This weekend, I once again hold a microphone and auction off things to the highest bidder at the Our Redeemers Lutheran Church annual auction. We’re going in style in 2013, with a Hollywood theme at the Hotel Decca in Seattle. Nice digs.
I play auctioneer a carefully chosen half-dozen times a year. I like to have it in my collection of abilities, but there was a time I would rather have eaten fire ants covered in hot sauce.
My first ever experience as an auctioneer was back in the 1990s, during the inaugural Richard Karn Celebrity Golf Tournament. The guy who played Al on TV’s “Home Improvement” was a Seattle guy, a Roosevelt High grad, and he came back to town to raise money for the hospital that helped his mom out. That first year, the “celebrities” included lots of b-actors and an up and coming Samuel L. Jackson.
After the golf tournament, Murdock, Hunter and Alice were the emcees for a dinner…and suddenly found ourselves as auctioneer. Wasn’t planned, kind of spur of the moment and the item we were given to auction off wasn’t getting one bid. After all, these people hadn’t planned to be at an auction, they had already dished out a lot of money to be a part of the golf tournament and dinner, they were bone dry. I swear, it must have been 10 minutes of begging before someone finally bid on that item.
That soured me on auctioneering. But as I moved through my post-radio life, I watched lesser talents struggle in front of a microphone, so I thought, “What the heck–give it another try.” And I had fun. I started out as a reader for the likes of Dick Friel, Ken Carson and other locals, observed them and after taking careful notes on what works and what doesn’t, I’m now a six-times-a-year auctioneer. Go figure.
During the radio days, I did lots of emceeing, so maybe that’s why I like getting up in front of a crowd and throwing out the zingers in-between bidding. It’s fun customizing lines for the event. Like, for example, this Saturday. I’ve already got a couple in the wings:
February 2nd……Ground Hog’s Day….today is the day that, if the groundhog comes out of his hole, it means he’s trying to outbid you….don’t let that happen.
In the past, I’m sure you’ve heard Kathy read those words, “I bid you, Come.” Tonight, we’re modifying them a little to say, “Come on you, bid!”
Big day tomorrow….who’s for the 49ers?…..who’s for the Ravens?….who’s planning to skip the whole thing and watch the Puppy Bowl?
I’ve got more to write, but it’ll be fun to get up there again and get the extrovert out of my system again, so that I may return to being a shy, timid, wallflower of a guy. Yeah, right….
I’ll let you know how it goes.