Sunday, May 3, 2009

At the Auction...Yeah

Hi, my name is Prairie Princess, I'm 30 years old, and I'm an auction addict. Phew, that feels better. One Sunday afternoon a month, March thru October, I get my fix by attending the "Exotic Livestock Auction" at the Stuart Sale Barn. Don't let the word exotic fool you, all they mean by that is they won't be selling just cattle, or just hogs, or just horses, but a little bit of everything. The most exotic it gets is peacocks and the occasional pheasant. Sadly, they don't sell zebras.

The kids and I attended our first auction of the season last Sunday. Hence, the horse trailer mishap mentioned here We dressed up in our best farm gear (so we'd fit in better) and headed off to the huge metropolis of Stuart, meth capital of the midwest. Just kidding Stuart readers! Typically, when we attend an auction we have a list of animals we are there to acquire as well as a budget to purchase those animals with. GI Joe and his budgets, blech. :) Last Sunday on our list to acquire was: chickens, a pair of bronze turkeys (like Herky, RIP), a girl goose to marry Duck Duck Goose, and possibly a female llama. I rehearsed my game face in the mirror the night before and we were ready.

The kids and I arrived at the auction shortly after noon, just as they finished selling the piles of non animal crap that people bring to the auction to be sold, for example, an aluminum feed pan that has been stepped on by a horse, a dirty old stuffed teddy bear, egg cartons (seriously), and much much more. I prefer to miss this part because frankly it apalls me. What are people thinking?

We got our official auction #, lucky #181, and found our seat on the not so comfortable wooden bleachers. Then we do what we always do and the only reason the kids ever want to go with me to the auction.....head to the part of the barn where all the animals to be sold are kept, it's kind of like a Redneck Zoo, if you will. Then we walk around all serious and business like, jotting down potential animals of interest, descriptions and playing with the animals to see if they would be a good fit for the Zoo. We were a little disappointed with the selection, as it wasn't as vast as it normally is but we did find some animals from our list that we were interested in and headed back to our seats to get down to business.

Thank goodness this one was workin' for me. And is it me or does she look WAY older than 9? I don't like that one bit. P.S. You should've seen the looks I was getting as I was photo documenting the event. Priceless.

Here's an outline of what happened over the course of the next 6 hours:

*After stating "I'm bored" approximately 764 times during the first 2.5 hours of the auction, Ryder went up to the top of the bleachers, stretched out and took a 3 hour nap.

This cowboy was worn out.

*I went all PETA on the auction helper, when they were auctioning off baby piglets and he was holding them up by just one of their hind legs, hanging them upside down. The poor piglet was squealing and I was afraid their little leg was going to be dislocated. I was yelling "They aren't that heavy, just pick them up moron!" I got a few strange looks from the farmers. As GI Joe so gently reminded me, they were probably just going to be eaten anyway. Thanks that made me feel better.

*Yours truly was able to set a real farmer straight on the weaning period of a llama. He was in the bleachers and they were getting ready to auction off the mama llama and her 1 month old baby he had brought to sell. They weren't getting the bids as high as he wanted on the pair so the auctioneer suggested selling them separately. I freaked out slightly (or a lot) and immediately went to the farmer and told him to stop the insanity as they had to be together for 6 months. He told me these were his first llamas and he hadn't know that so he stopped the bidding and decided to just keep them. Prairie Princess to the rescue. I think between this and the cayenne pepper cure I am officially a veterinarian now. Call me.

*Speaking of llamas, saw a woman (suspected meth addict) have a TOTAL MELTDOWN in the center of the auction ring as she was trying to sell her pair of llamas off. I was bidding against another person for the llamas when all of the sudden the woman started screaming "You have to pay more than that for them! These are my friends, sometimes they were all I had to keep me company, you can't steal them from me for less than $200!" The other guy and I just looked at each other and shrugged and stopped bidding. The woman kept screaming "You can't steal them from me, I won't let you, I want $200 for each of them or I'm just taking them back home where they belong!" For those of you not in the llama business these llamas were not worth anywhere near $200 each. As if it weren't awkward enough to have her losing her mind in the middle of the ring she kept losing her pants too. They were slightly big and every time she would move they would slip down and her sweatshirt was not big enough to make up the difference. Say no to crack (and meth). Needless to say we didn't bring those llamas home as she eventually stormed out of the ring leading her 2 llamas away, who I swear were looking at me like "Help me, can't you do something? Pull the trailer around and we'll make a break for it." Once she left, Dakota looked at me and said "Mommy, was that lady crazy?" I responded with, "Yes and that is why we don't do drugs." So while we didn't get the llamas we gained a very important life application lesson.

*It was a great day and we brought home 2 of our list items and then a bonus addition. I'm still getting grief from my auction helpers (Dakota and Blade) for not winning the pair of turkeys we were hoping to get. You see, I have a very precise strategy when bidding. When we do our barn walkaround, beside the description of the animal I make a note of what the maximum is I would bid on it. And then believe it or not, I stick to it. I will not go one dollar over. So if I set a limit of $50 and the bidding goes to $51 I gracefully bow out. The auctioneers single me out every single time, because let's face it I'm not their typical clientele and I think they get a kick out of my bidding style. But even auctioneer pressure doesn't make me cave. So we didn't bring home the pair of turkeys because a guy outbid me and paid $4 more than I said I was going to go. But you know as well as I do that if I would've kept bidding, he would've kept bidding and that $4 would've been $8 or $10 or $20. I'll get 'em next time. Besides I don't think they were very tame turkeys and we all know that would've been disastrous, because what's the point of having a turkey if you can't put a safety vest on them?

Here are the latest additions to the Zoo courtesy of our first auction of the season.

Hawkeye the Red Golden Pheasant. The picture doesn't do him justice but trust me he's a looker. He's still very young but in a year or so, he'll be breathtaking (google Red Golden Pheasants) and he'll get to wear the orange safety vest for protection.

Twelve of these gals whom we call The Red Hat Society. Sadly, our emus were not as welcoming and have since viciously stomped and murdered 5 of them. We're working thru their anger management issues currently. In the meantime, the remaining Red Hats are steering clear of them and it seems to be working. We bought these hens to restock our laying population since we lost all of our hens during the winter and only had 3 roosters left. At the auction there were all kinds of eggs rolling around in their cages but do you think we've found one single egg since we've had them? Not a chance, we're still buying our eggs at Costco. But they do make me laugh when I see them walking around and that's all that matters.

And then Gertrude the Goose, the bride to be in the arranged marriage to our male goose, Duck Duck. So far I don't think the spark has been ignited, they both just keep wandering aimlessly around the barnyard never realizing that their soulmate is just steps away. I've tried playing romantic music, lighting some candles, and even showing them our wedding video but still nothing, i think the bump on their head is making it hard to see what is right in front of them. I'm hoping fate will intervene and someday we'll have a beautiful happy goose family waddling around. I'm such a romantic.

So I've had my auction fix but I'm already jonesing for the next one. I can't explain the "rush" it is to bid on something and actually win it. And the fact that the "things" I'm winning are animals that I get to pet and love just double the fun. It's a sickness what can I say?

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