If you want to study humanity you will get your fill by attending a real estate auction. Sticky beaks like us occasionally attend. It’s live theatre.
So that’s what we did yesterday, Saturday, a day which apparently was going to keep Melbournians busy at about 800 or so auctions. We chose the one which was selling a very attractive renovated Nineteenth Century home.
As we approached the house we could see that every parking spot in the street was taken. A large crowd of curious neighbours and potential bidders filled the front lawn of the property. I’d been to some crowded auctions before at which nobody made a single bid. Very deflating. The whole thing would be over in a flash.
This one was different, though. Some families with little children positioned themselves. There was definitely an air of anticipation among the crowd.
Was anybody interested? Would the auction go the way of other auctions and fizzle out? We chatted among ourselves and waited.
And then the auctioneer, Justin Long, began his preamble. A very descriptive and enthusiastic one, naturally. After about ten minutes he finally declared the auction opened and asked:-
“Is there anybody here who would like to open the bidding?”
A little voice piped up. “I will” One of the toddlers stood in front of Mr Long and repeated “I will” until his dad picked him up and whisked him away.
The whole crowd burst out laughing and for a brief moment we all relaxed. And then the auctioneer asked the child:-
“Does your father have any money? If he has then go ahead and bid.”
There were four bidders there and one of them was successful. It seemed to go on forever with the auctioneer playing one of the bidders off against the others until we felt like calling out “Enough already…”
It turned out to be one of the most exciting auctions I had ever witnessed. Nail biting is the only way to describe it. And it felt so good to have that comic relief before it started. He was such a cute kid!