It happened many years ago but I remember it clearly. There was going to be an auction of pies and baked goods organized to raise money for a group that my kid was involved with.
Some folks came to donate a cake or such, some came to bid, and a few of us donated stuff and planned to buy something, as well.
My cake, which for official purposes shall remain ‘my cake’ although my wife baked it, brought in a lovely sum of money early on in the proceedings. I was happy and suddenly into the spirit of the event.
I eyed one apple pie so beautiful that I desired it in my belly instantly, yet I thought it might be too pretty to eat. It made Martha Stewart’s camera-ready work look like something by Jackson Pollack. It was perfect. A criss cross top, baked to a delicious golden-brown and filled with tart apple filling that wafted the fantastic smell of cinnamon, autumn, and unconditional love.
My plan was to spend quite a few bucks on various baked goods. But this pie, this work of art, this delectable embodiment of Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney skipping hand in hand down a tree lined mid-western street was where I was going to dump all my cash in one glorious go.
It went up on the block and I began slowly but confidently. One of the other Dads played along and fought me for that majestic dessert. We went up…$10, $20, $30. The kids were starting to get a bit excited when I pushed it up to $50, the highest bid of the night so far…
The other Dad held firm and pushed it up to $60. Damn! The kids were jumping around with excitement. I looked him in the eye like a gun-fighter and said, “Sixty-FIVE dollars!” There was a murmur of disbelief, just like the mutterings of movie courtrooms when the witness points her finger and says,”It was HIM, your honour…”
He snapped back instantly, “Seventy Dollars!” Order! Order in the court! I won’t go down to defeat over five measly dollars. No way. I planted my feet, looked at my competitor, glanced at that fantastic pie, and then looked once again at the kids up at the auction block. They were vibrating with delight, their eyes shining and as big as saucers; they were on tenterhooks! I held up my hand and cleared my throat. Ahem.
“One Hundred Dollars!!!”
The room dissolved in shrieks and gasps. My competitor looked away in abject defeat. He didn’t have the stomach for it!! The kids leaped and danced. Ha ha! The pie was mine.
I plunked down a C-Note and grabbed my delicious treasure. I smugly glided back to my seat, baked prize triumphantly hoisted over my head as if some edible Stanley Cup. A woman who was a complete stranger glowered at me and growled, “Stupid. Just stupid. It’s not worth that.” I looked into dead, miserly eyes and realized that this cranky, joyless old cheapskate had actually slithered here from the dank tomb in which she lived specifically to get DISCOUNTS on baked goods. Hell, an auction is where you get stuff cheap, right? She was angry and outraged that I would destroy her plan to nickel and dime fundraising twelve-year-olds.
I looked at her with equanimity and peace and said, “Oh well, at least the kiddies had a little fun. Sorry to disrupt your thrifty bidding strategy.”
OK, I’m totally lying. I actually made a violent retching sound while pretending to barf on her head.
Vince R Ditrich © 2018 :: All Rights Reserved :: Random Note Generator :: A One-Man Magazine