By: Michael J. Foster
it is! The old oak English chest with the inlaid
wood patterns and brass fittings is prominently
positioned at center stage. While the auctioneer
explains how rare and valuable it is, your pulse
quickens. You imagine how great it will look
at the foot of your bed. As two burly men lift
the chest for all to see, the auctioneer begins
the bidding. "We will start the bidding
at $100! Who will give $100 for the old English
chest?" And so it begins.
and bidding cards pop up fast, but the seasoned
auctioneer doesn't loose stride. He raises each
bid with quick points and affirmative nods.
The frenzy continues up to $250 before you break
free from your antique-induced fantasy. With
sweaty palms, you place your bid. The auctioneer
smiles at the new bidder. "Thank you Ma'am!
I have $260. Who will give $270?"
Your body shudders with exhilaration. You feel
so alive, but also dizzy from the excitement.
The auctioneer looks right at you. "It's
$280 back to you Ma'am!" You realize you've
been outbid, but now your competitive nature
takes over. You nod a defiant "yes"
and look back to the wooden chest, which is
now illuminated with shafts of golden light
The bidding escalates past $300 well on its
way to $400. The auction now resembles a tennis
match. Back and forth it goes - a forehand bid
here and double backhand nod there. The crowd
watches with anticipation as the two warriors
battle. It's now $550.
"Going once!" You have the highest
bid. "Going twice!" The auctioneer
points his gavel in your direction. "Will
anyone give $510 for the oak chest?" Your
stomach flutters with a confused delight. "Sold!
For $500 to the lady in the second row!"
You won! You sit there smiling while your inflated
ego does an obscene victory dance. A man in
the row behind pats you on the back. The woman
next to you tells you how lovely the chest is.
You are the champion!
The quiet ride home provides sobering reflection.
The woman glances in the rearview mirror to
admire her wooden trophy stuffed in the back
seat. It somehow has lost its glimmer. A $500
box and a woman named Ahab.