted to pay. He then started yelling at me about how valuable all this restaurant equipment was. I stopped him and asked, " Mario. If all this shit is so valuable, why do you have it sitting out here in the weather?" Mario headed off again to see John. I took the couple of items that I had purchased and headed up trail to my truck. I only hope that tomorrow's paper has a story about a huge fire at Mario's, if that crap isn't too wet to burn.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Why Tattoos ???

"A tattoo is a permanent reminder of temporary insanity." A friend sums up his thoughts about tattoos with those few words. I have never thought that tattoos were a good idea and when my eighteen year old son got one last week, my dislike for them went off the charts.
I have noticed over the last few years an explosion in the number of people with tattoos. All kinds of people seem to have them. Why?? What possesses someone to pay an "artist" to take needles and inject ink into their skin? Why do women want tattoos on their lower backs? Do they think that they need a picture to draw attention to their butt? Do they think that men won't find their butts without illustrated directions? Why do men get a woman's name put on them? Have they checked the divorce rates? A tattoo will outlast child support payments and alimony.
My personal favorite is the Chinese symbol tattoo. I have known several people who have these and I always ask them the same question. How do you know what that means? The answer is almost always the same, "That's what they told me at the tattoo parlor". How many Chinese folks can they know that will appreciate the symbolism?
People think that it is cruel to brand cattle and yet our children get tattoos. We are the most advanced civilization in history and yet decorating our skin with tattoos is growing. Why is it that all the people who want to rebel and be different all do the same stupid things? How about some original thoughts?
My wife asked me why I was so upset about our son getting a tattoo. I tried to explain but I just couldn't put it into words. I did mention that we had spent $5000 for braces because we were concerned about his appearance and self-image. Then he spent $175 to show me that appearance didn't matter. I guess part of it is that I thought he was smarter than that. I don't care if every 18 year old in town has one, it's still stupid. People who seek to define themselves as individuals should not follow the herd.
Have you ever seen a sixty year old with a tattoo and thought "I wish I had one of those!"?
The good news is that millions of dollars await the person who can come up with an easy way to remove these "permanent reminders of temporary insanity".