Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nine Feet of Giraffe

At about 2:30pm on Friday afternoon I decided that I must get tickets to Memphis Heritage's annual Architectural Auction on Saturday night. Not only did I want a chance to purchase some architectural treasures, I wanted to check out the old Marine Hospital and schmooze. By 4:30 I had two tickets.

The silent auction started at 6:30pm, but our babysitter couldn't come until 7:30pm. When we arrived shortly after 8:00pm we were informed that many of the auctions would be ending soon. In a frenzy we bypassed the booze and (what little) food (there was), and zipped through three or four rooms at lightening speeds, making quicker decisions than we ever had in our lives. I honestly have no clue what we actually bid on, or if we even won. I imagine I'll get a phone call in a few days if we did!

Warren wracked up at the "Garage sale" where he scored a shot glass that was exactly like one his dad had when he was little, two tumblers, and a very old mailbox--all for $3.50.

Once we made a purchase, we calmed down and joined Mary & Michael in the room where the live auction was going to be. I had perused some of the items online, but had somehow missed the 9ft Giraffe head from the Berry Brooks collection. Amazingly, both Warren and I were sure that we needed to own it. (The only thing we couldn't agree on was what room to put it in.) Before the auction started we discussed what our maximum bid would be so we wouldn't get caught up in the moment (and the free-flowing alcohol) and spend more than we wanted.

Mary & Michael were totally egging us on and loving every minute of it. The woman next to me, who was inexplicably holding a very large cucumber, repeatedly made her (negative) feelings on the giraffe known to us. "It's not like we killed it!" I said to her. To which she replied, "You only die once!" Or something. Trust me, it was funny.

As the auction started, we were pleasantly surprised to see that most items were going for very reasonable rates. We got a bit cocky. "The giraffe is ours!" "Who else could possibly want a 9ft giraffe?" "The kids are going to love it!" "Says here we have til Thursday to pick it up or we can pay a $50 delivery fee." "If you win that sucker, we're loading it up tonight!"

And so on.

The auctioneer started the auction at our maximum bid! I stayed calm, because she had been starting high all night and when there were no takers had gone down to a much lower starting point. Well, some woman in the back jumped on it.

Then someone up front took it higher. Then I got in on it at a much higher price than I was authorized for while Warren, Mary, and Michael all gawked at me. The price kept going higher and the auctioner was right in my face taunting me but Warren was holding my arms down and he is much stronger than me. "We set a limit!" he said. "It was your idea, remember!!"

The woman in the back won it and I was bummed.

The final price wasn't completely out of reach and I was mad that Warren had stopped me. But I could only pout so long before we were on to Plan B. The Wildebeast.

It was cool, but not nearly as cool as the 9ft giraffe. It too went over our maximum, but it was easier to let it go. It was definitely the most fun I've ever had losing something. The woman with the cucumber was entertained too. How do I know? She gave us her cucumber!

I took my prize over to the bar where the giraffe was on display to compare.

When I told the bartender my saga, he said, "Oh no, be glad you didn't win. Look at those sad eyes! They've been staring at me all night!"

He had a point.

Besides, I never could quite figure out how to explain the giraffe to Al.


Chip said...

That's quite a cucumber. I expect to see followup on Chop Fayn. Unless, of course, it's used somewhere besides the kitchen. In which case, you can put it on that other secret blog you keep.

Stacey Greenberg said...

i forgot to say that saturday morning when we were telling satchel about our almost win, his reaction was, "where did you get that big cucumber? can i eat it??" he could have cared less about the giraffe!

and if you are lucky, you'll have some cucumber in friday's ceviche.

Melissa said...

Can the City of Memphis get together and plan NOT to cram all of the fun activities going on into one weekend? We were so sad to miss the auction. I totally would have outbid you on the cucumber.

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