Posted 8/24/11 (Wed)
I’m not a licensed auctioneer. In fact, truth be told, I’m not an auctioneer at all. Oh, I can sing part of Leroy Vandyke’s auctioneer song, if the mood is right. And I can listen in to an auction sale and pick up an occasional bid. And I’ve told you about my being a pedigree man at a horse sale. And a ring man at a bull sale. But at home, I have become a world champion auctioneer.
It is my grandkids that are to blame. I started taking them to the local auction barn at a young age. I would pack up a boy or two, grab a diaper bag, and off to the cow sale. And they became addicted to cattle auctions.
Their mother would give me strict instructions on what the boys could eat. Healthy stuff. You know. The stuff that cattle buyers don’t eat. You can walk into any sales ring in the world, look up at the guys in the buyer’s seats, and realize that they have never tasted broccoli, asparagus, or carrot sticks. You can see they have lived on malts, French fries, hot beef dinners, biscuits and gravy, and really good stuff. They have never ordered the chef salad or the petite steak. They are my heroes!
One of the first times I took Evan to a cow sale, he was pretty little. Just starting to walk. When I took him home, his mother met us at the door. She wanted to know what he had for lunch. I explained how he ate the little sack lunch she had packed, and we split a bowl of vegetable soup. No salt. Just a dash of pepper. She began to unwrap him and a French fry fell out of his vest! No lie! Right there in front of God and everybody!
And then the buyers give the boys money for cookies. Do you know how many chocolate chip cookies two cute little boys can buy for $5.00? More than they can eat and more than Grandpa can eat. I can guarantee that.
But back to my being an auctioneer. We have cow sales. Every day. I imagine the boys have two-hundred head of toy cows and horses. And probably fifty head of dinosaurs and dragons. A couple of dozen lions, eight elephants, one kangaroo, and some odd stuff.
So, every day, they set their pens up, I announce for buyers to get to the ring, and the sale starts. We sell all breeds. Angus, Holsteins, Longhorns, Highlanders, Jerseys, Simmentals. You name it, we have it. We have butcher cows (not many), bucking bulls, breeding bulls, saddle horses, bucking horses, pairs, feeder cattle, and bred stock.
The boys know what each cow is bred to, when she is going to calf, where she was born, how old she is, and what her last calf weighed. Most cows are five and a half. Most cows are gentle. And most are bred back to a real good Angus bull.
We have a row of buyers that includes Batman, Iron Man, Barbie doll, and about twenty other guys ranging from soldiers to cowboys and Indians. It’s about as diversified as Dickinson State, but that’s another story.
When the cattle sale is over, we usually have to have an exotic sale. Where we sell animals to the zoo, the circus, or animal collectors. The dinosaurs seem to be in the highest demand. Oh, once in awhile, we might get a good bull that brings from 10 to twenty thousand. Or a good horse that was a wild stallion in the desert, but now is gentle and kids can ride him will bring several thousand. We’ve had bucking bulls bring up to a hundred thousand! But dinosaurs, or fire breathing dragons, have brought up to a million! And last night, Batman paid two million for a two-headed dragon that breathed fire out of one head, and spewed gasoline out of the other! Two million! That’s going to be hard to top with the economy the way it is.
But I’m guessing that maybe this afternoon, we might set another record. But then, I’m just the auctioneer.