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 They then went inside to sell a collection of out of date food, half empty boxes of restaurant supplies, and household furniture.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.


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