People who hold world records are fairly rare, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, how many friends of yours are the absolute world’s fastest or best or most amazing at something? Like “highest grossing movie ever” or “richest person in the world” there just aren’t many of them. They’re superlatives.
A superlative is usually an adjective that tells you this person or object is the utmost something can be, greater than any other description.
But it can also be something negative, such as “the world’s most dangerous highway” or “most evil dictator.” And these extreme edges of achievement (or infamy) fascinate us, hence the popularity of the Guinness Book of World Records,
which can tell us who has the longest fingernails in the world, and who holds the dubious title of most melons bashed in with one’s head.
But I am telling you today about a distinction I hold that is beyond any ever attained by another human being. I am, without a doubt, the world’s worst auctioneer. Okay, perhaps newborn infants or people in comas could be worse. Perhaps. But of able adults I am, by far, the world’s worst at this.
Some time ago a celebrity friend of mine was asked to run the auction at a big fundraising event for an excellent cause. (I hesitate to tell you the charity because I mangled the event so badly, but trust me—it involved innocent children who deserved better than my ghastly efforts.) Well, she couldn’t make it and asked me to fill in. I do lots of public speaking, so we both thought it could work.
We were both very, very wrong. We forgot the fact that I am terrible at remembering numbers if I don’t write them down, due to ADD. I don’t even know what we paid for our house, for example. St. Bob has told me umpteen times (See? Can’t even remember how many times) but it doesn’t stick. So, after telling a few jokes, I got down to business, showed the first item and took the first bid.
And this is where the springs in my brain went boingy, boingy and I promptly forgot the bid. “Wait—what was the bid?” I asked, into the mike. Someone yelled it out. A hundred dollars. I asked for one-fifty. Someone bid one-fifty. “Good! One-fifty,” I said. “Can I hear—wait—what was the bid?”
Oh, good heavens! This went on for days. Okay, it wasn’t days, it was about an hour. But it was a dreadful, agonizing hour that felt like days. I kept looking into the faces of the audience and wanting to hold each one and apologize. They were having to prompt me through the entire thing! And there was no getting out of it because I had a pile of stuff to sell!
And now, in the brain cells where I should have been processing bids, instead I was worrying. First worry: These people probably thought I was drunk (an assumption made even worse if they knew I was LDS and don’t drink—so now I’m wondering if they think I’m just flagrantly disobeying my religion’s rules). Second worry: Some of them might think I’m having a stroke and will call paramedics and then I’ll probably have to pay those guys. Third worry: These people will never support this wonderful charity again and they won’t get anyone to attend next year. Fourth worry: My friend will never speak to me after this train wreck of an auction in her name. Fifth worry: I will bump into some of these people in the future and they will whisper and point.
Finally the torture was over and I left in a flurry of apologies to the people running the event. Needless to say, I have never volunteered to auction anything, anywhere, ever again. Although I’d definitely support a fundraiser for ADD research. Just as long as someone else runs the auction.
Lucky for you my books have a set price—a LOW, set price. Check ‘em out here and enjoy reading!